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Self-deprecation is not in his diet.
After years of poking fun at his own weight, comedian Louie Anderson said he cuts back on the fat jokes. He claims that he can still make the audience laugh, without being the butt of his own jokes.
“My act has always been about my family, or about me being fat in my family,” Anderson told the Philadelphia Inquirer in an interview Tuesday. The 66-year-old first sprung on the stand-up comedy scene in the 1970s-a time when he said that he weighed more than 400 pounds.
When Anderson went on stage, he had a joke that he should move the mic stand out of the way so the audience could see him. Also, he would joke: “every time I went, they tried to push me back in the water.”
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Now the comedian said he is trying to make peace with his past. He described the stand-up comedy as a kind of therapy for some artists. After growing up in Minnesota in a family of 11 children, Anderson said the internship has helped him to overcome problems with his alcoholic father, who has since died.
“I only do a couple of really fat jokes. I get it out of the way,” he said. “I talk about how much I love food. My mother loved butter. I love butter. My father drank. I decided food was going to be my addiction.”
Louie Anderson is pictured on the 68th Emmy Awards in the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Sunday, September 18, 2016.
(Image Group LA/ABC via Getty Images)
“I say, as I have an X on my clothes, I’m next year’s Super Bowl. Or if I go to a large store, you never walk in a long people,” Anderson explained. “I make sure that they are real funny jokes, but I don’t dwell on it. I’m just telling you what it is to be a great man.”
Anderson won an Emmy for the play of Zach Galifianakis’s mother on the FX-TV cringe-com Baskets, a role which he says is in part inspired by his own mother and five sisters.
“Christine is a sort of cult figure, so I try to let people know where the sign came from,” Anderson said. In the series, Anderson dresses in a wig, clothes and make-up, make sure to emphasize are already naturally high pitch of the voice.
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Anderson concluded the interview by saying that he’s moving in the direction of a more positive future as an entertainer by forgiving his father.
“I think it’s about remembering your parents in the best way that you can. And cut people slack who have difficulties in life. Don’t be so hard for them. They do the best they can be. I don’t think people choose to be screw-ups.”