If Kal Penn represents Indians in America, Russell Peters represents the community in Canada.
Russell Dominic Peters (born September 29, 1970) was born in Toronto, Ontario to Eric and Maureen Peters, and raised in Brampton. He is of Anglo-Indiannote descent. His father was born in Bombay, India and worked as a federal meat Inspector and his mother was born in Calcutta, India. He has an older brother named
Julio Clayton who was also born in Calcutta. Peters began performing in Toronto, Ontario in 1989. He has since also performed in the UK, Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Denmark, South Africa, the Caribbean, Vietnam, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Sweden, India, UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, and the United States Trinidad among other places. His comedy special Russell Peters: Outsourced, aired on Comedy Central on August 16, 2006. The DVD version features his uncensored performance. The DVD has been popular, especially in Canada, selling over 100,000 copies. Outsourced remained on the National DVD Chart over one and a half years after release. He also gained popularity in most Asian countries.
Peters' comedy focuses largely around his Indian upbringing and racial stereotypes, as he often parodies his parents and South Asian culture, as well as various other Asian, African and Hispanic cultures. Peters' comic routines on the Outsourced DVD are about Asians, Hispanics, English accents, terrorists, and his parents, among other things. Topics ranged from different types of Asians, the English accent, terrorists, Africans, and his adventures in Hong Kong while experimenting with Cantonese, and adventures with a Nigerian lady in Beijing's KFC (nega...). Some of these acts were criticized as being "racist," but the show remained typical of his style. Two of his most popular catchphrases are "be a man" and "somebody gonna get a hurt real bad". During the encore for the show, before doing the famous line, he mentions that he would be retiring that joke/line after that show. Many viewers misunderstood this message and believed that Russell Peters was retiring from his career as a comedian. The official reason is that his father recently died before the release of the DVD and many jokes were based on him. From now on, Peters would be focusing on different material.
As of late 2017, Peters has moved into acting as well as the eponymous protagonist of The Indian Detective, where he plays a ... well, Indian-Canadian constable who, during his suspension from the Toronto police, comes to Mumbai to see his father, but also immediately gets embroiled in the world of Indian crime and law enforcement.
This performer provides examples of:
- All Jews Are Cheapskates: Russell says this stereotype is extremely offensive... to Indians. Because they're the cheapest ethnic group and damn proud of it, so why should the Jews get the reputation for it?Russell: People are like "Jews are cheap!". We're like [Indian accent] "No, that is very incorrect. I am cheap. Jews are thrifty. BIIIIIG difference."
- Call-Back: Interestingly, during Almost Famous someone in the audience references a joke Russell made about someone's name in an older special.
- For himself:Russell: [in Cantonese accent] Be a man!
- For his now late father:Russell: [in Indian accent] Somebody gonna get a-hurt real bad!
- Mimicking an Indian salesman:Russell: [in Indian accent] Take it and go!
- For himself:
- Chekhov's Gun: He will often make a joke or ask some people in the audience to recite their names near the start of his routine, then call back to the joke or to that person/those people in the audience later on.
- Finger-Tenting: Done visually sometimes in jokes involving something sneaky.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: If his anecdotes regarding his childhood and his father are to be believed.Russell: [imitating his father] If I get rid of one, I'll just make another one! And I will tell the new one what an idiot the last one was!
- Oh, Crap!/This Is Gonna Suck: Russell's reaction to hearing his dad's Catchphrase as a kid.
- Pals with Jesus: Played for Laughs in any joke involving his Mexican friend, Jésus.Russell: I like hanging out with Jésus, man. "Hey, who's your friend?" "The Son of God".
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: Russell tells the story of when he got threatened by a man for looking at the man's girlfriend. In response to "Where do you get the balls to look at my girl?", Russell panics and answers, "Costco."
- Running Gag: Quite a few but nearly every routine is guaranteed to have the one below.Russell: Where are the Chinese people at?
Chinese Audience Members: [cheering] WOO!
Russell: Look at them yelling out their last names... so proud.
- He will also ask where X ethnicity is in the audience throughout the show.
- Schmuck Bait: In one DVD performance, he starts singing the tune to the 'Chicken Dance'. Some audience members partake in the clapping segment and he immediately calls them out on it.Russell: [jokingly] You losers.
- Toilet Humor: Happens at times.