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Comedian Louie Anderson is playing intimate gigs in Twin Cities suburbs

 

 

Louie Anderson/Star Tribune photo by Courtney Pedroza

Minutes before taking the stage at Turtle's Bar & Grill, Louie Anderson tripped over a step and nearly took a nosedive.

"I came this close to dying!" he mock whined at the start of his 90-minute set Thursday in Shakopee. "I can already feel bruises forming."

The St. Paul native's recovery served as a nice metaphor for his career. After being under-valued for more than a decade, the comedian has enjoyed a massive comeback thanks to his Emmy-winning role in FX's "Baskets" and a sensible diet that has him looking fitter and sunnier than he has in ages.

Before the show, he confirmed that he was recently cast as a reclusive professor in "Heft," a feature film to be directed by Mike Nichols' son, Max. Oscar winner Renee Zellweger is also set to star.

Despite the sweet success, Anderson keeps coming back to play intimate gigs in Twin CIties suburbia. In his Turtle's dressing room -- which was actually the bar's kitchen, blocked off by two portable tables turned on their sides -- he said the "hometown" performances were a good way to try out new material, as well as check in with family and his good friend, Scott Hansen, who booked the local shows.

As usual, there were plenty of Minnesota references scattered throughout his act, including a tale about how his dad checked him into Regions Hospital (then known as St. Paul-Ramsey County Medical Center) when he was a kid, thinking doctors could force his son to lose weight. Instead, the 13-year-old ended up being introduced to speed.

If anything has changed in the past two years, it's Anderson's deeper analysis of his love-hate relationship with his late father -- emphasis on hate. But he shined a surprisingly tender moment on his late dad at the end of Thursday's show, one that that had him choked back tears.

At least he didn't fall off the stool.

Anderson is at Maple Tavern in Maple Grove Friday and Saturday, followed by a Sunday show at Withrow Ballroom in Hugo. For tickets, go to brownpapertickets.com


 

'Last Comic Standing' Todd Glass gets a jump on his stint at Hopkins comedy club

Todd Glass’s heart attack hasn’t slowed him down.

The cerebral, often combative comedian, best known for calling out idiots on two seasons of “Last Comic Standing,” made a surprise appeareace Wednesday at Royal Comedy Theatre, one night before his scheduled four-night stint at the intimate Hopkins club.

Despite collapsing backstage 8 years ago due to blocked arteries, the entertainer hasn’t pulled back on his take-no-prisoners approach, turning various shades of pink as he tore apart everyone from Kmart executives to a young woman in the front row who dared to pull out her cell phone.

If Lewis Black is a 10 on the volume scale, Glass is a 13.

“I was worried about that, too,” Glass said after the show when I asked him about his ticker. “I quit smoking. I take my Lipitor. My doctor said I’m fine on stage, especially if I keep doing the material he agrees with.”

Glass, who is performing with a three-piece band, may be a hothead on stage, but he clearly has deep affection for old-school comedy, demanding cheesy intros, spinning his mike and breaking into dead-on impressions of Rodney Dangerfield.

The host of “The Todd Glass Show,” which has been rated the #1 podcast by the Podcasters Assocation of America since its 2011 debut, is arguably the biggest name Royal will bring in this year – but tickets are still available.

Visit royalcomedy.com to catch the tirade. Just remember to bring earplugs

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