|Place of birth||
September 9, 1965 (age 48)
Esten was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but grew up in Alexandria, Virginia where he attended T.C. Williams High School. Educated at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where he was a brother of Theta Delta Chi, Esten moved to the United Kingdom to make his theatrical debut, winning massive acclaim for his title role in the musical Buddy.
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
In 1992, his potential was spotted by the makers of Whose Line Is It Anyway? who asked him to audition for an episode, which he did successfully. Consequently, Esten made his debut on the Channel 4 show and "won" the episode, reading the credits in the style of an auctioneer. 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 account for episodes when Mike McShane wasn't on, and thus Esten proved a worthwhile experiment.
Esten made one more appearance in the UK edition in 1994 before moving back to the USA and playing the role of Luke in Party of Five. Although in demand as a jobbing actor 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 became a regular "fourth contestant" on the show and continues to be adept at the singing games in particular, though has satisfied his early potential to become an outstanding all-round improviser.
In 2003, he hosted a half scripted and improvised show called On the Spot.
Between 2004 and 2006, he was a member of the touring Improv All-Stars group.
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 appeared in several episodes of The Office as Josh Porter, the regional manager of Dunder Mifflin's Stamford branch. He also appeared as Kelly Bundy's equally stupid ex-con boyfriend in the final episodes of Married... with Children and in one episode of Just Shoot Me as the friend to whom Elliot feels he has an emotional connection.
He was a contestant on the game show version of Scrabble under the name Chip Puskar on March 21, 1990, two days before the show ended its first run on NBC.
Esten also had a recurring role on the TV show The Winner, playing the boyfriend of Alison. He also appeared on the TV show Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in Season 4, Episode 10 "Stop The Presses" as Ethan Press.
Esten appears in a 1997 episode of JAG as Lieutenant Pete 'Pistol' Ayers. The episode (Season 2's "Jinx") featured Esten as the last remaining pilot in a navy squadron that, it seems, is cursed.
He appears in several episodes of ER as orthopedic surgeon Barry Grossman. He also appears in several episodes of The New Adventures of Old Christine as Richard's brother Joe. Esten also has a recurring role on Big Love playing the character of Ray Henry.
In September 2011 Esten will appear as a recurring character on the Disney sitcom "Jessie".
In 2005, Esten appeared as a rotating performer on Drew Carey's Green Screen Show with Julie Larson, Sean Masterson, and Jonathan Mangum.
He appeared in an October 29, 2006 episode of Cold Case in which he played John "The Hawk" Hawkins, a 1950s DJ that was murdered.
In May 2009, Esten starred in "Miss Red," an episode of the Mentalist, as the childhood friend and business partner of the murder victim.
In August 2009, Esten appeared in an episode of The Cleaner on A&E as a drug-addicted cardiac surgeon who was performing open-heart surgery while using drugs.
Starting in April 2011, Chip Esten began performing on Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza on GSN. His first performance was in the series premiere. Chip appeared in 32 of the 40 first-season episodes.
In 2011, Esten appeared in an episode of Wilfred.
Currently, he stars in the new Disney Channel Original series "Jessie" as Morgan Ross.
Esten is married to Patty Hanson — whom he met at college — and they have two daughters, Taylor and Addie, and a son, Chase. They currently live in Los Angeles.
- ^ Whose Line Is It Anyway? Television show - Whose Line Is It Anyway? TV Show - Yahoo! TV and Drew Carey's Improv-a-ganza.
- ^ '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].
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