Ed Hill
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Ed Hill

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Solo Comedy Comedy




"Comic Ed Hill brings ‘100 percent Canasian’ comedy to The Grit City Comedy Club"

Sometimes vacations can go seriously wrong. For Canadian comic Ed Hill, a childhood trip turned into a Dickens-like tale.

When Hill was 10, his parents took him and his brother on a “vacation” from Taiwan to Canada. They never went home again.

Hill now mines his unusual childhood and life as a “Canasian” for humor as a stand-up comic.

Hill will appear at The Grit City Comedy Club in Tacoma on Friday and Saturday. Also on the bill is fellow comedian David Tobey from Austin, Texas.

The News Tribune spoke with Hill via phone from his Vancouver home.

Q: Why do you call yourself “100 percent Canasian”?

A: I grew up in a society where I didn’t know who I was. I’m always feeling like I’m wearing two masks. I’m not Canadian but I’m not Asian either — because the Canadian thinks I’m Asian, and the Asian thinks I’m Canadian. That’s how I view things. That’s where the humor comes from. There’s so much conflict in trying to figure out who you are.

Q: Does the dynamic change when you cross the border?

A: In the United States, race is such a big thing for you guys. (Canadians) do see the uniqueness and differences in people, but we just accept it for what it is. And so the navigation becomes more apparent in the United States: We have an Asian guy who is Canadian. What is that?

Q: At age 10, your dad took you to Vancouver from Taipei on “vacation”?

A: I remember the date, Nov. 10. The city where we moved to, Coquitlam, had no human residents. It was just forest, bears and coyotes. We were the only house on the cul-de-sac. It was snowing. I went outside and touched it. “Well, I guess this is Canada.” The next day was a holiday, and the day after I went to school. I was thinking, “Why am I going to school if I’m on vacation?”

Q: So that’s when you first began to suspect?

A: My mom made me this really disgusting sandwich because they believed white people eat sandwiches for lunch. It was bread, untoasted, lettuce and a piece of really disgusting lunch meat ham. No mayo. In a soggy Ziploc bag.

Q: What was your first day at school like?

A: Nobody caught my name. They thought my name was Ward because I couldn’t say Edward very well. The teacher’s name was Mrs. Hummel, which I couldn’t pronounce because the M’s and the L’s totally threw me off. I just called her teacher the whole time. There were two other Asian kids in the class, so she paired us up, thinking they could help me. But the other kids were Cantonese. I speak Mandarin. They ended up bullying me through the whole year because Cantonese people don’t like Mandarin people.

Q: So Ed Hill is not what you were called in Taipei?

A: No, we get to pick our names when we come here. My dad named himself Smiley. My mom named herself Candy.

Q: Your parents are Candy and Smiley?

A: When I used my parents’ Blockbuster account, they would ask, “Are you Smiley or Candy?” (sighs) “I’m neither. Can we not do this? Just give me the video.”

Q: You should consider yourself lucky that he chose Edward for you.

A: This is his explanation: He told me he had two British friends, Edward and Henry. Henry is my brother’s name. But both Edward and Henry were the only gay kings in English history. Sometimes I don’t know about my dad.

Ed Hill

When: 8:30 p.m. Friday and 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Grit City Comedy Club, 100 S. Ninth St., Tacoma (in 502 Downtown)

Tickets: $15

Information: 253-961-4262, gritcitycomedy.com, kingedhill.com

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541 craig.sailor@thenewstribune.com - The News Tribune

"Ed Hill at Chadwick's"

"I'm at that age where dreams start to die," says comedian Ed Hill about nearing the age of 30. "Western kids want to grow up to be a basketball star or an astronaut. All I want to do now is parallel park without having a panic attack."

Hill will perform stand-up comedy at 8 p.m. Friday, March 28, at Chadwick's Pub, 2300 Biddle Road, Medford. Mike Wally Walter will close the show and Carl Lee will emcee. The cover costs $8.

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Hill and his family moved to Vancouver, B.C., when he was 10 years old. Hill first got into comedy while attending Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.

"I had been working as a professional DJ, so I had experience being on stage," Hill says. "I couldn't get in touch with the music anymore. I needed a new creative outlet."

Hill discovered a comedy-writing class being taught at the university and enrolled. Not knowing what to expect, Hill came to class the first day with a complete set of jokes.

"I thought that maybe this would be a class where we would write and then have a place for critique," Hill says. "There were six of us in the class, and when I got up front to tell the jokes, there was this strange tension.

