Former Denver comic, patriotic fashionista, and proud mustache owner Chris Charpentier recently celebrated his one year anniversary of moving to Hollywood (baby!) to chase the comedy dream. His past year has been peppered with exciting personal and professional accomplishments, along with some valuable life lessons. I talked to Chris about the differences between the Denver and LA comedy scenes, the physical perks of his day job, and his sexy new swimwear style.
Isaac Kozell: You recently celebrated your one year anniversary of moving to Los Angeles. How’s the city treating you so far?
Chris Charpentier: I really love Los Angeles. I’m still trying to navigate the comedy scene, but I really love LA. I like all the new restaurants and finding my new favorite everythings. I had everything on lock in Denver. It’s fun to be in a new place. I’ve never lived anywhere else but Denver.
IK: How long were you doing comedy in Denver before you moved to LA?
CC: Seven years.
IK: So you were around for the rise of the Denver comedy scene. It’s one of the coolest scenes in the country right now.
CC: I was super lucky to be right in the mix of it starting to get cool. One of the first comedy shows that I went to was the last Los Comicos Super Hilariosos, which then turned into The Grawlix. All of us got to perform together at Comedy Works coming up through New Talent. You saw these guys who were a couple of years ahead of you, see their progress. It was very inspiring. They started putting on their own shows, then we started putting on our own shows, and it became this massive comedy scene. It was amazing because it was not like that when I started.
IK: What do you miss the most about Denver?
CC: That’s tough. There are so many things. Right now I would say the comedy scene. The stage time is great. Being able to perform six times a week would be wonderful. I would love to do that again. And my friends. It’s a tie.
IK: What prompted your move to LA?
CC: I felt like I had reached the glass ceiling with where you could go career-wise in Denver with stand up. I didn’t think there was going to be room for huge progress there other than what I had done. I could figure out a way to make a living off of doing that, but it would be just that, making a living. I would much rather try to make a sustained career doing comedy. And just as much as anything, I was 32 years old and had lived in Colorado my whole life and was ready to go. It just so happened that I felt those things around the same time. Maybe they were pushing each other. I also got an awesome girlfriend two years before I moved. We fell in love, started working together, and I mentioned moving to LA and she said, “Let’s do it.” She helped a lot. I don’t know if I would have moved if she didn’t help organize saving money and all of that. I’m not very good at that. I like to spend the money that I have. I needed a change and I needed the challenge.
IK: You’ve been there for a year now. How is the comedy career going there? How are things on a day-to-day basis?
CC: Well, on a day-to-day basis I work construction. That answers a big part of the question. But I’ve been on television 3 times since I’ve been here. That’s pretty cool. That’s not going to be happening in Denver necessarily. It’s one of those things where the more credits you have, the more you get on. So hopefully that will start picking up.
IK: I know two of those things were Uproarious on Fuse and Those Who Can’t on truTV. What was the third?
CC: Flophouse on Viceland.
IK: You’re working construction now. Are you getting super jacked?
CC: I wouldn’t say that I’m getting jacked, but I’m getting bigger though. I’m not losing any weight, but I’m gaining muscle. Also I’m very tan now. It’s a farmer’s tan, so if I don’t take off my shirt I look very tan.
IK: I was watching They Live today and the first thing that Roddy Piper does when he gets that construction site job is take off his shirt. I was like, “This is unrealistic.”
CC: Yeah, shirts and pants are pretty much required.
IK: You have a show called Everybody’s Great. Can you tell me about the format?
CC: Our show is at a place called The Clubhouse in Los Feliz. We do it the first and third Mondays of the month. It’s myself, Haley Driscoll, Jordan Doll, and the Nix Brothers. They’re all Denver expats. We start off with a skit of some sort, then we usually play a video, and have three or four comics on. It’s super-duper fun. I’m so glad all these guys agreed to do the show when we first moved out here. It’s the best. It renews my faith in comedy every time. The biggest benefit has been the stage time. I can try new stuff. It’s a glorified open mic for me, which is awesome. Plus, we do a skit where we write out something, rehearse, and get to do a little acting. Everything that I came out here for we’re trying to jam into this show.
IK: You’re a founding member of the Fine Gentleman’s Club in Denver. Are you still an honorary member even though you’ve moved?
CC: I’m still a full-blown number. The Fine Gentlemen’s Club – and I hope I’m not overstepping bounds and speaking for everyone – is a lifelong commitment. There will be no other members. It’s the four of us forever.
IK: So the whole Fine Gents crew will be at Savage Henry Fest this year?
CC: Hell yeah. It’s going to be a party. It’s going to be a fun stretch between that and High Plains, which I believe is the weekend before.
IK: This is our Swimsuit Issue. You’re on the West Coast now, super tan. What’s your go-to swimwear?
CC: It recently changed. I’ve been a board shorts guy. They were the swim trunks of my generation. But it changed because I don’t like the ones that I have. They’re are too small for me because I gained weight. I have to wear these other shorter, black shorts I have. I’ve also taken to an American flag tank top. I had to wear it for the making of a video, which is so funny and I’m very excited for it to come out. I got it and it was supposed to be a joke but as soon as I put it on I was like, “Oh my God, this is it.” Something happened. I didn’t expect it and I didn’t want it, but I’ve really taken to it. I’m sure it will make an appearance at the Savage Henry Fest.
Follow Chris on Twitter @charpiecomedy