Julie Kim Live! at the Sid promises relatable laughs – and lots of them

February 22, 2024

Julie Kim Live! is not just a comedy show; it's an experience – one filled with relatable humor and a touch of brilliance.

The Sid Williams Theatre Society is thrilled to welcome one of Canada's top stand-up comedians to Courtenay as part of their Blue Circle Series. On Friday, March 15, Kim will be joined by the fabulous Emily Woods and favourite emcee Syd Bosel for a show that will have audiences crying with laughter.  

The timing of this tour conveniently coincides with International Women's Day. A self-described feminist and a mom, she has plenty of material to draw upon. “It’s not specifically for Women’s Day, but I will probably focus more on female-forward jokes.” That being said, she notes her comedy is about connecting with people, regardless of gender.

It’s that ability to connect – plus her comedic brilliance – that has seen Kim light up television, radio and stages across the continent and beyond in the past decade. She’s been at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival, Winnipeg’s Comedy Festival and went down under to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival last year. In 2022, Kim toured North America doing 40 theatre shows with Ronny Chieng (The Daily Show with Trevor Noah).

Not only is she a stand-up comedian, but Kim is also a writer and producer, having contributed to the writing rooms of CBC’s Kim’s Convenience, Run the Burbs and Still Standing, as well as being part of the writing team for the Juno Awards, including creating Simu Liu’s viral “I am Canadian” monologue.

All this after having got into comedy on a bit of a whim.

Juggling a graduate program and a corporate career in Toronto, Kim saw comedy as a means to develop her speaking skills and command attention in professional settings. “Part of me wanting to try stand-up was to become a better speaker... I wanted to have that power.” So she took a class.

“I made a goal to try performing once, just to be able to talk about it for the rest of my life. But then I loved performing, and I just kind of never stopped.

“The first few years of comedy are normally very unglamorous,” she admits. “It’s a lot of doing open mics in empty rooms with maybe only a few comedians or other audience members, which is ironically counterproductive because that’s when you really need external validation to figure out what is funny.”

Despite the challenges, she continued to hone her craft, fueled by a desire to bridge gaps and spread laughter. After a couple years, Julie Kim began to headline. Then came another significant turning point – becoming a mom.

Having a daughter brought both challenges and newfound inspiration. Despite initial doubts from others about the feasibility of pursuing comedy while raising a child, Kim remained steadfast in her commitment and because she loves to prove people wrong.

“I remember being pregnant, and people would be like, ‘Oh, that’s too bad. You were doing well.’ But I made a point of not letting this die… I love stand-up. It’s what I do.”

Kim found herself delving into her real-life experiences with newfound authenticity as she juggled the demands of motherhood with her comedy career. “It came with its own set of challenges, like always being tired and having to store milk before travelling, but it also became in other ways very easy, because I started talking about my real life with more vulnerability than ever before.

“Having a child, I think you become less of a ‘precious person.’ So I think my voice really changed both as a person and also on stage.” This newfound congruence between her personal and professional life brought a sense of ease to Kim’s performances, allowing her to connect with audiences on a deeper level. Her comedy flourished and her reputation solidified.

Transitioning from the challenges and triumphs of parenthood, Kim encountered a new obstacle: the onset of the pandemic. While some comedians pivoted to online platforms for virtual shows, she consciously chose not to.

“My fear was that doing Zoom shows would make me hate comedy because you don't get feedback. So I decided, I’m just not going to do that because I’d rather preserve my love of comedy than make a few extra dollars and have that die. I'm really glad I did because when we came back to live shows, I was still excited and I was prepared.”

As live shows gradually resumed, Kim embarked on the transformative 40-city tour, elevating her career to new heights and providing invaluable stage time and opportunities for growth. “I had a purpose to get back up there... and my career went to a next level at that point.”

Now, Kim embraces myriad opportunities, from producing her own shows to writing for television and film. With exciting projects on the horizon, including a potential trip to the UK for the Edinburgh Festival and dreams to perform in Asia, she continues to captivate audiences worldwide, spreading joy and laughter wherever she goes.

With hilarious but mature content, this show is suitable for audiences aged 14-plus.