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Veteran Las Vegas comedian Louie Anderson wins Emmy for ‘Baskets’ role

Comedian Louie Anderson, a longtime Las Vegas performer, helped get Sunday’s Prime Time Emmy Awards show off with a laugh. He was called out in host Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue and then received the first award.

As the audience was settling into its seats at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles for the show’s opening, Kimmel mentioned Anderson, who was nominated for playing Zach Galifianakis’ mother on the FX comedy “Baskets.”

“I never imagined my favorite TV mom would be Louie Anderson,” Kimmel, a Clark High School graduate, said, eliciting laughs. “You know, they were originally going to cast a woman for the role, but it’s hard to find an actress over 50 who needs a part, so they went to Louie.”

Then came the night’s first award, for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Anderson was up against Andre Braugher of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Keegan-Michael Key of “Key & Peele,” Ty Burrell of “Modern Family,” Tituss Burgess of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and two actors from “Veep,” Tony Hale, and Matt Walsh.

When Anderson’s name was called, he took his statuette and said, “Mom, we did it!” and then credited her.

“This is for my mom, Ora Zella Anderson, who I stole every nuance, shameful look, cruel look, loving look, passive-aggressive line, I really thank her,” he said.

He later added, “I am not always been a very good man, but I play one hell of a woman.”

Joyce Eng, senior editor at TV Guide Online, tweeted that after winning his award, Anderson went backstage and said, “These are so much heavier than they look … but, then, so am I.”

Twitter lit up with congratulations for Anderson. Actor Dennis Leary, for one, tweeted, “Congrats to one of my comedy acting heroes ‪@LouieAnderson for his ‪@BasketsFX Emmy win – Mama Baskets forever.”

Contact Matthew Crowley at mcrowley@reviewjournal.com. Follow @copyjockey on Twitter.

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