Tuesday, March 26, 2013 | 4:11 p.m.
Las Vegas comedian Louie Anderson has been injured in a dive gone wrong while rehearsing for the new hit ABC series “Splash,” and we won’t know until tonight if he has to pull out of the competition.
Louie attempted a back flip from the 5-meter high board but wound up crashing into the water and sustaining a rib injury. “My doctors are worried,” he said. “I don’t know if my diving days are over. We’ll find out, but I was in it to win it -- and I’m not a quitter.
Louie, who had been training since January, added in tears, “It would crush me if I dropped out. I’ve worked so hard. It would be really devastating, but I don’t want to die doing this.
“I was doing a back flip. I didn’t do the move enough. My body was out of position instead of going in the right way. I went in on my tummy, and I have a big tummy.”
NBA icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar witnessed the accident and said: “It was horrible. He missed his dive and went in flat on his torso. He was hurt. He wasn’t happy. He had to stay in the pool for 15 minutes recouping trying to get it back together.
Ever the comic, Louie added: “Kapow! They didn’t realize how hard I hit. You couldn’t call this a belly flop. It was a slim, slam, jam. Bam! It was a Lou-nami!”
Meantime, talk about a stunning springboard for ABC and Louie. Our Palace Station comedy club headliner made a real “Splash” with huge ratings on last week’s premiere of the celebrity high-dive show, and tonight he returns in the hope of getting medical clearance for another win in the water and ratings.
Nearly 9 million viewers tuned in to watch Louie and his celebrity cohorts in swimsuits: Neilsen numbers indicate that they beat the second week of Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” on Fox. “Splash” also outscored the Justin Timberlake special on the low-rated CW. And “Splash’s” second half-hour ratings increased.
Louie’s poignant message supporting his father and the troops struck an emotional moment with viewers and helped make “Splash” the top unscripted series debut on television since “The X Factor” on Fox in 2011.
On Monday night, Louie and 2012 Miss Alabama USA Katherine Webb appeared together in the audience at “Dancing With the Stars” to cross-promote tonight’s episode. Louie’s debut on the show last week included Katherine. Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett, Nicole Eggert, Chuy Bravo, Detroit Lions star Ndamukong Suh and Drake Bell jump tonight. Former “Baywatch” beauty Nicole also was in tears from falling badly in rehearsal and narrowly missed being injured.
Last week, Louie and Katherine were declared safe, along with Kareem and Rory Bushfield, but actress Keshia Knight Pulliam was sent home. Next up for Louie if the doctors clear him tonight will be synchronized swimming and other in-water challenges, plus, eventually an even higher dive with an even higher risk factor.
Louie: Your Las Vegas fans, including here at Vegas DeLuxe, are rooting for you!
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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