He has lived for many years in Las Vegas, but the places in this country Louie Anderson loves best are Minnesota and Florida.
“Florida,” he said. “is like nowhere else in the world.”
A lot of comedians love Florida for its wealth of weird stories and oddball people that give fodder for easy laughs. For Anderson, it’s about Florida’s geography.
“You can visit New York and Cuba within a couple of hours,” he said. “You have beaches and swamps and you have cities.”
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He’s not especially known for topical humor, so the quirky behavior of some Floridians isn’t something that usually goes into his routines.
“I usually start with how my day went,” he said. “It’s a lot of mom and dad and sister and brother stuff.”
It may be superficially light material. Anderson’s not likely to skewer politicians or show biz celebrities. But that doesn’t mean his comedy is tame.
“A lot of the time I’m taking chances,” he said. “That’s the most fun for me, and I think it’s the most fun for the audiences, too. This is the time to be fearless. There’s point in waiting to be fearless.”
Anderson said he loves the Florida audiences, and he’ll be at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre in Sarasota to entertain Floridian. He’ll perform two shows Friday evening and two on Saturday.
He was calling from for Minnesota, the other state he feels the most affinity for. It’s where he grew up, and he feels that he owes the state a debt.
“Minnesota kind of taught me how to be a stand-up comedian,” he said. “I’m doing an amazing thing. I’m trying to play every city in Minnesota before I retire. Any pace that’s big enough to have a comedy club or a theater. I’m putting the information together right now.”
Besides performing in clubs, Anderson’s working on a comedy special that will probably air sometime next year. Some of the material Sarasota audiences hear may end up in that special. In fact, it’s partly up to the audiences here whether the material makes it to TV.
“I’m going to be trying out the jokes,” he said. “I need your opinions.”
His current TV project is something completely different. In the FX scripted comedy “Baskets,” Anderson, in drag, plays Christine Basket, the mother of twin sons Chip and Dale, both played by Zach Galifinakis. Chip’s dream is to became a world-class clown, but he ends up being a rodeo clown in Bakersfield, Calif.
Louis CK is one of the show’s co-creators.
“It’s a funny show,” Anderson said. “I’m having the most fun with it. I’m definitely getting new groups of fans from it.”
But Anderson said he takes every job seriously, whether it’s a hit TV series, his own comedy special or a club date in Sarasota,.
“One thing about my act, and I’ve been at this for 37 years, is that I’ve never phoned it in,” he said. “People always know when it’s phoned in.”
Details: 7:30 and 9 p.m. June 17-18, McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. $33. 941-925-3869, mccurdyscomedy.com.