Kiteboarding comedian keeps everyone laughing


Comedian Louis Self, 76, likes kiteboarding, a water sport with a board attached to a controllable parachute-like kite using the wind as power. It also is called kitesurfing.

Senior Life Courtesy of Louis Self

Louis Self, known as “Arizona Lou” and “America’s favorite old man,” is a retired teacher turned comedian.

His start in comedy came five years ago.

“I took an introductory class in improvisation,” he said. “I decided improv was not for me, but I did learn about a class for stand-up comedy. I like to tell stories and it just seemed like it would be fun to try.”

Self has more than tried. He has performed comedy in 201 venues, 93 cities, 40 U.S. states and three countries in places such as Harrah’s Showroom, Laugh Factory, The Comedy Zone and on America’s Got Talent.

He said that choosing comedy to do at his age came easily.

“I made a few right decisions when young so I don’t have to depend on comedy for my livelihood,” Self said. “I just decided, hey, I’m going to do it.”

Everyday situations become inspiration for his act.

“I get my material for comedy routines from being old and trying to stay alive,” he joked.

As he works the comedy circuit, he travels in his Dodge Caravan which has running water and electricity. “My Caravan is like a little apartment.”

Self enjoys kiteboarding in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, jumping as high as 15 to 20 feet.

“When I get to 80, I may have to reduce my jumps. But as long as I can keep doing it, I’ll do it.”

Self is fit and lean at 76. Even though he rigorously kiteboards and travels, he said he does not have energy to burn.

“I spend quite a bit of time being tired, but that’s no excuse not to do stuff,” Self said. “I go to the gym regularly. When I’m on trips and I can’t do my usual fitness routine from home, I use my Silver Sneakers (a benefit for some insurance plans for those over 65) to go to fitness centers unless I’m someplace like North Platte, Neb. Then, forget it. I eat healthy, I don’t go overboard on any particular diet or exercise plan.”

Self said he usually is among younger people, whether kiteboarding or performing comedy.

His advice about aging is simple.

“Don’t stop. Get up, get out of bed.”