Chip Esten

Chip Esten
Chip Esten
Born Charles Esten Puskar III
September 9, 1965 (1965-09-09) (age 46)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Occupation Actor, comedian, singer
Years active 1992–present
Spouse Patty Hanson (1991–present)

Charles "Chip" Esten Puskar III (born September 9, 1965) is an American comedian, actor and singer known for his appearances on the improvisation show Whose Line Is It Anyway?.[1]

Esten is known by his nickname in improv comedy shows but is always credited as "Charles Esten".


Early life

Esten was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but moved to Alexandria, Virginia at age 9.[2] 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[3][4] 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?.

Film appearances

In 2001, Esten appeared in Billy Crystal's TV movie 61* as Kevin Maris, the son of legendary New York Yankees slugger Roger Maris.

Esten had small roles in three Kevin Costner movies, The Postman, Thirteen Days as downed U-2 pilot Major Rudolf Anderson, and Swing Vote.

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.


Esten has appeared as a guest star in various TV series, including Star Trek, ER and NCIS: Los Angeles[5]


Comedy Shows

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

Personal life

Esten is married to Patty[6], whom he met in college, and they have two daughters and a son. They reside in Los Angeles.


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chip Esten — Charles Esten (* 9. September 1965 in Pittsburgh) ist ein US amerikanischer Schauspieler. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben und Leistungen 2 Filmografie (Auswahl) 3 Weblinks 4 Einzelnachweise …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chip — Contents 1 Food 2 Media 2.1 Characters 2.2 Games …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Esten — Chip Esten Charles Esten (* 9. September 1965 in Pittsburgh) ist ein US amerikanischer Schauspieler. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Drew Carey's Green Screen Show — Format Improvisational Comedy Created by Drew Carey Directed by Marv Newland Sharon Trojan Hollinger B …   Wikipedia

  • Whose Line Is It Anyway? — Género Comedia improvisada Presentado por Clive Anderson (Reino Unido) Drew Carey (EE.UU) País de origen Reino Unido …   Wikipedia Español

  • Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza — logo Format Improvisational Comedy Created by Drew Carey …   Wikipedia

  • Drew Carey — Carey in November 2008 Birth name Drew Allison Carey Born May 23, 1958 (1958 05 23) …   Wikipedia

  • Clive Anderson — Anderson at Selwyn May Ball (2008) Born 10 December 1952 (1952 12 10) (age 58) Middlesex, England, UK …   Wikipedia

  • Whose Line Is It Anyway? — Infobox Television show name = Whose Line Is It Anyway? caption = format = Improvisational Comedy picture format = 4:3 runtime = Flagicon|UK: 24 25 mins, 37 mins (Christmas Special) Flagicon|USA: 21 22 mins creator = Dan Patterson Mark Leveson… …   Wikipedia

  • Colin Mochrie — Mochrie in June 2009 Birth name Colin Andrew Mochrie Born November 30, 1957 (1957 11 30) (age  …   Wikipedia

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