Russell Peters is a Canadian stand-up comic born in Brampton Ontario of Anglo-Indian descent. His comedy focuses primarily on his cultural background, but also on cultural and racial stereotypes of Asians, Indians in particular.
Peters began performing in Toronto in 1989 and has performed in the UK, Australia, China, Singapore, Denmark, South Africa, The Caribbean, Vietnam, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the United States. He has been nominated for four Gemini Awards, the Canadian television awards. He has also been nominated for Best Male Comic at the Canadian Comedy Awards. Peters has been featured at such shows as Montreal’s Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival. He hosted the Canada Day Comedy Festival 2006.
Russel’s parents Eric and Maureen are from Calcutta, India as per his mention in the DVD release ‘Outsourced’ and have been living in Canada for the past fourty years. In his shows he clearly points out to his pride of being a Canadian and also an Anglo-Indian. He uses his limited knowledge of Indian names and Chinese names to pick the audience and crack jokes. His shows revolve around many cultures around the world mostly the places where he has visited. In ‘Outsourced’ he picks on Indians, Chinese, Vietnamese, Koreans and also the English and makes fun of how they perceive America and it’s culture. His comedies on Jamaicans have been taken to be exceptional by his audiences.
Peters’ comedy focuses largely around his Indian upbringing and racial stereotypes, as he often parodies his parents and South Asian culture. Much of his material explores the cultural divides between many different ethnicities and upbringings in a way that includes many impressions. Russell has also been a DJ since 1985, and is an amateur boxer. Russell’s skills as a DJ are shown during the opening to the comedy special Russell Peters: Outsourced. This comedy special also confirms his real name is Russell Dominic Peters.
His most recent comedy special Russell Peters: Outsourced, aired on Comedy Central on August 26, 2006. Outsourcedwas also made available on DVD and CD in stores on August 29, 2006. The DVD version features his “Outsourced” performance including an uncensored version of the Comedy Central broadcast. The DVD was extremely popular, especially in Canada, selling over 50,000 copies. In 2006, he also starred in the short-run radio comedy series Monsoon House on CBC Radio One.
Peters has been critical of the Canadian entertainment industry for not supporting Canadian comics sufficiently and for being overly bureaucratic.
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