Windsor/Toronto Actress + Comedian Connie Wang Explores Being Semi-Unknown in Hilarious New Standup Special ‘Canadian Famous’

What do sappy Hallmark holiday movies, bellybutton odor, and “basic Canadian girl energy” have in common? They’re all hilarious joke fodder in Windsor, ON-born, Toronto, ON-based Connie Wang’s new YouTube comedy special Canadian Famous.

Though the show takes many comical twists and turns through an exploration of being “Canadian famous” – i.e., starring in TV series, commercials and, yes, even Hallmark holiday movies without ever being fully recognized – Wang uses the end of the hour-long standup to poignantly focus on her mother’s determination to learn English.

“I’ve always wanted to write a show about what it was like to grow up with Mama Wang,” she says. “A show that highlighted her grit, determination, and creativity that she had to go through to make it as a Chinese immigrant in Canada without knowing English, ni hao ma?”

Canadian Famous was borne out of last year’s WGA Writer’s Strike and Wang’s desire to keep working and being creative despite the challenging circumstances.

“When the Writer’s/Actor’s strikes happened last year and the film/TV industry shut down, I thought, ‘This is a perfect time to tell our family story,’” she explains. “I’m a two-time Canadian Screen Award-nominated actress that no one has ever heard of – I thought it would be fun to jump from on-camera actress into standup comedy.”

Wang had many ideas for creating her own TV show, and she figured that standup comedy would be an ideal way to start writing her own material. She wrote the story in her bedroom in Toronto until her fiancé annoyed her, and then she ran to the local coffee shop.

“After a couple months of doing stand up, I decided to write my own one-hour special, and Canadian Famous came together in six weeks,” she recalls. “I wrote jokes during the day, did open mics literally every night, and sold out the Comedy Bar.  It was a grueling experience, but I loved it and I’m excited to do it again.”

Canadian Famous is inspirational to all women and creative types, and that’s because Wang taps into her vulnerability as a known-but-unknown actress, while also sharing some beautiful moments from growing up in a Chinese Canadian family.

“It shows the foundation of who I am,” Wang muses. “It’s about the highs and lows of being a Canadian actress, what it’s like being a woman, and significant moments in my childhood that have made me who I am today.  It gives you the whole world of what it’s like being a child of Chinese immigrants who took advantage of all the great opportunities this country had to provide. This show is about me and it’s about inspiring all of the dreamers to create their dream life.”

Connie Wang is an award-winning actress, comedian, and producer with more than 20 film and TV credits. She has received 11 award nominations, including two Canadian Screen Award Nominations for Best Lead Performance. She won Best Lead Actress at the Apulia Web Festival for her role in Tokens. She has also produced and starred in critically acclaimed short films and in 2023, Connie was a featured presenter at the Canadian Screen Awards. 

A child of hard-working Chinese immigrants, Connie was born in Saskatchewan and raised in Windsor, Ontario. Connie is bilingual, fluent in both English and Mandarin. Her parents taught her the importance of perseverance, positivity, and being confident in herself, which are all tools she took with her as she pursued her passions in Toronto.

As a passionate health and wellness advocate who practices mindfulness and plant-based eating, Connie has developed a podcast series, WonderWomb, inspired by her own journey in healing polycystic ovarian syndrome. Connie is also a founding board member of the ‘Asians in the 6ix’ collective and has brought together a group of three hundred Asian actors and filmmakers in the GTA.