Being funny in un-funny times: Comedian Ed Hill coming to Helena

JAKE IVERSON Billings Gazette

You’ve never seen anything like “Candy and Smiley.”

The debut special from Vancouver, British Columbia-based stand-up comic Ed Hill is bold and inventive, both in its jokes and the innovative way those jokes are delivered.

Hill, who was born in Taiwan to Taiwanese parents, immigrated to Canada when he was 10. His parents took the names Candy and Smiley when they moved, even though, as Hill points out with a half-amused, half-exhausted sigh, Smiley never actually smiles.

Jokes like that are all over “Candy and Smiley.” Hill’s stand-up is deeply interior. He tells stories that are intimately about his own life. And yet, they feel like universal truths. Your life might not be anything like Hill’s, but he’s such a committed storyteller that you wind up relating to him anyway.

It’s comedy that’s closer to oral storytelling than it is street jokes. Which isn’t to say that this is some egghead, college lecture type stuff. Hill is funny. He’s got a quick mind, and he wields self-deprecation like a knife.

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