On March 8, Emma Bulpin and Katie Preston will make their debut as the Suburban Sisterwives, bringing their absurd, fast-paced sketch and musical comedy to audiences at the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival.

While this performance will be their first with material they’ve written together, Emma and Katie have shared the stage many times before. The duo initially became friends five years ago while performing in different comedy troupes. 

Emma founded RUN V.A.G (very awesome girls) with three other women comedians, performing across Toronto, while Katie travelled across Canada and the US with the musical sketch comedy group Herbeaver

In the past few years, both women moved away from the city’s bustling comedy scene seeking more affordable housing in GTA suburbs. Now, both Katie and Emma are mothers, and the “joys” of raising children and the sleep-deprived realities of motherhood are the main inspirations for their 30-minute sketch show.

We caught up with the Suburban Sisterwives before their performances at TOsketchfest to hear all about what we can expect. 

Coming from two different sketch comedy groups, how do you think your comedic styles mesh?

Emma: Funny enough, a lot of people have told Katie and I that we are very similar in demeanor, voice, and style of comedy. 

Katie: Writing together and making each other laugh has been a ton of fun!

Emma: As working moms, our lives are FULL, and this has been a giggly breath of fresh air. I’m excited to showcase what we’ve put together for audiences of Toronto.

Katie: We both love a dumb silly joke, so get ready for a lot of that in this show! 


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Why was motherhood something you wanted to explore in your comedy?

Emma: Because if you can’t laugh at motherhood, then you just cry at motherhood. This is our way to poke fun at motherhood, to laugh over it, and to come together as a community and focus on the hardest workers out there- MOMS! Plus, it takes up 110% of my life, and a lot of our comedy is life-based… so it was inevitable.

Katie: My daughter is 9 months old, and this has been one of the craziest life experiences to date! It’s rewarding and also so exhausting, and… oh this isn’t a therapy session? Sorry. Kids are so funny! Motherhood is hilarious! It’s happening to me, so why not joke about it?

How did you land on the name Suburban Sisterwives?

Emma: Katie and I were both VERY much a part of the comedy scene before kids. Lived downtown, walked to Comedy Bar, did multiple shows a week. While walking our strollers, in a suburban mall, we got to chatting and wanted to get back at it and come back to our roots- The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival. 

Katie: We wanted to nod to the suburban life we now lead.

Emma: We also get told that we look and sound a lot alike, hence the Suburban Sisterwives!

What can audiences expect from your show at the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival?

Emma: To be elevated with silly mom jokes, suburban jokes, silly songs, and just general exhaustion from being alive as a human! We hope everyone will take a night off from stress and just laugh with us silly, exhausted moms. We’ve written this show between nap times, after bedtimes, and during baby mall walks…. so you better goddamn like it!

Katie: We are both sleep-deprived moms with a deeply weird sense of humour. I think this show is going to be unhinged and wild in the best way! So BUCKLE UP, it’s going to be a silly time. 

Speaking of silly songs, what do you find special about bringing music and comedy together?

Katie: I think writing musical comedy is one of the most fun parts of any show! Who doesn’t love a little ditty? 

Emma: There’s nothing that hypes audiences up more than a good musical number they can all have a little fun with. Both of us love to sing and have big booming voices.

Katie: I started out in musical theatre, and I sometimes forget that it’s not socially acceptable to sing everything you do…But I do it anyway.


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What drew you both to sketch comedy?

Emma: I have a lot of brothers, and growing up, in order to be heard, you had to say something funny. A lot of my comedy background comes from improv, which then turned into sketch, which then turned into stand-up. Truly, just being silly and fun on stage, while audiences laugh at me, is my soul’s bread and butter.

Katie: Well in a short answer, Childhood Trauma, Baby. But for reals, as a kid I always knew I could make people laugh, which truly made me feel important and happy! I always knew I was going to perform comedy in some way, shape, or form, and I’m so glad I’ve been able to keep doing it for so long! 

Who are some women or gender-diverse comics you admire?

Emma: I’m a huge fan of Courtney Gilmour — she is one of my favourite female comedians right now. I’ve done a few shows with her, and she’s so funny, professional, and kind. She’s a must-see!

Katie: Steph Tolev has always made me die laughing! She’s hilarious and honestly knows how to own the stage. Her voice alone deserves an award.  

Emma: Naomi Snieckus is not only amazingly funny but also runs the Firecracker Department, which has grown into an international community of artist women and non-binary folk. 

Katie: Also the one and only Catherina O’Hara. A Queen, a comedy icon. The best! 

Emma: What a character comedy queen! We could all take a page from Catherine’s book.

What is making you laugh these days?

Emma: Life…. What a joke sometimes, you know?

Katie: I think the sleep deprivation has me either extra giggly or a raging meany. But I have been watching a lot of TikTok videos of dancing chickens. That really gets me good these days! 

What’s a message you think every mother needs to hear?

Emma: I read this somewhere and it really sat with me. It went something like this…“Motherhood is, the loudest-lonely I’ve ever felt. It’s filled with moments of busy-bored, happy-sad, and tears-laughter on repeat. It’s the most all consumingly beautiful and challenging thing I’ve ever done and loved. It’s so complex there’s just no simple way to describe it.”

Katie: Take it day by day. It’s hard, it’s really hard, but I promise you, it does get a little bit easier as you start to trust yourself as a parent. You know nothing, and yet, you are exactly what your child needs. YOU GOT THIS. 

The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival runs from March 6-17, and the Suburban Sisterwives will perform at the festival on March 8 and 14. See the full lineup here.