Louie and Tommy Anderson
Tuesday was bittersweet Louie Anderson. Early in the day, he learned that "Baskets," the FX sitcom that has put him back on the map, was renewed for a second season. Later, calls started coming in from his family: Tommy Anderson, the youngest of his 10 siblings, had unexpectantly died in his sleep.
"He was my inspiration," Anderson said Friday, choking back tears.
Tommy, 60, was a significant character in his older brother's first major comedy special, "Mom! Louie's Looking at Me Again!," which was taped at the Guthrie Theatre, and was an almost daily sounding board for the comedian. He was one of the first people Anderson consulted after being offered the role of playing Zach Galifianakis' mother in "Baskets."
"He said, 'You should do it. It'd be a nice tribute to Mom,'" Anderson said.
Tommy was developing a cartoon with his brother based on "Truth Ranger," a character he had created that believes honesty is the best policy. A few years ago, he had moved from California back home to Minnesota, specifically Newport, to be closer to his sisters.
The two brothers had a chance to see each other this past weekend when Anderson was in the area for a Bloomington gig. They had a long dinner at Applebee's
Anderson has canceled live performances this week, but is still planning on appearing March 18 and 19 at the Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis.
It won't be easy.
"I don't think I'll be able to do the Tommy material," Anderson said. "I've performed before when people have died. I performed the night my father died. But this time it's different. I really miss him."