Not only will I preface this video by saying it’s never too late to go after your comedy dreams, I’ll go one step further and say that standup comedy, as a whole, would be infinitely better if there were more 89-year-old comics like Chuck Esterly around to share their life experiences with the rest of us. Prior to giving standup a shot at Go Bananas Comedy Club in Cincinnatti, Esterly was just another guy at the Sycamore Senior Center who participated in a standup 101 class for fun, but since his fantastic debut set was posted to Reddit it’s racked up almost a half a million views, launching Mr. Esterly from unknown amateur to standup’s newest overnight star. Standup Mark Chalifoux was one of Esterly’s teachers at the Sycamore Senior Center – here’s what he told us on the experience:
The Sycamore Senior Center here in Cincinnati reached out to Go Bananas to have a few comedians (myself and comic Cam O’Connor) teach a standup 101 comedy class. Chuck was one of our students, and he was the only one who went through with performing his set on stage. He was hilarious on the first day of the class, and there aren’t many new life experiences you can have at 89, so it was really cool of both the Sycamore Senior Center and Go Bananas to put it together. I’ve seen a lot of open-micers at Go Bananas before, but he was calmer and more collected than all of them and it was a delight to watch him destroy on stage. He really killed it, and totally won over the audience and staff there alike.
Watch Esterly’s full standup debut above.