Award-winning Canadian comic, ‘King’ Ed Hill coming to Kitchener

The Vancouver comedian’s debut special, Candy & Smiley, is currently available on select streaming services

Award-winning Canadian comic, “King” Ed Hill will visit Kitchener in December during his North American tour to promote his new show, Stupid Ed.

Known for his debut comedy special, Candy & Smiley, which premiered on select streaming services in 2021, Hill’s show was initially set to film in March 2020 before COVID shut down the project. By June, Hill and his team returned to the drawing board, pitching a one-of-a-kind show inspired by Indigenous story circles.

“When we first came up with the idea for the special, everyone was like, ‘are you sure about this? Because it’s going to be very daunting, intimate, and personal,’” said Hill. “But after a lot of people watched the special, they sent me messages that they cried, which is ironic for a comedy special, but I think also that was how I was feeling at the time.”

Inviting his closest friends and family to watch him perform in a silent, dimly lit room, the special features introspective tales on Hill’s childhood in Vancouver, British Columbia. While his material often pokes fun at his parents and his “vacation” to Canada (the term Hill’s dad used to describe their immigration from Taiwan at age 10), Hill also likes to “troll” white culture through the lens of his family’s habits and traditions.

“I remember the first Christmas (my family went to), a boy was complaining about how he wanted juice – mind you, we were having eggnog which was a big deal for us,” Hill said. “On the way home, the car was completely silent before my cousin just goes ‘what the hell is juice?’ because at our house you had water or nothing.”

One scene from the special features Hill’s parents, Candy and Smiley, for which the special is named, walking into the room. While the shot initially seemed simple, Hill remembers the director having to beg his parents to walk at the same pace before turning to his dad and asking him to “try and look proud of his son.”

“It’s this strange paradigm where (my parents) will never come out and say ‘good work,’ but at the same time, they will share my special with everybody they know,” said Hill. “My dad tried to pirate (the special) … but he wanted to download it because that’s his way of showing ‘look, this is important, you got popular enough for me to pirate your work.’”

Stupid Ed is a follow-up to Candy & Smiley, which focused on how Hill is “a synthesis of his parents.” In his new show, Hill will discuss his relationship with the female figures in his life, specifically his wife, mother, and grandmother.

“If Taiwan is my father, Canada’s my mother. Taiwan gave me my roots but it’s my mom who taught me values ​​and exposed me to Western culture,” said Hill. “So the ultimate theme of this follow-up show is self-acceptance and then I explore that through the values ​​I learned in my relationships with partners and through heartbreaks.”

“King” Ed Hill will perform his show “Stupid Ed” at the Rusty Nail Comedy Club on December 3. More information is available here.

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