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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.

Facing his fears: Louie Anderson decided to dive off a 23ft high board during Splash's premiere on TuesdayFacing his fears: Louie Anderson decided to dive off a 23ft high board during Splash’s premiere on Tuesday

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.’

He's come a long way: When training began six weeks ago the comedian couldn't even get out of the swimming poolHe’s come a long way: When training began six weeks ago the comedian couldn’t even get out of the swimming pool

 

Bold move: The funnyman had never before dived from such a high board
Bold move: The funnyman had never before dived from such a high board

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.’

It paid off: Louie was awarded for his courage with an impressive score of seven-and-a-halfIt paid off: Louie was awarded for his courage with an impressive score of seven-and-a-half

 

Touching: The star said that he was dedicating his dive to the troops and veterans around the worldTouching: The star said that he was dedicating his dive to the troops and veterans around the world

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.

Pushing himself: Louie initially went to jump off the 16ft board, but then decided to go higherPushing himself: Louie initially went to jump off the 16ft board, but then decided to go higher

 

The name of the game: The 417lbs star certainly made a big Splash when he entered the water from such a great heightThe name of the game: The 417lbs star certainly made a big Splash when he entered the water from such a great height

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.

A ray of sunshine: Louie seemed in good spirits as he stepped out in his yellow dressing gownA ray of sunshine: Louie seemed in good spirits as he stepped out in his yellow dressing gown

 

Eyes on the prize: Also competing on the show are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Drake Bell, Rory Bushfield, Nicole Eggert, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Katherine Webb, Ndamukong Suh, Kendra Wilkinson and Chuy BravoEyes on the prize: Also competing on the show are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Drake Bell, Rory Bushfield, Nicole Eggert, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Katherine Webb, Ndamukong Suh, Kendra Wilkinson and Chuy Bravo

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.

‘Humiliating’: Louie said it was tough as in the beginning he struggled even to get out of the water
A tough start: Louie revealed that the first day of training was the worst as he had to be dragged out of the water

‘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.

Louie Anderson is one of the celebrities starring in ABC’s Splash
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PUBLISHED: 02:03 EST, 20 March 2013 | UPDATED: 06:29 EST, 20 March 2013

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2296181/Louie-Anderson-plunges-23ft-board-Splash–weeks-unable-pool.html#ixzz2OIhvDZBr
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