Anderson moved from New Orleans to Asheville around 2006, post Katrina. Anderson starred in television’s Night Court, as well as Dave’s World. He started out doing stand-up comedy and magic in clubs in the early 1980s, according to the Dallas Observer, which has this nice summation of Anderson’s interest in magic:
A recurring role as con artist “Harry the Hat” on Cheers, plus eight appearances on Saturday Night Live, led to his big break with Night Court, which ran for nine seasons. His three secrets of success, he told the magicians in Addison, are “Get up as early as you can. Work as hard as you can. Get two sitcoms.”
He believes in old-school magic, tricks and illusions learned from books that go back centuries and procured in his early days haunting magic stores in Los Angeles. “You could buy a trick at 2 in the afternoon and perform it at 6,” he recalled. Anderson can count cards and make things float, vanish and change into other things — just four of the 19 skills it’s said great magicians can perform.
After Dave’s World ended its four-season run on ABC in the late 1990s, Anderson and his second wife, Elizabeth, moved to New Orleans, where he opened a French Quarter magic shop called Sideshow, and performed his comedy-magic act at his own nightclub, Oswald’s Speakeasy. He admits he completes only three tricks in his hour and 45-minute show. The rest is comedy patter and shtick: “This jacket was a surprise present from my wife. It was on the chair in the bedroom the other night.” And “my wife asked me to get her something expensive she doesn’t need. So I signed her up for chemotherapy.”