"Some of my classmates came up to me later and said they didn't know anything about joke writing. This class was about the basics of joke writing, and I intimidated them because I showed up with a full set. They didn't think I was actually in the class. They thought I was a plant by the professor."

Hill worked his way through open mics with his classmates, many of whom have left comedy, eventually earning guest spots and emcee positions at local clubs.

In 2011, he appeared on the Canadian stand-up comedy competition show "Stand Up & Bite Me." While he's not proud of the jokes, he is proud that he did the show.

"I had just started and I submitted my application not knowing it was a television thing," Hill says. "It was an interesting experience and it taught me a lot of things, like that I'm bad at answering questions."

Hill has been performing stand-up for five years now and says that he has finally found his voice on stage.

"My stuff is significantly more personal," Hill says. "I can't do observations anymore, it doesn't feel right to me. My comedy should mean something to me."

Hill's album, "Canasian," was recorded in Taipei during his "Manchild" tour of Asia. Hill says the performance has the atmosphere of coming home, and it is a bridge between his older observational jokes and his current, more personal humor. A mini-documentary that includes a full performance from the tour is available for free on Hill's website at www.kingedhill.com.

While he doesn't explicitly discuss being an immigrant in his comedy, it does weave itself in.

"I try not to talk about, 'Well, white people are like this, Asian people are like this.' I talk more about my fears and insecurities," Hill says. "But I'm a bicultural person, so my lens is going to be a little different than other people's." - The Mail Tribune

"British Columbia stand-up comic Ed Hill at Loonees Comedy Corner"

A breakup pressed Ed Hill into a new line of work.

The 29-year-old Hill, who was born in Taiwan and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, was about 24, fresh out of university and working as a special needs teacher. His then girlfriend dropped him the day before he was set to propose to her on the Jumbotron at a Miami Marlins playoff game in Florida. He was devastated and started searching for something to take his mind off the drama.

Enter a class on standup comedy.

"I've always been a comedy fan," he says from his home in Vancouver. "I read a lot and knew joke structure. I surprised everybody."

His career gained momentum, and he now performs at comedy festivals and clubs all over the United States and Asia. His resume lists performances on Bite TV's "Stand Up & Bite Me," Comedy Time TV and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Family comes up quite a bit in his act, he says, especially his mom and dad, who always imagined a different path for him.

"My dad wanted me to be a doctor," he says, "and now he says, 'Now you're on stage making fun of me. That's awesome.' It's a weird dynamic I've got going on with my parents. They don't like it, but they post all my stuff all over the Web, like, 'It's kind of cool, but I wish he'd do something else.'"

Hill acknowledges there aren't many Asian standup comedians on the circuit, and thinks it's because of the culture.

"The family value isn't much on the arts," he says. "We place an emphasis on the more traditional professions: doctor, lawyer, engineer. I'm representing a certain demographic for sure, but I don't think I'm going against the stream. I'm showing you can do what other people are doing, despite what color you are. Through that, it's empowerment for others." - The Gazette

"Serious comedy: Ed Hill trades in the business of laughter"

“Comedy is the truth masked by humour,” says Ed Hill, a budding stand-up comedian in Vancouver.

“Often, the truth is ugly and comedians make it something acceptable.”

Hill was born in Taiwan in 1984. In 1994, while he was still in elementary school, his parents took him and his brother to Canada for a permanent “vacation,” which involved school, work and worst of all, taxes.

After graduating from Pinetree Secondary School in Coquitlam, Hill attended UBC in 2002 and joined the Arts faculty family as a member of the honours psychology program. However, he fell out of love with his choice. He remembers listening to a lecture during a history class, when the professor told everyone to close their eyes and consider the following scenario: “You are 45 years old and it’s Monday morning. What are you doing?”

As he sat at the back of the class reflecting, Hill said to himself: “Not this.”

A few years after his graduation in 2006, Hill went through a terrible breakup. His road to recovery led him to a comedy class that encouraged him to get back on stage and channel his comedic personality into a business. He built a network of people through Google and Facebook, and spread his information through these media. “It’s amazing how quickly you can track people,” he said.

On Oct. 31, Hill released his new debut comedy CD, Canasian. The album was recorded live at a comedy club in Taipei. Its cover shows Hill as a child standing in front of a park near his home.

“I look like a little Korean Dictator,” said Hill.

For his inspiration, Hill admires Louis C.K.’s work ethic and Dave Chappelle’s insight.

“I see Chappelle as both a troubled man and a deep character,” he said.

