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Legends and Groundbreakers Honoree Louie Anderson Reflects on His Long Comedy Career

21 July 2016 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Louie Anderson got his start in comedy on a dare.

As a young man in Minnesota in the late 1970s, Anderson went to a comedy club with some friends. He wasn’t impressed.

“It was my fault because I said the comedians who were up there weren’t very funny,” he recalls. “That backfired on me. People said, ‘Why don’t you go up there?’ I said, ‘Ok, I will.’”

Within a week Anderson was performing on open mic night.

“I remember I wrote these jokes all week and I’d ask people if they thought they were funny,” Anderson says. “They were mostly about being a fat kid growing up. I was terrible with the mic technique, I was way too close.”

But almost instantly, Anderson, who is being honored by Variety as part of their “Legends and Groundbreakers” series at the Just for Laughs fest, started getting attention. A »

- Geoff Berkshire

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