Ed Hill is a comedian of a different stripe.
The 38-year-old Taiwanese-Canadian doesn’t dabble in ‘what’s the deal’ jokes from the school of Seinfeld. He describes his style as personal and introspective.
“I don’t do political or observational and I’m definitely not a shock comic,” Hill says. “I’m somebody who talks about things I’m scared of and things I look forward to, my relationship with my family and things like that.”
Hill talks about serious stuff.
A big component of the show he’s bringing to the Hope Cinema on Feb. 11 is his relationship with his mother.As a young man, he says he did a lot of things that were hurtful to her.
“So part of the show is about the courage my mother had allowing her son to grow up and make mistakes, and I talk about the grace of a mother,” he explains.
It’s a topic you wouldn’t think would lend itself to a comedy routine, but the Vancouverite pulls it off in a way that leaves the audiences laughing, and also leaves them thinking.
“A lot of these things are tragedies. They’re not joyful events. They’re unpleasant or painful,” he said. “But it’s through those moments that we really find the humour, and I think that’s what connects me with the audience. We all struggle. We all have these moments of unpleasantness and that’s what makes us human. That’s what I really try to tap into.”
It was Louie Anderson who advised Hill to “talk about you.”
The well-known comedian, author and game show host who passed away Jan. 21 was like a father figure to Hill.
“He told me, ‘Talk about You. Talk about your family, because that’s what people want. Everyone has a family and everyone wants to know you,’” Hill said. “He told me that very, very early on in my career and I’ve been following that ever since.”
Hill’s vulnerability resonates in a way that jokes about toilet paper rolls and airplane food won’t.
“People come up to me after shows and tell me they feel as though they know me, like we just had a conversation and they know who I am,” Hill says. “That’s probably the most rewarding feedback I get, because that’s really the whole point of this.”
Hill has performed at venues big and small in a career that’s taken him all over the world.
The Hope Cinema seats 320, which isn’t tiny. But it’s not huge either.
“A lot of comics are scared of smaller crowds and I get it because there’s so much more tension in the room when there’s less people,” Hill notes. “If it’s one person or a thousand people I think the experience is the same because I am not talking to everyone at the same time. I’m talking individually to each of them, and it just happens that we’re all together.”
Hill’s comedy special, Candy and Smiley, is currently streaming worldwide on Amazon Prime and Apple TV.
Twice he’s been named ‘Best Vancouver Comedian’ in the pages of the Vancouver Courier Magazine and in 2018 Reader’s Digest Magazine called him a ‘Comic to Watch.’
He has appeared on AXS TV’s Gotham Comedy Live, Laughs on FOX, TED talks, and XM Radio.
He has been invited to perform at the Just For Laughs Northwest Comedy Festival, the Hong Kong Comedy Festival, NXNE, San Francisco Comedy Festival, and many more.
Hill is at the Hope Cinema Feb. 11 from 8 to 9:30 p.m.
For more on Hill, click online to kingedhill.com
For tickets to the show, visit eventbrite.com/e/ed-hill-live-comedy-at-the-hope-cinema-tickets-204940742277
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