Louie Anderson never got the star-studded send-offs bestowed upon Bob Saget and Norm Macdonald. Anderson, who died this past January, may have been kind and generous to fellow comics, but he was also intensively private, keeping most people at arm's length. He was, after all, a Minnesotan.
"Curtain Call: Letters to My Friend Louie Anderson!," which premiered Friday as part of the Minnesota Fringe Festival, does its best to give the late comic a proper send-off. It's the brainchild of Jason Schommer, who benefited personally and professionally from his relationship with the legend. Anderson even thanked him during his 2016 Emmy acceptance speech.
Schommer, who grew up in Little Falls, spent nearly an hour on the Theatre in the Round stage, sharing anecdotes about his famous friend, from how they first bonded in a St. Louis Park grocery store to a hilarious phone fight in Las Vegas, where Schommer was his regular opening act.
Some of the dramatic framing, like Schommer pecking away at a typewriter and pop songs playing between bits, are unnecessary. The show works best when he ditches the theatrical touches and just lets loose as a stand-up, sharing funny stories about a funny pal.
"Curtain" will also be performed Sunday and Tuesday, as well as next Friday and Saturday. For tickets and showtimes, visit minnesotafringe.org.