Howie Mandel, DL Hughley And More Celebs Respond After Comedian Louie Anderson's Death At 68

Comedy fans are mourning a fresh loss to the pantheon of iconic talents that rose to fame in the 1980s, as it was reported that former Family Feud host and Baskets star Louie Anderson died at the age of 68. In the wake of this somber news, celebrities like Howie Mandel, DL Hughley, and many more have paid tribute to the life, talent and generosity of this comedic legend. The results are as heartfelt as they are shocked about Anderson's relatively sudden passing.

After being hospitalized last week while being treated for blood cancer, the star of shows such as Baskets and Life with Louie passed on Friday in Las Vegas. CNN was one of many outlets that confirmed Louie Anderson’s death, through a statement from his publicist Glenn Schwartz. With the news making the rounds this morning, the tributes started to pour in. 

Sharing a connection with Louie Anderson as a fellow comedian and veteran of the Fox Kids Saturday morning lineup, America's Got Talent judge and Bobby's World creator Howie Mandel was naturally upset to hear the sad news. Reflecting on the recent losses of Norm MacDonald and Bob Saget, Mandel’s reaction was as follows: 

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Known throughout the world of film and television, Louie Anderson quickly made a name for himself in the world of comedy after his 1984 debut on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. His star rose to the point that when Coming To America saw Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall had to select a white comedian to play a part in the film, Louie was their go-to choice for “the funniest white guy around.” This would lead him to reprise his role as Maurice, an employee at the fictional restaurant McDowell’s, in the sequel Coming 2 America, which was his final film effort.

Outside of his standup and film appearances, Anderson became prominent as one of the iconic hosts of Family Feud, on top of his animated series Life with Louie. It’s that wide span of appeal that helped launch him to stardom, as well as kept his memory so fondly in the eyes of his peers. Here’s how fellow comedian DL Hughley paid tribute to Louie Anderson’s memory: 

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One of the best stories to come out of this tragic passing comes from writer/director Travon Free, who’s written for both Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. The Academy Award winning director of 2021’s Best Live-Action Short Two Distant Strangers, Mr. Free shared a personal moment of generosity from Mr. Anderson from earlier in his career as his tribute:

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That pattern of behavior was known among other comedians as well, one of which happens to be Happy Days legend and Barry co-star Henry Winkler. Further touting Louie Anderson as a truly good person, his contribution to honoring the man’s memory was bittersweet:

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In recent years, Anderson’s career saw him making appearances on shows like Young Sheldon and Search Party, as well as becoming one of the few hosts of Family Feud to actually play the game himself. But one of the landmarks in the latter era of his career was the role of Christine, the mother to Zach Galifanakis’ protagonist on the FX dramedy Baskets. It was the role that saw him win the Primetime Emmy in 2016 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, as well as two more consecutive nominations. Reflecting on that part of his legacy, actor/comedian Michael McKean offered a fitting closer to our tribute to Louie Anderson: 

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As a comedian, it helps if you can win a room with your wit like Louie Anderson could. It’s even more amazing if you’re able to do so while also being a person of exemplary character, which was also one of his lifelong achievements. We here at CinemaBlend send our deepest condolences to his fans, friends, and family, as they grieve in his honor.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.