Remember making mix cassette tapes? Yeah, usually for music and guilty as charged. But I’m a comedy nerd and when I was a kid, I used to record a Sunday night comedy show off a local radio station and dub over just the bits from my all-time favourite comedians. I think I got to about 16 or 17 comedy mix tapes when all was said and done. The very first bit on comedy mix tape #1 was Louie Anderson on helping his Dad fix their family car. “Dad: Hand me that 9/16 wrench!!!! Louie: Here, take ‘em all.”
Fast-forward decades later and being in the very fortunate position of hosting my very own Sirius XM show (“Canada Now”, Monday to Friday, 1-3pm ET, on Sirius XM Canada Talks channel 167!!!), I get to meet my heroes. So imagine my feeling when I got to talk about that very bit with Louie Anderson himself.
That opportunity came in big part because of Louie’s kindness and generosity. Back when “Coming 2 America” came out, Louie came on my show to promote it. When our time together was coming to an end, he mentioned he’d like to talk to me on the air again, but next about the homeless crisis in Canada and the US. He told me he had two brothers who suffered from homelessness. I did him one better and suggested we dedicate the whole two hours of one of my shows to talking about the crisis and he could co-host the special with me while we speak to a number of experts in the field. Without hesitation, he agreed!
Louie and I did that special show just the other day. It’s online on the Sirius XM App and I really encourage you to listen. Not just to witness my excitement of having Louie for a whole two hours, but to be front row to his kindness and compassion. He marveled at the guests we had on for dedicating their professional lives to such a worthy cause. He was genuinely excited to learn something new. The thought of inspiring listeners to help in their own way thrilled him. And I have to say, it felt amazing to see our guests, some Canadian and some from Louie’s home state of Minnesota, light up when seeing and speaking with Louie. And Louie celebrated meeting them as much as they did him. I like to think they got a little bit of a thank you for everything they do with that opportunity.
The big takeaway for me from the special with Louie on the homeless crisis was there are incredible people doing whatever they can to help others in need. And there are others who have reached seemingly unreachable heights of success that want to help in their own way too. Louie Anderson stops and helps, be it with his own family or complete strangers. He is committed to continuing to help and asked me to join him in doing so, in the form of radio and even a comedy show on stage to raise even more awareness. I hope it happens and, knowing Louie, I think it will. I’ll keep you posted!
They say don’t meet your heroes. I get to often. “They” are wrong. Now, does my cassette deck still work?