Picks and Pans Review: Louie Anderson: Comedy on Canvas

updated 01/15/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/15/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

HBO (Sat., Jan. 13, 10 P.M. ET)


Anderson is a made-for-TV comic, as this concert at the Guthrie Theatre in his hometown of Minneapolis makes clear. So much of what he is doing with his gentle, little-boy-hurt manner is transmitted with his eyes and facial expressions. Those are nuances you aren't likely to get if you're seated beyond the third row, but the home audience sees all.

Louie putters through a number of subjects such as driving, guns, shopaholism, car salesmen, the homeless, and being examined at a hospital ER ("No matter how sick you are, you always look around for something to steal. 'Hey, I could use some of this gauze' "). He has a considerably softer edge than most modern comics—meaning he doesn't really require cable's more liberal approach to censorship in order to do his shtick. Once again, that easygoing approach is quite endearing.

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