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Courtesy Ottawa Fringe.

Fringe Review: Stupid Ed

By Colin Noden on June 20, 2022

Stupid Ed
Created by Ed Hill
Produced by Ed Hill Comedy (Vancouver)
60m | 14+ | Comedy, Storytelling
Content warnings: mature language, sexual content, mental health

You will leave Stupid Ed with a new touchstone for your life. I suspect Ed Hill’s path to giving you that touchstone will vary from night to night, but the seeds of that revelation are cunningly planted from the very beginning. It seems that Ed has outgrown the Fringe Festival program notes. Lucky us. Energy is produced when an artist steps across a well-worn line.

The first half of the performance seemed like random memories of an immigrant childhood and some very strong-willed parents. The material begged for clichés; but all this was downplayed in the style of his presentation, which is opposite to other comedians who would use it as a focus. Ed uses it as an educational experience. They are simply truths from his past.

He shares clues to where he is going, mixed in with funny interactions, traumas, and self-reflections. We are drawn in, to him and a world which is interesting and quirky. Introspection can be many things. Ed Hill proves that it can be funny, humbling, and enlightening.

The enlightening aspect is the show’s gift. Many comedians are stuck behind that evolutionary line. Their performances are static in content and emotional development. They finish as the same person who began the performance. That’s okay, if the audience wants a well-polished set. It’s the old debate on the balance of craft and art. Ed appears to be taking a chance on art.


Stupid Ed by Ed Hill is playing at Club SAW (67 Nicholas Street) until June 26, 2022. Tickets are $12 online (plus a $2 processing fee) and at the door. Visit ottawafringe.com for the schedule and box office info. Read more reviews at https://apt613.ca/category/festival/fringe/.