He commented that although his job may seem like all fun and games, a lot of work goes on behind the stage and the laughter.

Don’t play Candy Crush. It wastes your life. Build a network of successful individuals, keep your family by your side and find affordable coffee.”
— Ed Hill, on how to achieve success
“The audience only sees 30 to 45 minutes of me, but my preparations take a lot more time. I always have homework,” said Hill. His job never stops.

“You are in control 100 per cent of the time. You are a business. There is no boss and no employee, it’s all you,” he said. “When I go home, I face myself. I don’t report to a boss, I report to the man in the mirror.”

The nature of Hill’s occupation makes it easy to become swayed by alcohol and drugs. He prides himself on the discipline he developed from attending UBC, which forced him to grow up quickly and do things on his own. He believes it is important to make the most of every situation, no matter how terrible it gets. For Hill, everything in life serves a purpose.

“I am my greatest critic,” he said. He constantly pushes and motivates himself to try harder and do better; he loves the challenges that come with his job, and he values every hour in his day.

His advice on how to achieve success is simple: “Don’t play Candy Crush. It wastes your life. Build a network of successful individuals, keep your family by your side and find affordable coffee.”

Indeed, Hill attributes his success to McDonalds’ double double coffee — since it was, and still is, the most affordable.

For more information on Ed Hill as well as upcoming performances in Vancouver, visit http://kingedhill.com/. - The Ubyssey

"Coquitlam comedian brings act home"

About two years ago, “100% Canasian” Coquitlam comic Ed Hill — as he describes himself on his website — was working at a comedy festival in Oshawa when he met David Andrew Brent.

The pair clicked right away and, since then, they have appeared regularly at clubs around Canada.

Next week, the duo will bring their 19+ show to Port Coquitlam’s Second Storey Theatre to give a humorous take of their lives so far.

“We’re two comics who are pretty honest in our material,” Hill said by phone from Calgary last week, where he was appearing at Yuk Yuk’s. “The laughs are going to come from a place that you will connect with in some way because you may have gone through these situations yourself like with your family, job or bad diet.”

Though comedy is only his part-time gig, the Pinetree secondary grad has been successful as a stand-up. He has appeared on Bite TV and XM Radio and, this summer, he has dates in Canada, the U.S., Hong Kong, Singapore and his native Taiwan (he emigrated 18 years ago).

Meanwhile, Brent, a voice actor/impressionist, has opened for comics Jim Jefferies, Anthony Jeslnik and The Trailer Park Boys and has been on MTV Canada, MuchMusic and Sirius XM.

After their PoCo performance, Brent will return home to Toronto to open a one-man show.

• Tickets for The Unusual Suspects on Thursday, Aug. 8 are $10 at the door of Second Storey Theatre (2550 Shaughnessy St., PoCo). Email secondstoreytheatre@gmail.com for information. - Tri-City News

"TakeOut Comedy Presents: The ManChild Tour"

For Asian-Canadian comic Ed Hill and his White-American counterpart Nat Baimel, maturity is a professional hazard. Their “ManChild Tour” kicks off a three-city Asian tour at TakeOut (see Hill in action here), where they’ll be taping the sets for a forthcoming live album. If ever there was ever a time to heckle… this isn’t it. Why do people have the compulsion to yell out? If you have nothing nice to say, keep it to yourself… bitch. - HK Magazine

"Comedy: The Manchild in Taipei"

Nat Baimel from California is one half of The Manchild, a duo that does standup comedy in Taipei this week. The other Manchild is Ed Hill, a Taiwanese Canadian whose sweet-and-sour experience as an ethnic minority fuels his stand-up act.
“I will be talking about being a Taiwanese Canadian growing up in a North American culture,” Hill told the Taipei Times. “Some [cultural] stereotypes will definitely be discussed in my act in a subtle, personal way.”
Born in Taiwan, Hill moved to Canada at age 10 under the notion that he was on vacation. He is among a new generation of Asian stand-up comedians who have turned their experiences as a minority and their identity confusion into routines. Asian-American pop icon Margaret Cho does it bawdily and with trenchant wit. Hill is gentler but just as witty, poking fun at his status as an Taiwanese Canadian and including acerbic observations about how his parents have made peace with living in the western world.
“The show ties in some societal, political and familial views,” Hill said. “Everything I talk about eventually hails back to my life story.”
Hill, a rising comedian, has performed on BiteTV, Comedy Time as well as various comedy festivals in North America. He and Baimel met in Seattle three years ago, clicked right away and decided to tour together.
At a performance in Singapore last year, Hill noticed the interest in stand-up comedy and decided to embark on an Asia tour that includes Taipei, where Hill and Baimel will take turns onstage during a 90-minute show. - Taipei Times

"Comedy King of the Hill Best of the City 2015 winner"

From professional DJ to stand-up comic, “Canasian” comedian Ed Hill has dodged his parents’ expectations his entire life. Maybe winning gold for best comedian in our annual Best of the City poll will finally get his mom off his back. (Just kidding, he has his master’s degree and a performance degree in concert piano).

