Friday, Sept. 26, 1997 | 9:46 a.m.
Louie Anderson had one of those classic fork-in-the-road moments that just don't happen to most of us.
The comedian, at the time unemployed and in need of cash, applied for a job at a mini-mart. They called back. So did another interested outfit: "The Tonight Show."
"I was totally happy when they called and said, 'Listen, I just got 'The Tonight Show,' " Anderson recalls. "And they went 'Yeah, right.' And I said 'Well, watch it tonight then.' "
The rest, of course, is a show biz Cinderella tale, the latest chapter of which has taken Anderson here to Las Vegas both personally and professionally. He's appearing through Oct. 1 at Bally's, and moved to Las Vegas last February.
Why Las Vegas? Anderson says there are many reasons.
Anderson's parents live in Carson City, and after living in Minneapolis, MN. and Los Angeles, Anderson was ready for a change.
"I am so sick of 14 million people trying to get off on the same exit, and the airport was always an hour deal," he says. "Here, I drive and in five minutes I am basically at the gate. I always liked Vegas. They're my kind of people."
Also his kind of town. "It's like a 24-hour city, but I think in the same way it's the last frontier. You can go places and see nothing but land."
Right now he is looking for the right piece of land to build his "little jewel" in the desert. What will the house look like? Anderson is a big fan of the "Frank Lloyd Wright era" and wants to build a house that is not too big and mirrors the desert.
Besides his popular, Emmy-award-winning cartoon "Louie's Life," Anderson has appeared with talk show hosts Jay Leno, David Letterman and Arsenio Hall, as well as in the TV show "Remington Steele" and the movie "Coming To America." He also lent his voice to the lead character in "Bebe's Kids."
He has written books including "Dear Dad: Letters From An Adult Child" and also has produced a variety of special animated episodes which led to "Louie's Life."
Anderson is appearing through Oct. 1 at Bally's Celebrity Room. Shows are at 8 p.m. tonight, Saturday and Sunday, and then at 9 p.m. for the rest of the run. Tickets are $35.20 and can be purchased at Bally's box office. For more information and ticket reservations, call the Bally's box office at 739-4567.