Tragedy Plus Time: Vancouver-based Comedian UK Shah

Vancouver-based comedian UK Shah began his career in the world of comedy through stand-up open mic nights in 2021. He was living in the States at the time and moved to Vancouver a few months later. Originally born in India, his work showcases his observations on the differences between growing up in an Indian household and becoming accustomed to Western culture. UK Shah can be found every Thursday and Sunday at 7 pm at Funky Winker Beans bar with his co-producer and other fellow comics.

UK Shah

How would you describe your comedy style?

My comedy style is all about silly jokes and sharing anecdotes from my life. I love poking fun at the cultural differences between my Indian upbringing and North American adulthood. Stuff like race, immigrant life and figuring out how I fit into society. My approach is don’t take anything in life too seriously.

Who are some of your influences?

Russel Peters has been a massive inspiration. When I first saw him, it made me go, “Hey, we can do this too ?”. Representation matters.

Vir Das was the first comedian I saw live. That’s when I knew standup was my calling. Some other comics I watch regularly are Mark Normand, Sam Morril, Joe List and Ali Wong. Ivan Decker is my favourite Canadian comic right now

Who was your favourite comedian growing up?

Bill Burr! I loved how he keeps it real and fearlessly delves into sensitive topics, turning them into pure comedic gold. His style might come off as aggressive, but it was refreshing to witness someone being unapologetically authentic on stage.

Who is your favourite comedian now?

Right now, my favourite comedian is Kenny Sebastian, he is an Indian comedian whose career I have followed since the beginning. I saw him perform live at the Vogue a few months ago and it was amazing to see his growth.

What is your pre-show ritual?

It’s all about getting in the zone and feeling comfortable on stage. I love to listen to music to pump myself up and get into the right mindset. This helps me filter out any stress or worries from regular life like doing laundry, unless.. that’s what I am talking about on stage.

What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?

The China Cloud in Vancouver. It was during the JFL Vancouver this year. The venue’s cosy atmosphere and home-style aesthetic instantly put the audience at ease, creating an intimate and welcoming space for comedy.

What is your favourite bit you have written and why were you proud of it?

It’s one of the first jokes I wrote when I moved to Canada. One of those incidents where someone mistook me for the wrong ethnicity. I turned that into a bit, and I felt so proud of it because it showed me that I could take simple, everyday experiences from my life and turn them into something funny and relatable for the audience.

What is your favourite medium for listening or finding new comics/comedians?

Mostly through Instagram reels and recommendations from friends. If I like someone I go check out their Youtube channels for more content.

Tell us a joke about your city.

Vancouver is a city that has everything, mountains, beaches, forests, the best part is the airport, where all year round, you can take a flight to Cancun and enjoy the much better weather.

Do you have anything to promote right now?

Absolutely. I run an open mic with my co-producer Ron Dour. Join us every Thursday and Sunday at 7 pm at the legendary Funky Winker Beans bar. Open mics are some of the most fun shows to watch as an audience, you never know what to expect and you might be watching a future star. For more details check our Instagram.

Where can we follow you?

I share all my show updates and videos on my Instagram.

PAY IT FORWARD: Who is another local comic/comedian we should know about?

Arash Narchi and Adam Jacobson are both extremely talented and hilarious comedians. I’m always excited to see what they come up with next.



About Emilea Semancik 125 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: