Louie Anderson is very familiar with interest in, and comment on, a public figure’s weight.
Thus, the comedian and former “Family Feud” host identifies strongly with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, particularly in a week when the politician has been responding to reactions to his highly self-effacing appearance on CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” Monday (Feb. 4).
‘The thing is that when you’re a big person, your struggle is right there in front of everyone,” Anderson tells Zap2it. “Everyone has their own weight problem in a different way, and I think Chris Christie is really brave to tell people, ‘Listen, it’s really not your business. I’m aware of it, and I don’t think I’m too fat to do the things I do.’
“We have a national weight problem,” Anderson reasons, “and I believe Chris Christie will address it, but on his own terms. The cool thing is that he has such a good sense of humor about it.”
Anderson is now dealing with his own weight issues in his own way — as a contestant in ABC’s celebrity-diving competition “Splash,” premiering Tuesday, March 19. He looks at it as a new opportunity to shed pounds, which he reports he already has in his early weeks of diving practice … but he hopes not so much that he’s precluded from other television jobs he’d like.
“i’d have loved to get the part of Billy Gardell‘s father on ‘Mike & Molly’ (played several times by Francis Guinan on the CBS sitcom), or his older brother or whatever. I’d love that comedic part that I never accomplished while I was in [television regularly] because I didn’t understand the whole thing. I’d been in stand-up, and I don’t regret my life, but I do regret being so full of myself at times.”
Getting back into the broader public eye is a prime motivation for Anderson to do “Splash,” he admits: “People get reminded that you still exist. They’ll say to me, ‘We haven’t seen you in a while.’ Well, I’ve been headlining a show in Vegas for seven years, but what they mean is that they haven’t seen me on TV.
“I have lots of fans from a lot of different things, like the ‘Feud’ and ‘Life With Louie’ and ‘Coming to America’ and my books, so I’ve had a really full time. But yeah, I’d like to be in a series.”