Pauly Shore Remembers Louie Anderson: ‘Like a Brother’

Shore briefly saw the comedian before he was admitted to the hospital

Pauly Shore remembers the first time he saw Louie Anderson perform on stage at The Comedy Store, the iconic West Hollywood club owned by his mother, Mitzi.

“With Louie, he was just smart, funny, clean – his stuff was always clean – [and] he had his own cadence,” Shore says of the late comedian. “He was there when I first performed in front of my mom, and my mom and him loved each other.

“He’s like a brother, you know, he’s just a sweetheart.”

Anderson’s death last week in Las Vegas of complications from large B-cell lymphoma has left a hole in the hearts of a standup community still processing the death of Full House star and comedian Bob Saget less than two weeks earlier. 

Anderson’s illness was known only to a few close friends and family members. His hospitalization made headlines only days before the 68-year-old’s death was announced, and Shore was among those who were able to see the comedian briefly after he was admitted.

It was an opportunity to say goodbye to a longtime friend, and Shore paid tribute to Anderson and other legends lost, including Bob Saget, Carl Reiner, and his own parents, on Twitter. He pledged to keep Anderson’s legacy alive “down here.” 

A Loss for Las Vegas

There’s a closeness among comedians that’s not often seen or felt among the rest of the entertainment community and their fans. But even if you didn’t know Louie Anderson well, you knew one thing: everyone in Las Vegas loved him.

Upon hearing of the comedian’s passing, Anderson’s fellow comics – and Las Vegas entertainers, especially – took to social media with their tributes and stories.

“Heaven has a hell of an open mic night goin’ right about now,” wrote longtime Strip performer George Wallace, adding, “What an awesome friend. One in a million.”

“Another great comedian. Another great Vegas star,” wrote Rio headliner Penn Jillette. “He saw us on Broadway and did an impersonation of the Midwest people seeing our show, ‘Why is the big guy yelling at us.’ Made me laugh.”

Anderson’s career gained steam in the mid-1980s – a clip circulating of the comedian performing at Rodney Dangerfield’s comedy club is particularly funny – and he was an established star by the time he became a Las Vegas resident in the 2000s, having found success in films such as Coming to America, as the creator of the Emmy-winning mid-90s FOX cartoon, Life With Louie, and as host of the late 90s Family Feud.

Anderson continued to receive accolades in recent years for his on-camera work, notably his Emmy-winning turn as Christine Baskets, mother of Zach Galifianakis and Martha Kelly on the FX black comedy Baskets.

In Las Vegas, he established himself as the perfect comic elixir for visitors looking for a laugh in between visits to the blackjack tables and slot machines. Much of Anderson’s act felt effortless, and the city provided him plenty of material as he took his Larger Than Life show through multiple iterations at Palace Station, South Point, and Excalibur.

Anderson joked about his love for Las Vegas during a 2017 appearance on Conan O’Brien’s talk show, explaining to the audience that he preferred avoiding the Strip as not to run into drunk young people.

“You know when young people drink they can get so drunk that their inner gyroscope takes over,” he said, mimicking a bobbing clubgoer. “And then they focus on you, ‘Ayyyyyyyyyyyy!’

“You know they’re drink when they’re making wrestling sounds, ‘Whoooooooo!’ I’ve never been that drunk. I’ve been that full.”

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