Louie Anderson (1951-2022) made many visits to Atlanta over the years, including ‘Coming 2 America’

Emmy-winning actor and comic Louie Anderson, who died Friday of cancer, made many visits to Atlanta over the years, mostly for stand-up shows.

He shot scenes of “Coming 2 America” with Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall in Atlanta in 2019. The film came out in 2021 on Amazon Prime. In the original 1988 film, he played an employee at McDowell’s in Queens, New York. In the sequel, he had moved to Zamunda working at the McDowell’s there.

I interviewed him twice over the years. He appeared at the short-lived Atlanta Improv in 2012 and the City Winery Atlanta in 2017 after he had won an Emmy for his role on FX’s “Baskets.”

“He was a sweetheart, a really good guy,” said Chris DiPetta, who partially owns the Punchline Club and manages actor Billy Gardell. “He was incredibly gracious. I worked with him on a comedy special three years ago.”

Here are excerpts from those interviews:

On performing stand-up in 2012: “I feel like I’ve recaptured my inner stand-up. I had one of my best shows last night doing stuff I’ve never done. I was just talking to this family right in the front. It spurred this whole idea of families and stuff that’s my forté. Families and food — and being fat. I had a great time.”

His philosophy in 2017: “I want the audience to have an experience with me and think about their lives and nostalgia. I want them to forget their worries for an hour and a half. My goal is to make people feel something. That’s also my goal with ‘Baskets.’ Either laughing and having a good time or doing something serious that can touch you and matters to you.”

On Steve Harvey, who took over for Anderson hosting “Family Feud”: “He’s very smart and much more ambitious than I am. I’m the laziest person in the world. Thank you father. It’s not an accomplishment!”

On his comedic material he used in 2017: “I talk about Boston. I talk about Texas and the Alamo. I talk about processed foods and what they’ve done to me and what I’m going to do to get back at them. I’m talking about free-range chicken. I talk about people who collect crazy things. I talk about my mom and dad, my brothers and sisters. I talk about what matters. My message is love and caring about each other.”

On why he won the Emmy: “Right time, right place, right channel, right producers, right castmates. And all the guys who played women before me.”

On his “Baskets” character Christine: “I think she’s never given up on her kids. And she is there for them in her own broken way. I think that broken way is under repair. That’s why people root for Christine. She’s trying to be a better person.”

Christine loves Costco and so does Anderson: “Who doesn’t want to go to Costco? I could find an oversized office chair I might need because I’m big. I can find Prilosec for a third of the price of anywhere else. And the organic frozen vegetables are delicious!”

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