A conversation with Joel Edmiston, comedian and York alumnus

(Courtesy of Ian Noble)

York alumnus and comedian, Joel Edmiston, released his debut album I’m the Greatest last month on Oct. 27. Featuring 31 tracks, this album features a stand up and musical comedy style, all through the lens of Edminston’s ADHD.

“It’s a culmination of my best material from as far back as I’ve been doing comedy, with jokes as old as when I was performing them at York,” says Edmiston.

While he would perform at open mics downtown, and on campus — at the Absinthe Pub and Junior Common Room at Winters, and the art gallery —  Edmiston explains he really got into comedy after his time at university.

“There also used to be an open mic at Seneca that I would pretend to be a Seneca student to go to. Pretty much as soon as I was done acting school, I went full force into stand up,” says Edmiston.

He also adds, “I would describe my comedy as post-irony, normcore, alt-style, reference-heavy (but not alienating), with occasional bursts of mania/rage, but honestly I just try to be unique and true to myself.”

ADHD has also been a big contributing factor to Edmiston’s comedic style, and he says that it is what inspired him to start performing.

“I think the immediacy of it is what really drew me to it, which stimulated my brain and focus in a way that acting and writing made me wait too long for. Both of those things I still do and want to do more [of], but stand-up has an instant gratification to it and you can do it every night if you work hard enough, so when my brain is going in every direction, it’s good to have stand-up at night to focus on.

“My act is very [much] all over the place on the surface, but if you squint, you can see sort of a mosaic of my interests and personality and I think that sort of speaks to my experience with ADHD,” explains Edmiston.

Because he performs regularly in and around Toronto, Edmiston comments on the importance of new stand-up material. “I’m currently trying to write a new act after retiring a lot of my jokes after my album release, but I’m starting to get a bunch of new bits that I’m proud of, so come check out a show if you see one near you.”

When Edmiston is not on the stage, he can be found creating TikToks for his 289 thousand followers. His cats are usually the main focus of these videos and he puts a comedic spin on them. “I also add a humorous narration over it. It’s not something I try to talk about too much, because I’m around a lot of comics and they sort of roll their eyes at it, because it’s cat stuff on the internet, but I do think it is kind of unique compared to other pet stuff on TikTok,” he explains.

Click here to find Edmiston on Instagram, and here to find him on TikTok.

About the Author

By Sydney Ewert

Arts Editor


Sydney is in her third year at York University studying Dance. She loves to travel and explore new places. When Sydney is not editing, working, or studying for her classes, she is likely going for walks or learning new recipes.


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