What Louie Anderson Can’t Travel Without
Posted July 24, 2018 4:05 p.m. EDT
The comedian and actor Louie Anderson has been traveling the country doing standup almost weekly since the early ‘80s. He plays Christine Baskets in the Zach Galifianakis-led comedy “Baskets” on FX1, for which he won an Emmy in 2016, and his book “Hey Mom: Stories for My Mother, But You Can Read Them Too” was published in April.
Anderson travels for work around 100 days a year. “I love going to the Midwest, anywhere in the Midwest, ‘cause that’s really my home base as a person,” he said. “I grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. So I love all that.” His home, though, is in Las Vegas, and his suggestion to tourists is to do their research ahead of time. “They should really do their homework before they come to Las Vegas — read the reviews and go see shows they think they would really like; and they should really plan out what they’re going to do because it’s a town that can whirl you into the whirlpool, and you can get lost in it.”
He is not a light packer, at least partly because of the extraordinary number of odds and ends he brings with him. His suitcases, which he said he recently got down to two from three, are filled with spare buttons, Q-tips from a hotel room, a pick from the Dave Matthews Band, coins from different places he has been and a pair of mittens, no matter the weather.
“I love when people give me stuff, and I cherish it,” he said. “I have a whole area in my house where I put fan art and fan appreciation stuff.” He also carries a significant amount of it with him when he travels: a hand-sewn cloth carrot, a seashell, two rubber ducks, fan portraits of Christine Baskets, appreciative notes from fans and even a miniature red Croc shoe, because that is what Christine wears. “These are the things that I’ve probably carried in my bag, maybe some of them for 10 years,” he said. “I always go to clean it out, but I can never throw those things away. I think they really do give me luck.”
Here is just some of what he packs on every trip.
“A fan gave me my ‘Jesus Calling’ prayer book, which I read every day, and I just love it. I find it comforting.”
“I have sensitive skin and so I always carry fragrance-free laundry detergent. Because occasionally I’m out long enough where I have to wash clothes. I’m a Starwoods member so I usually stay at them, but if I have to wash clothes, I’ll stay at a Holiday Inn Express because I know they have a laundry room. I’ll just throw a load in and do it myself because I don’t want people having to look at how big my underwear is.”
“My brother, who’s no longer with us, used to make me little things, so I travel with lots of those little rings he made me, and little pulls for zippers, and bracelets and stuff like that, so I tend to carry those with me as sentimental things.”
“My brothers and sisters gave it to me, and all their names are on the outside and my name is on the front. It means a lot to me. I carry it with me in my bag and whenever I have my best outfit on, I wear it.”
“The older you get, the faster they grow. It’s one of those where you put it in your nose and it just sounds like a forest is being cut down.”
“I keep a thermometer just to take my temperature because I’m a hypochondriac, which is very funny to me. Once a week I take my temperature just to make sure I’m still alive.”
Blood Pressure Cuff
“I check my blood pressure at least twice a day. I look at it this way: It takes a few minutes, and the leading cause of death, I think, is high blood pressure. So if my blood pressure was really high, that would be important for me to know about. But I am a hypochondriac. I’m the first person to say to somebody, ‘You look awful red; have you had your blood pressure checked lately?'”
“But I don’t know what’s on it.”