What a transformation! Louie Anderson plunges from 23ft board on Splash…
What a transformation! Louie Anderson plunges from 23ft board on Splash… six weeks after being unable to get out the pool
He’s one of America’s best known stand up comedians.
And tipping the scales at over 400 lbs, he’s one of the biggest, too.
But funnyman Louie Anderson realised his weight is no laughing matter as he tried to learn to dive on new reality TV show, Splash.
The 59-year-old – who weighs a massive 417 lbs – admitted he was mortified when he couldn’t get out of the pool – and had to be helped out by his fellow contestants.
‘The first time I had to get out was my most embarrassing moment,’ he confessed. ‘It’s humiliating. Four hundred pounds going in the water is a lot easier than 400 pounds getting out of the water.’
‘It was still taxing for me to pull Louis out,’ admitted NFL star Ndamukong Suh.
‘Getting him out was scary,’ added dive coach Greg Louganis. ‘He’s got a long road ahead of him.’
Bold move: The funnyman had never before dived from such a high board
And he fought back tears as he admitted that he had been given a chance to become more healthy.
‘My goal is that I’m going to be getting out of the pool on my own. It’s like a miracle that I was given this opportunity. It’s like someone was looking out for me.’
‘You keep up the good work,’ said fellow contestant Kareem Abdul-Jabaar.
‘He’s one of the top 50 players of all time,’ Louie said of Kareem. ‘And he’s telling me I can do it.’
That was six weeks ago – now he says he has come a long way. He added: ‘Tonight my goal is to shock everyone at how far I’ve progressed.’
He donned a black and camouflage-coloured wetsuit for his big moment – and joked that he had to be CARRIED to the diving board.
‘I had to find my inner diver. He was buried very deep obviously,’ he laughed as he readied himself to dive off the 16 ft board. ’When I was a kid I could never get up the rope in gym class, so this is my rope.’
He said he was dedicating his dive for the troops and veterans around the world. ‘I’m diving for you!’ he said.
He looked nervous as he shuffled to the edge – then said he wanted to dive off a HIGHER platform, as the other contestants looked stunned.
‘I’ve got to go up one more level.
He then went to the 23ft high board – the first time he had ever gone so high – raised his arms, and jumped off to huge applause.
Judge Steve Foley said: ‘You looked like Tarzan as you took off, doing that swan dive. As you got closer to the water it resembled [Tarzan parody] George of the Jungle. But that’s OK, because I’m in shock that you had the courage.’
He said he was ‘inspired’ to give Louie seven points after he decided to dive off the higher board for the first time.
Fellow judge, Olympic gold medal winner David Boudia added: ‘You’re breaking your goals left and right. You can’t even get out the pool the first day. That’s insane.
‘You’re taking a step in the right direction for a healthier lifestyle and that’s way better than a score I’ll ever give. I’m going to score you a seven-and-a-half though.’
‘I got here and I said, ‘I’ve got to make an impact because I have a disadvantage’,’ he told host Charissa Thompson.
‘My dad was a veteran,’ he said after his dive, his voice breaking with emotion. ‘That’s why I did this.’
The points were enough to keep him in the show for at least another week.
PUBLISHED: 02:03 EST, 20 March 2013 | UPDATED: 06:29 EST, 20 March 2013