Joel Kim Booster

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Joel Kim Booster
Born (1988-02-29) February 29, 1988 (age 32)
Alma materMillikin University
  • Comedian
  • writer
  • actor
Years active2016–present

Joel Kim Booster (born February 29, 1988)[1][2] is an American actor, comedian, and writer. He is best known for his Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents stand-up special.[3]

Early life[edit]

Kim Booster was born in South Korea and was adopted by a white American couple as an infant.[4][5] He was raised in Plainfield, Illinois in a conservative, Evangelical Christian family and was initially homeschooled.[6][7] He went to public school for the first time when he was 16, which he described as his "first time being around non-religious people."[4] He knew he was gay from childhood but kept it a secret.[8] His senior year in high school, his parents found out he was gay by reading his diary where he had described his sexual encounters with other boys.[6] Kim Booster moved out and began to couchsurf until he stayed with a family friend.[3][7]

He studied theater at Millikin University for his bachelor's degree.[6]


Living in Chicago, he took a job as a copywriter and began to perform in theater and write jokes after work.[3] Kim Booster began his stand-up career in an unconventional fashion by opening up for plays in Chicago's theater scene.[4] He moved to New York in 2014 to pursue a career in comedy.[4][7] He performed a set on Conan in 2016.[3] He then appeared in his own Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents special in 2017. Kim Booster has also written for the shows Billy on the Street, Big Mouth, and The Other Two.[7]

On November 3, 2018, he released his debut stand-up album, Model Minority.[6] The material covers racism in the gay community, growing up Asian in a white community, and his own non-adherence to stereotypes about Asian Americans.[3]

Kim Booster has acted in various roles such as with Susan Sarandon in Viper Club, a YouTube original film, Netflix's The Week Of, on Hulu's Shrill starring Aidy Bryant. He co-stars as Jun Ho in the NBC comedy series Sunnyside.[9] In 2019, he co-hosted a digital series called Unsend with Patti Harrison on Comedy Central.[10]

Kim Booster is a regular panelists on the NPR show Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me! multiple times.[11][12]

Kim Booster appeared on the December 8, 2020 episode of The George Lucas Talk Show with fellow guest Eliza Skinner.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Kim Booster is gay and often talks about his sexuality in his stand-up. He has stated that he knew he was gay before he knew he was Asian.[4] On July 21, 2020, Kim Booster announced he has bipolar disorder.[14]


Kim Booster was called a Comic to Watch by Variety[15] and one of Vulture's 20 Comedians You Should and Will Know,[16] and was named a Forbes' 30 Under 30 in Hollywood & Entertainment.[17]


  1. ^ Kim Booster, Joel [@ihatejoelkim] (2020-02-27). "Democratic presidential nominees as POKEMON GYM LEADERS: jk I'm fucking thirty two years old but also if I did this it would pull huge numbers" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ Kim Booster, Joel [@ihatejoelkim] (2016-02-29). "Today I have a real birthday and I've never felt more powerful. Leap Day energy courses through my body. I will destroy Sam Smith" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ a b c d e Goodman, Elyssa; Trykowski, Tyler; Taete, Jamie Lee Curtis (2017-10-20). "Joel Kim Booster's Tough Journey from Closeted Gay Kid to 'Model Minority'". Vice. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  4. ^ a b c d e Kozell, Isaac (2017-10-18). "Joel Kim Booster's Unlikely Path to Standup Stardom". Vulture. Retrieved 2018-12-17.
  5. ^ "🔊 Listen Now: 970 Transracial Adoption (w/ Joel Kim Booster)". NPR One. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  6. ^ a b c d "Why you should be rooting for Joel Kim Booster in 2019". The FADER. Retrieved 2018-12-17.
  7. ^ a b c d Prois, Jessica (2018-06-25). "Joel Kim Booster On Finding The Comedy In Hurtful Queer Asian Male Stereotypes". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  8. ^ Schmit, Timaree (2017-11-01). "Asian-queer funnyman Joel-Kim Booster talks being both in the world of comedy". Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  9. ^ Farwell, Eric. "Joel Kim Booster Is a "Hot Idiot"—But That's Not All". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  10. ^ Wright, Megh (2018-09-07). "Joel Kim Booster and Patti Harrison to Host a New Digital Series at Comedy Central". Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  11. ^ "'Wait Wait' For Nov. 23, 2019".
  12. ^ "'Wait Wait' For Feb. 29, 2020".
  13. ^ "The George Lucas Talk Show Episode XVIII with Eliza Skinner and Joel Kim Booster". Youtube.
  14. ^ Joel Kim Booster [@ihatejoelkim] (July 21, 2020). "Hey I'm also bipolar, and it's especially troubling to me that it's only really discussed on here as a result of the episodes of high profile talents. I work and live and am medicated and am largely pretty happy because I have an incredible support system. That's that on that" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  15. ^ "Variety Announces 10 Comics to Watch for 2018". Variety. June 14, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  16. ^ Jesse David Fox, Jake Kroeger, Samantha Pitchel (2017-11-14). "20 Comedians You Should Watch". Retrieved 2019-09-23.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ "30 Under 30 2018: Hollywood & Entertainment". Forbes. Retrieved March 11, 2019.

External links[edit]