Four Things to Know About Ernie Anderson

A salute today to the late Ernie Anderson (1923-1997), who is notable enough to write about for all manner of reasons, notably four:

  • He was the father of genius filmmaker Paul Thomas (“P.T.”) Anderson, and an influence and a muse on him. Boogie Nights is dedicated to him. The Jason Robards character in Magnolia is based on him.
  • He was an EXTREMELY recognizable voiceover announcer in the 70s and 80s, best known for his work doing bumpers on ABC television, the pinnacle of which was “…on The LOVE Boat!” He was also the announcer on The Carol Burnett Show starting in 1974, a fact which had more than a little with the fact that…
  • He was Tim Conway’s original comedy partner, first on local television in Cleveland in the early 1960s, then later in the decade through the early 70s (after Conway made it big) on Conway’s show Rango, The Hollywood Palace variety show, and on two comedy albums.
  • And lastly, from 1963 through 1966 he was a local TV horror host in Cleveland named Ghoulardi, whose weird, dark, beatnik riffs have been cited as an influence on Jim Jarmusch as well as local punk and New Wave bands like The Cramps, Devo, Pere Ube and The Dead Boys. 

This a pretty amazing set of facets, right? What an amazing life!

Anderson was originally from Lynn, Massachusetts, Anderson served in the navy in World War Two, then got his start as a radio disk jockey in various local markets from the late ’40s through the late ’50s. Lung cancer took him in 1997, just as his son was making it big as a film director.