Comedian Ed Hill brings a new show to Ottawa
Stand-up comedy has had a great couple of years, with old favourites and new talent releasing a plethora of specials and tours hitting most major North American cities.
When times are dark, people want to laugh. In a twist of fate, comedian Ed Hill picked an excellent time to debut an online comedy special — when everybody was home.
The Taiwanese Canadian’s first feature-length stand-up special, Candy and Smiley (2021), was filmed in an intimate setting among his friends due to the Covid-19 lockdowns. Listed as one of the 15 best specials of 2021 by American public broadcaster NPR, Hill has followed the legacy of other famous Canadian comedians like Russell Peters by focusing on his immigrant origins and the relationship with his mother, Candy, and father, Smiley. The couple fulfills more than a few stereotypes of East Asian parents.
The comedian has previously laughed about his father’s frugal ways, stating that the senior Hill would pirate his son’s latest performance rather than pay to watch it on Amazon Prime.
In 2022, Hill released his follow-up special, Stupid Ed, which focused less on his parents and more on his Taiwanese culture, Canadian upbringing, and relationship with female figures in his life. The set also includes bits like his bald father’s passion for hoarding shampoo, a peculiarity that resulted from the pandemic.
The hilarious special was performed several times at the Ottawa Fringe Festival before hitting off-Broadway in New York.
“King Ed” returns to Ottawa in ethis weekend for two shows, one at Good Prospect Brewing and one at the National Arts Centre (NAC). We caught up with Hill and spoke to him about the upcoming show and what’s changed since he was in town last year to deliver his Stupid Ed routine.
Hill says that the Ottawa shows will include new material. And he has plenty to talk about; he and his wife are expecting their first child. Hill says that this is a primary influence for developing his material and that the upcoming show will focus on the "next generation" and the changes in his life.
Hills’ mother is enthusiastic about the prospect of being a grandmother. Hill says, “She danced for the first time in front of me; I’d never seen that before.” He laughs and says his mom shook his hand at his university graduation, saying, “Like she had just sold me a used car.”
As a result of Hill's very Taiwanese parents, his very Canadian life, and his very relatable life experiences, his comedy has a dynamic storytelling quality.
If you can’t make it out to any of Hill’s Ottawa shows, catch Candy and Smiley on Amazon Prime, and keep an eye out for his soon-to-be-released second special Stupid Ed.
For more information, visit kingedhill.com
Link for tickets to the Good Prospecs Brewing show: Ed Hill: Live at Good Prospects Brewing Co. Tickets, Sun, Apr 9, 2023 at 7:00 PM | Eventbrite
PHOTOS: Courtesy Ed Hill