You can’t beat the Minnesota Nice out of Louie Anderson or Lizz Winstead. He lives in Los Angeles, she in New York, but both have made a tradition out of coming home every holiday season to perform shows on New Year’s Eve.
They may each spend most of their lives cracking wise, but it’s tough to coax either to say anything nasty about the other. So instead of drawing blood in advance of Anderson’s “Laugh Out Loud New Year’s Eve” at Burnsville Performing Arts Center and Winstead’s “The Windbag Beneath My Wings” year-in-review show at Cedar Cultural Center, we had to settle for gentle razzing.
Q: What else do you and Lizz have in common besides being hilarious and from Minnesota?
A: The way we dress. You can always pick either of us out of a crowd because we both have a fierce sense of style.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about Lizz?
A: I know if it came down to it she would help me bury the bodies.
Q: Why should people go to your show instead of hers?
A: I’m much softer than her. Physically. Also I’m not as smart, so you can be dumb and still enjoy my show. And the only woman’s issue I’ll be taking on is my mother.
Q: What are your must-stop places when you come back home?
A: Well, I’m on this health stuff, so let’s talk about where I won’t be going. Rudolph’s BBQ, Market BBQ. I’ll be turning in my bacon wedge salad for kale and my strawberry banana smoothie for two shots of wheat grass.
Q: Now what about your crazy dive on the ABC reality show “Splash” last spring?
A: Here’s what I was really thinking up there. I was completely out of breath because I had to walk up those stairs. I assumed there was going to be some sort of elevator. I had to really convince myself to jump because I’m really afraid of heights, and what did it for me was thinking of having to walk back down those stairs. If it had been a chocolate fountain of stairs, I would have been willing.
Q: Who are your prime targets this year?
A: It’s getting harder and harder to get everything in one show, but no one will escape unscathed. The government shutdown, Ted Cruz, the health care rollout, Miley Cyrus, Paula Deen, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, Dennis Rodman going to North Korea, the crazy interpreter at Mandela’s funeral, Pat Robertson’s secret ring of evil gays.
Q: Any Minnesotans on the list?
A: Tom Petters. Michele Bachmann. The Minneapolis mayoral race. But the best thing to happen all year was gay marriage getting signed into law. I’ll tell a touching story about stumping for that.
Q: Give us an early memory of Louie.
A: When I was just starting out, one of the first times I headlined at the Comedy Gallery, he flew back to open for me to bring in an audience. He made sure his name was smaller than mine on the flier.
Q: How do you define the Minnesota ethos?
A: You really have to screw Minnesotans over for them not to stop and say, ‘All right. I’ll give you another chance.’ For a Minnesotan to kick you out of their lives permanently, you have to burn the house down a second time. I think it’s because in Minnesota there’s a lot of stuff that has to be done that takes two people, like when your car gets stuck in the snow.
Q: What are you most jealous of about Louie?
A: His storytelling. People say that Louis CK, one of my fave comics working right now, is a great storyteller, but there wouldn’t be a CK without an Anderson. They both mine every single ounce of their stories, leaving nothing unturned.
Q: Why should people go to your show instead of Louie’s?
A: If you think the world is going along fine and you just want to hear some great stories, go see Louie. If you think the world’s gone mad, come see me. Also because I plan to dive off an even higher platform than he did.