Louie Anderson ventures away from Sin City and finally returns to Junction City next weekend.
"Yeah, it's been a hundred years hasn't it?" said Louie Anderson, in a phone interview in advance of next Friday's shows at Wiseguys Comedy Cafe in Ogden. He last appeared locally in the late '90s.
The show is part of a miniature tour for Anderson. He spends most of the year at the Louie Anderson Theater in Palace Station casino in Las Vegas. He started headlining at the casino last September after spending several years at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino.
He still feels the need to leave at least once a month to avoid being bogged down in one locale.
"I don't necessarily miss the travel," Anderson. "I guess I miss the idea of being in a new place. I miss the people."
The Minnesota comic got his start in 1980 with his tales of an overweight youth in a family of 11 kids, with an alcoholic father and passive mother. The stories and the characters connected with families after he released two specials and created a hit children's television show for Fox with "Life With Louie." The show was based on his stories.
Anderson has a new focus onstage in recent years, choosing to talk about his lifelong battle with weight and being a healthier person.
"I still do some of the family stuff," Anderson said. "I think it was a natural progression that as you get older, you tend to focus on getting older, and I found it so funny. I think I hit a nerve among people."
One story that he shared onstage was about having double bypass surgery seven years ago and the altering effect it had on his life.
He found a way to get audiences laughing about a life-changing event. But the surprise comes from some of the audience's reaction to his tale of lying on a hospital gurney.
"That thing, people really get a little scared when I do it sometimes," Anderson said. "But they really enjoy it, and I have softened it up a little more. My goal is not to upset the audience. So I have taken a lot of stuff out of that procedure onstage, made it a little more fun."
It's not just the decision to get healthy that Anderson emphasizes. It's the actual changing of lifelong habits that provides much of the funny material.
"The new material I am focusing on is change, how hard it is to change after you're 50," Anderson said. "You really start out every day thinking you are going to change. You really have your heart set on it. Then you do really good with it until about 9:30 (in the morning)."
The Stand-Up Boot Camp is a side project helmed by Anderson and comic Kyle Cease to help budding comedians.
"What I found that was fascinating was how much I learned about myself," Anderson said.
He was giving some advice to one of the comics over the phone last year, and talked about the need to work harder on the material.
"As I was telling them this on a call, I said to myself 'Why don't you work harder? Where is your new hour of material?' " Anderson said. "That moment, I started working on a new hour."
It was a fun boost to his life. He said it's a magical time when a comic is working on new jokes. The audience gets to become part of the process -- and Ogden's performances will be a part of the process.
Anderson will focus on the four F's -- family, 50, fat and food.
"I think I hit a real feeling of, hey, we get this, we like this stuff. That's what you are really going for is hitting the nerve," Anderson said.
"What I am trying to do is come up with a great new hour that represents exactly who I am right now."
Watch a YouTube of Louie Anderson on "The Late Show with Craig Ferguson"