Baskets depicts its setting of Bakersfield, CA, as a world of dank dive bars, sun-broiled parking lots, and sprawl too low to the ground to offer any shade. Certain low-middle-income brands are repeatedly name-checked -- Kirkland, Arby's, and, of course, Costco -- used equally as punchlines and place markers. It's the same arbitrary specificity that lends Louie's cross-gender casting and my reused excuse their left-field hilarity.
In reality, Louie's casting did come about almost entirely on a whim. "From what I understand, Zach said, 'It's a sound,' and he made this sound for the mom character," Louie recounts. "And Louis C.K. said, 'You mean like Louie Anderson?' So they called me." Louie accepted the offer immediately, not even hesitating when he heard the role they wanted him for. "These guys are comedy royalty right now, to me at least," he says. "Plus, nobody else was asking me for a job either."
Louie has been performing stand-up every few months at the South Point Casino, honing material for a special he's been putting together, but the last time anyone called with a gig was in 2013 when ABC wanted him for the celebrity diving reality competition Splash. He's proud of what he accomplished on that show -- he says it was his way of making up for gym class all those years ago -- but it would be fair to say it had been a while since Louie Anderson was last in the mainstream comedy conversation.