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Andrea Jin: No Rush, No Fuss, Just Love

On the eve of filming her first hour-long special, the rising comedian savours the moment with gratitude for her hometown.

by Lukas Purm

Andrea Jin’s 2021 debut album, Grandma’s Girl, offered comedy a fresh voice. Her reflections of growing up in a close knit family offering equal parts endearing bonds and sharp teasing were modest and authentic.

Shortly thereafter, Jin was named to a New Face showcase at Just for Laughs Montreal Festival and won the JUNO Award for Best Comedy Album in 2022. Since then, she’s graced Vulture’s Comedians You Should Know List of 2023 in the New York Times, had a breakout performance slot on the Late Late Show with James Corden,  and she’s been writing for Andy Samberg’s show on Comedy Central (Digman!), Vice, and CBC Comedy.

Now relocated to Los Angeles and touring the US on a full-time schedule, Jin reflects for a quiet moment before summing up the past 24 months. “Busy. Stand up. Dream come true,” she says in the dry monotone demeanor that she’s known for on-stage.

Busy might be an understatement. This year alone has already seen Jin opening for Ronny Chieng (The Daily Show, Crazy Rich Asians) at Radio City Music Hall in New York and May will feature her own regular show at Dynasty Typewriter in LA as part of the Netflix Is A Joke Fest.

In this era of click-bait hot-take viral-react “comedian-destroys” content, her presence creates a relaxed atmosphere peppered with quick intelligence, dry logic, and sweet curiosity. “When you’re true to yourself the audiences who come out are open and hopeful of a good night,” she says. “You hear weird things about cities, who’s this wing or that, but live shows feel good to be in the same place, at the same time, sharing an experience limited to the room. I want to connect with those people. Grounded. Honest. Polished. 

Sharing this ongoing success with her aforementioned family evolves their bond, she admits. “It’s interesting to be taken seriously by them at any point because you start out as a child, you’re just a kid, they baby you. Suddenly I’m the one that’s busy and can’t come home. But they still put me in my place. They ask how much I make and say, ‘That’s good, not enough to buy a house yet, but good that you’re thriving.’ Feeling them prioritize my passion is nice.”

Her outlook on upcoming opportunities maintains her carefree yet carefully chosen approach: “I have goals as well, theatre tours, TV and film, but I’m taking it one show at a time, trying to put my heart into everything I do now, so once I reach big milestones, I can feel proud of them by enjoying the journey. When I think of the future, what I do now will shape it,” she says.

Timing and her current popularity suggest a second album taping would be on target. With steady aim, Jin will be using her upcoming shows at Just For Laughs Vancouver (Feb. 18 and 19) to film her first hour-long special. In perfect alignment, her first two shows at the Biltmore sold out in lightning succession, ahead of more established comics with fan favorable Friday and Saturday engagements. 

This swift response prompted her confession of deep gratitude for her Vancouver roots. “Away for almost two years, I really feel the reception says a lot about the love my hometown has for me, and it’s reciprocal,” she says. “Now it will be on public display. If they didn’t love me back, I’d still feel strongly about them, just in secret.”

“It brings me back to when I recorded my first album at Little Mountain Gallery. I worked my ass off and it performed very well. I wouldn’t tape my first special any other place, Vancouver has the magic touch.” 

Catch Andrea Jin performing Feb. 18 and 19 at Just For Laughs Vancouver | TICKETS & INFO