By JoAnn Richi
A variation of this article was published in The Arizona Republic Nov. 11, 1997
Louie Anderson, one of the nation’s top comics, walked off the stage at the Tempe Improve Theater in late l997, during a packed Saturday night performance. A heckler, needling the comedian about his weight, must have brought back one too many memories of the lifetime Louie Anderson has spent fighting calories and petty cruelties.
I had a chance to see him perform the next evening, and on that chilly night in Phoenix I watched Louie climb back up on that stage and do what he has been doing for years; hold a crowd in the palm of his hand and make them laugh until it hurts.