“I used to think I wasn’t relatable as a comedian,” shares Andrea Jin. And fair enough—when most stand-up comics look like they just stepped out of a Kevin James movie (no shade to Paul Blart), it’s not surprising that an Asian immigrant woman felt on the outs of the comedy scene. Now, audiences can’t stop talking about how her stand-up stands out.
Jin has just released her first comedy album, Grandma’s Girl, named for all the stories and quips inspired by her grandmother. “I didn’t even realize how centred my life was towards her until I was listening to the album over and over,” says Jin, “and I realized there was a common theme—so many of the jokes point to my grandma, and her influence on me.” Even though the album wasn’t titled until after it was recorded, Jin does acknowledge the grandma-ness of her set in the album (after her first nudge at the octogenarian, she says, “I’m gonna tell more grandma jokes, so you better not be soft”).
The comedian says that while her grandma hasn’t listened to the set (“She doesn’t speak English,” Jin explains), she would love the spirit of the performance—it’s playful, not hurtful, and you can feel the love coming through even in the most brutal of takes. And grandma can dish it out, too. “I make fun of her all the time to her face—we do it to each other,” laughs Jin.
Along with her ruthless (but at the same time, ruth…ful?) grandma jokes, Jin touches on some very Vancouver topics—hating the snow, ordering pizza, being unsure whether to call Boundary Road Vancouver or Burnaby. There’s also sex, dating, mental breakdowns, and all your classic stand-up content with a unique twist. “A lot of people who watch me will tell me that I’m very different from everyone they’ve seen, and that’s because of who I am,” says Jin. “I’m not trying to be unique— I’m just being honest.”
From the moment it starts, Grandma’s Girl is refreshingly honest and sarcastic (She begins, “I’m an immigrant… is that ok?”), with tales that touch on Jin’s experience as an immigrant and Asian Canadian in a lighthearted but real way. She talks about the guilt of Sleeping Beauty, not Mulan, being her favourite Disney princess—after all, Sleeping Beauty takes a nap and wakes up rich while Mulan has to cut her hair with a sword and fight in a war.
On top of her great jokes, Grandma’s Girl had a whole other level of special—it was recorded pre-pandemic, and hearing the laughter of a live audience crammed in a little theatre feels truly magical. It’s a celebration of resiliency that certainly doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Grandma’s Girl is available on Apple Music, Spotify, and a host of other streaming platforms.