Whether you got to know Louie Anderson from Life with Louie or Family Feud, chances are you watched with a smile on your face and two, possibly three, cheeks planted firmly on the couch. Now that lovely resting device is exactly what he is trying to get you off of. After a run on the celebrity diving show Splash, Louie was inspired to take control of his weight and make some healthy changes. He's spreading his new gospel of "Get off the Couch!"
Before a string of headlining dates at the Palm Beach Improv next weekend, the veteran standup comedian told us how he's adapting to his new, healthier lifestyle. After years of tipping the scale at 400 pounds, it looks like this more slender Louie is hungry for new projects and boring sandwiches. He broke the news to us about a possible Life with Louie movie and Dr. Oz appearance, but what really emerged on the other side of all his hard work is a slimmed down version of the longtime funnyman with a clear passion for helping others ready to achieve similar results.
New Times: Where in the world are you right now?
Louie Anderson: I'm in Vegas.
You live in Vegas, right?
Yeah, I live here.
How long have you lived there for?
I ask because I lived in Vegas for a little bit when I was growing up. There is a big difference between being a local and being a tourist. Do you have any insider tips that a visitor might not know about?
I think it's fun to go off the strip and check out the downtown area. Not just because I work down there, but because it has had so much revitalization. The Mob Museum is down there. There are a tremendous amount of wonderful restaurants and cool bars. They are putting up a zipline that you can go right down Fremont Street. It's definitely a must.
It's great to see you take on a new, healthier lifestyle. What is the hardest part of maintaining that when you are out on the road doing shows?
I believe you!
It's hard to find healthy food after a show, so it's about being prepared. You have to have it all set up before. The more prep you make, the better off you will be.
Do you have a goal you are trying to reach?
Well, right now my goal is to get under 300 pounds. My first goal was to get under 400 pounds.
I see you are using the term "Get off the Couch!" What does that mean to you?
It's getting people moving again. Because I think people aren't moving very much. What happens is, you start not going anywhere and not doing anything, and it takes a toll on you, and then suddenly, you are sitting more than you are moving. So what I try to do is encourage people who are obese or morbidly obese to start moving again. Not to feel like they have to join a gym, just start moving. Baby steps. I'm just trying to motivate the people like Splash motivated me.
Right, Splash is what helped you make better decisions. Are you still getting in the pool for exercise?
I go three or four times a week. That water is so good for people who are overweight because you can do a lot of exercise and a lot of movement in there without being hard on your joints or your body. You can feel active in a pool where you might not be able to achieve that same amount of activity outside of a pool.