Louie Anderson plays the Paramount
Louie Anderson has a quality comedians crave — he’s instantly likable. His facial expressions, vocal tone and throwaway delivery get people rolling in the aisles at his live shows. As host of “Family Feud,” Anderson and his easy demeanor made contestants feel comfortable, and his Emmy-winning animated series, “Life With Louie,” kept fans laughing for three seasons. Anderson brings his “Big Baby Boomer” show to the Paramount on Sunday showcasing his family-friendly material.
How would you describe your comedic approach?
I’m not an attack dog. My thing is mostly about the predicament I get myself in . . . like I can’t get into the airplane seat or my pants. It’s just a matter of time until they start measuring our butts at the airport.
You came from a big family of 11 kids. Did you draw a lot of your material from them?
Pretty much — we grew up really poor, so we looked for the humor in everything. We had an all-for-one, one-for-all type of attitude. Being out of money didn’t keep us from having fun.
You do a lot of self-deprecating humor. Was that your defense mechanism as a kid?
I was a fat kid who didn’t get picked on a lot because I knew the bullies and would give them funny lines to say. Plus I’d make them laugh.
Was it a conscious decision to work clean?
Comedian Roman Dicaire told me if I worked clean and did material about my family, I’d become famous. Somehow that resonated with me. But working clean was innate to me because my mom would come see my show. The cleaner humor fit me really well. You can bring your parents or kids to my show. People like that element.
Do you think working blue is cheating?
I think it’s easier to be dirty. It’s like steroids for comics. If you work dirty you will get laughs that you wouldn’t get if you were clean. But to me, Richard Pryor didn’t work blue, because it was authentic to who he was. People have a problem when it’s not organic.
What is your current material focused on?
A lot of my new stuff is about how after you turn 50 you slowly evolve into your parents, which is a pretty shocking deal. I don’t want to go out after 9:30 p.m. anymore. I have friends asking me to go to a club at 10 p.m. and I ask, “Is it a sleepover?”
Johnny Carson really took to you when you appeared on the “Tonight Show.” How did that feel?
Getting on the “Tonight Show” was a big goal for me. It was like “American Idol” is now. You were famous the next day. Making Johnny laugh made up for anything I ever suffered through in my life.
Comedians are known to be competitive. But with you they don’t seem to have that edge. Why is that?
I don’t threaten comedians. I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. I became friends with everybody when I started out. My mom always taught me to tell everybody how good they did. My feeling is that there are enough people who are mad at everyone, but that’s not me.
Next year you will turn 60. How will you celebrate?
I’m not going to celebrate. In fact, I currently tell people I turned 50 nine years ago and it confuses them into thinking I’m 41.
WHO Louie Anderson
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m., Sunday, the Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington
INFO $25-$50, 800-745- 3000, ticketmaster.com