LOS ANGELES -- What a difference a year makes. Last January, Louie Anderson was making the rounds as Hollywood's Re-Freshed Prince. Now he's the King.

The Minnesota native, fresh off his annual New Year's Eve gigs in Burnsville, attended a Fox network party Wednesday night -- but you kind of had to search for him.

While Richard Dreyfuss, Lance Bass, Kaitlin Olson and Felicity Huffman worked the crowded hotel lounge, the recent Emmy winner plopped down in a well-lit hallway with his manager, far away from the hubbub.

When you're the toast of the town, folks come to you.

Among those paying their respects was Ernie Hudson, who stars in Fox's upcoming police drama, "APB." The two hadn't seen each other since they both appeared in 1988 feature film "The Wrong Guys," and they swapped hilarious memories about the shoot, which included some perilous scenes on rapids in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Both were unaware of each other's Minnesota connections until I pointed it out to them. Hudson currently lives in Burnsville and has been able to spend more time there lately as his latest Fox series films in nearby Chicago.

They quickly agreed to get together next time Anderson performs in the Twin Cities, which, if past history is any indication, will be fairly soon.

Anderson didn't move much from his seat, but he said he's feeling great and has lost 25 pounds this year.

"A lot of time on the treadmill -- and I haven't touched any of the donuts," he said, glancing a tempting plate of goodies that had been delivered to His Highness's table.

Hudson's "APB" co-star also has Minnesota connections. Justin Kirk spent his teenage years in the Twin Cities and was recently back visiting friends. He's got plans to pop by in March for a quick theatre project.

Before we finished our drinks, I had to tease Kirk a little about his highly promoted NBC sitcom, "Animal Practice," that never lived up to expectations. During promotions for that project, the two of us had a great lunch in Beverly HIlls followed by a bizarre pool time party in wich the biggest stars were Sarah Palin and the sitcom's leading monkey, Crystal.

Seen your former furry partner lately, Justin?

"I saw him on 'Ray Donovan,'" he said. "Maybe we can get him for 'APB'."

The drama premieres Feb. 6. "Baskets" returns next Thursday.


 

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