- Chip Esten
Chip Esten Born Charles Esten Puskar III
September 9, 1965
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Occupation Actor, comedian, singer Years active 1992–present Spouse Patty Hanson (1991–present)
Esten is known by his nickname in improv comedy shows but is always credited as "Charles Esten".
Esten was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but moved to Alexandria, Virginia at age 9. He attended T.C. Williams High School and the College of William and Mary, where he was a brother of Theta Delta Chi. After graduating from college and marrying his wife, Esten moved to the United Kingdom to make his theatrical debut, winning massive acclaim for his title role in the musical Buddy in the early 1990's.
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
In 1992, the makers of Whose Line Is It Anyway? asked him to audition for an episode, which he did successfully. Consequently, Esten made his debut on the Channel 4 show in the fourth series and "won" the episode. He subsequently appeared in more episodes later the same year when the show did a run in New York. At the time, the show needed a second specialist improvisational singer to fill in for Mike McShane.
Esten made his final appearance in the UK edition in 1994 before moving back to the USA and playing the role of Luke in Party of Five. Although appearing on stage and screen thereafter, it was his 1999 return to Whose Line Is It Anyway? — in the show's new-look American format, with Drew Carey as host — which established him with a mainstream American audience. He was a regular "fourth contestant" on the show. While on the show, he became known for his Snagglepuss impressions and ability to improvise in the singing games alongside Wayne Brady.
Other comedy work
Following his return to Whose Line Is It Anyway, Esten made a guest appearance as himself with fellow regular cast members from the show Brady, Greg Proops and Brad Sherwood on The Drew Carey Show. In 2003, he hosted a semi-scripted semi-improvised comedy mini series called On the Spot. Between 2004 and 2006, he was a member of the touring group Improv All-Stars and recurring cast member on Drew Carey's Green Screen Show. In 2011, he was a regular on Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza on GSN.
He, Proops and former colleagues Ryan Stiles and Jeff Davis regularly team up and tour around the country doing live improv under the name Whose Live Anyway?.
Esten also starred in a public service video, "Riding Straight", produced for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's curriculum, "Motorcycle Rider Course: Riding and Street Skills" (MRC:RSS). Esten portrayed a surfer dude, a snuff-dipping hick, and a concerned friend in a bar. Esten's performance, in turns over-the-top comedy and sincere public service message, greatly invigorated the drug- and alcohol-awareness portion of the MRC:RSS. The video, part of a curriculum update for a younger "MTV generation" audience, replaced a filmstrip-like anti-alcohol short. That video was shown in an episode of American Chopper when Mikey is trying to get his motorcycle license.
Year Show Role Notes 1992, 1994 Whose Line Is It Anyway? (UK version) Performer 5 episodes 1999-2003 Whose Line Is It Anyway (US version) Performer 39 episodes 2004-2005 Drew Carey's Green Screen Show Recurring performer 8 episodes 2011 Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza Regular performer 32 episodes
Year Work Role Notes 1989 On the Television various 5 episodes 1993 Cheers Unnamed Marine 1 episode Star Trek: The Next Generation Divok 1 episode 1994 Murphy Brown Secretary #67 1 episode 1995-1996 The Crew Randy Anderson 21 episodes 1996 Star Trek: Voyager Dathan 1 episode Diagnosis: Murder Joe Carter 1 episode Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Ethan Press 1 episode 1997 JAG Lieutenant Pete 'Pistol' Ayers 1 episode Married... with Children Lonnie 2 episodes 1998-2000 The Brian Benben Show Chad Rockwell 7 episodes 1999 Jesse Tad 1 episode Jack & Jill Nick Seraph 1 episode Providence Ted Shannon 1 episode 2000 Party of Five Luke 7 episodes 2000-2001 The Drew Carey Show Himself (guest appearance) 2 episodes 2002 The Guardian Mark Hanson 1 episode 2003 On the Spot Himself (host) 5 episodes Dragnet Carl Savitsky 1 episode Just Shoot Me! Jake 1 episode 2004 NYPD Blue Tim Keating 1 episode 2006 The Office Josh Porter 7 episodes Cold Case John "The Hawk" Hawkins 1 episode 2007 Help Me Help You Willis 1 episode The Winner Gary 1 episode The New Adventures of Old Christine Joe Campbell 2 episodes 2007-2008 ER Dr. Barry Grossman 4 episodes 2009-2010 Big Love Ray Henry 11 episodes 2009 The Mentalist Rick Bregman 1 episode The Cleaner Dr. Jake Slovak 1 episode NCIS: Los Angeles John Cole/Ethan Stanhope 1 episode 2011 Wilfred Nick 2 episodes Jessie Morgan Ross 1 episode 2011-present Enlightened Damon Manning
Year Work Role Notes 1997 The Sleepwalker Killing Mark Schall The Postman Michael 1999 The Expendables Ram Late Last Night Unnamed policeman 2000 Thirteen Days Maj. Rudolf Anderson 2001 61* Kevin Maris (1998) 2002 The Johnny Chronicles Patrick Monroe Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet Bill "Twelve Miles to Trona" segment 2003 Nobody Knows Anything! Connor Fulton 2007 American Family Larry Bogner 2008 1% John Tipton Swing Vote Lewis
- ^ Whose Line Is It Anyway? Television show - Whose Line Is It Anyway? TV Show - Yahoo! TV and Drew Carey's Improv-a-ganza.
- ^ ""Whose Live Anyway"? is a party, performer says". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 13 October 2009. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/ae/more/s_647809.html?source=rss&feed=7.
- ^ 'Whose Line' co-star relishing 'Improv All-Stars' tour : North County Times - Californian
- ^ Improv All-Stars Schedule
- ^ Chip Esten (2009). NCIS: Los Angeles episode Pushback (TV-Series).
- ^ "Puskar-Hanson". Orlando Sentinel. 3 November 1991. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1991-11-03/news/9110311023_1_hanson-puskar-cynthia-f.
- Charles Esten at the Internet Movie Database
- Charles Esten at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- Whose Live Anyway? live improv comedy show starring Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Chip Esten and Jeff Davis touring North America
UK versionHostRegular contestantsMusicians US versionHostRegular contestantsMusiciansLaura Hall · Linda Taylor · Cece Worrall-Ruben Related topics
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