A Coquitlam resident and clinical counsellor by day, we rang up the hard-working Hill to hear about how he spends his nights.

How does it feel to take down best comedian in a city like Vancouver?
I didn’t even know this poll was happening until you emailed me.

So you didn’t game the system then.
No! Usually if I know there’s something like this I promote it through social media and stuff but I had no clue this was happening. When you emailed me I thought it was just one of my comic friends playing a prank on me. So I emailed your email address and was like, ‘Oh! She’s a real person! Okay.’

I am a real person! And I’d like to think that you’re a real person, too. What’s your story?
Well, the term I use is Canasian. I’m Canadian and Asian, so I was born in Taiwan an immigrated here when I was 10 with my parents. At the time my dad told me we were going on vacation, so 20 years later I’m still sitting here on vacation, having gone through school, college, all that stuff.

Growing up, I didn’t really realize what was going on until my senior year in high school. I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t think I’m ever going back. I think this is it.’ So it’s looking at growing up in this culture while maintaining values from my past.

Is that where you get your inspirations from?
Yeah, just social situations, everyday life, my family. I’m very honest on stage. A lot of people come up to me after to ask are these things real, and yeah, they’re 100 per cent real. Like one thing I always tell people on stage is that I’m allergic to alcohol, marijuana and nicotine. I have a terrible allergy system, it comes from my dad, and we never really had allergies until we came here. But the way I look at it is now, whenever I go out I’m the designated driver, and it’s the first time in history where humanity comes together and believes the Asian driver is going to keep them safe!

I’m beating the stereotypes left and right. [Laughs]

When you survey the local comedyscape, are there many Asian-Canadians doing stand up?
Ummm, very, very, very few. We’re a very small minority. I think because stand up is such an honest and truthful art form, but in the Asian culture, we really try to be hush-hush about our personal lives. What is being said at home stays at home, it doesn’t go outside. There’s that inherent shame that we don’t want other people to know our problems or our stuff.

So what does your family think?
My dad always says, ‘Why do you keep talking about me? Why don’t I just go on stage...You’re talking about me anyways!’ [Laughs] And my mom consistently asks me when this phase is going to be over. But then she shares everything with her friends. It’s the strangest dynamic. It’s like she doesn’t approve of what I do but she’s proud of the fact that I do it.

What career did they want?
They wanted me to be a doctor, of course. And my brother is in medical school becoming a doctor, so I’m putting all my hope on my brother to make them happy. [Laughs]

How did you go from half a decade of DJing to telling jokes?
I wasn’t really enjoying where the music trend was going – I was more of an old-school guy – so I stopped doing that, but I was craving to get back on stage and didn’t know what to do. I was going to graduate school at the time getting my master’s degree, and there happens to be a [comedy] class offered right below SFU. So I took it, and like a good Asian student I went online and downloaded a whole bunch of books about how to write jokes before I even entered the class.

I came into class with a complete, written out set and the teacher was like, ‘What are you here to learn then?’

From then on it was just refining things and understanding how it works.

Where can people see you perform?
I’m at Yuk Yuk’s Thursday, March 5. - The Westender Magazine


Canasian (2013) 



Originally from Taiwan, Ed is an emerging young comic who moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 20 years ago, thinking he was on vacation at his father's discretion.

Since then, Ed has performed all over the world. He was voted "Best Vancouver Comedian of 2015" by West Ender Magazine and named "Comic to Watch" in 2015 by Canadian Immigrant Magazine. He has also appeared on AXS TV's "Gotham Comedy Live", Bite TV’s “Stand up & Bite Me”, XM Radio’s “Laugh Attack”, Hulu's "West Coast Comedy", and 2 appearances on Comedy Time TV. He was also invited to perform at Comedy Masala in Singapore, Live Comedy Club in Taiwan, the Hong Kong Comedy Festival, NXNE, San Francisco Comedy Festival, Austin Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, the Vancouver Comedy Festival and many more. 

Ed is still currently on vacation with his potato-like dogs.

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