By Jason Cruz
Northwest Asian Weekly
Vancouver, B.C.-based comedian Ed Hill released his latest comedy album, Son of Smiley, in June. The live album, recorded in front of an audience in Vancouver, highlights the comedian’s wit and observational humor on relationships and family.
Originally from Taiwan, Ed had been touring Canada and the United States while keeping his job as a mental health therapist. Hill holds a master’s degree from Simon Fraser and an undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia. Hill is now a full-time comedian.
“Son of Smiley” is named after Hill’s dad, Smiley. As Hill explains in one of his jokes, his father is a first-generation immigrant. When he immigrated to Canada, he was given the choice of a new name to use. He chose Smiley. Hill also has a podcast of the same name in which he conveys a short story from his childhood.
“More often than not, my understanding of the world directly contrasted with his perceptions. Between my dad and I, there was struggle, but there was also magic.”
“He’s my pillar, he truly is,” Hill told the audience as he relayed a story about his need to move and hire a moving company.
“I know a guy!” his father told him. The next day, Hill said his father showed up to help him move. And at the end of the day, he asked Hill for money. The story emphasized Hill’s father’s cheapness and entrepreneurial, hard-working spirit, even if he was taking money from his own son.
His father’s frugality is highlighted throughout the album and the comedian recognizes how it’s been passed on to him.
“I love coupons so much,” said Hill. It’s a trait he relates to Asian dads. “Nothing makes me so happy than go to Starbucks, steal some napkins, and then put them in my car.”
Hill’s father is not the only subject of Hill’s jokes. He also makes fun of his mother and her penchant for calling a phone “app,” as if they were actual initials and asking his friends if they would like to see “A.P.P.” which draws quizzed and confused looks from his buddies.
Hill uses his ability to engage with the audience during the album. In one snippet, he probes the audience for couples in relationships and asks them questions.
From there, he is able to riff on their stories and relate it to his own world and humor.
Hill’s comedic career has earned him some awards as he’s constantly touring, appearing in comedy clubs. He has appeared on television as part of “Gotham Comedy Live” on AXS-TV and Season 1 of the short-lived “Up Late Northwest” on KING-TV in Seattle. He’s also been on radio with CBC Radio and Sirius XM’s Satellite Radio.
He also gained notoriety for his Twitter feed, as his comedic tweets have been featured on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”
“Son of Smiley” was recorded at the Havana Theatre in Vancouver this past February. It was produced by Kevin Maher. Hill has received a Juno Award, a Canadian music award received by musical artists and bands to acknowledge their artistic and technical achievement in music.
This is Hill’s third comedy album after, “CanAsian,” in 2013 and “Weirdo Whisperer” in 2016.
For more information on Hill, visit kingedhill.com.
Jason can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.