Comedian Russell Peters has been making people laugh for 22 years. And though he’s far from retiring from the job, he does admit that “he’s directionless” for his upcoming set. “I have zero material and I get back on the road in November. It sucks at this stage,” says Russell, adding that he’s already mocked almost everything.
“India? I think I’ve flogged this pony. I don’t know what I’m looking at. I’m going to start talking about my kid now. She’s nine months old. My wife (Monica Diaz) has inspired me too,” he says, adding that he’s partially exhausted with his signature sets on racist humour too. “It’s going to get boring for everybody, it is for me.
I’m at zero.” The 41-year-old stand-up comic will be seen in Akshay Kumar’s Indo-Canadian production, Speedy Singhs, this weekend.
Recalling how he attempted watching Akshay’s film, Singh Is Kingg (2008), that he admits he couldn’t sit through, he says, “It wasn’t bad until it got to a song and then I turned it off. It’s corny. What do you need a song for? It’s like you’re just talking a second ago, and now you’re singing?”
Though eager to act in international films and Bollywood, running around trees is one thing he promises he will never succumb to. He insists,
“Singing and dancing is never going to happen. Nope, never. Even if it costs me a film. It’s a complete shut out. I will not jeopardise 22 years of stand-up and a Hollywood career to go down for a horrible Bollywood movie.” Not even for stand-up material? “How much more can I make fun of it? It’s mocking itself at this point,” he says, before remembering the last time he performed in India to a Bollywood audience three years ago.
“I have nothing against actors. Having met a few, they’ve all been cool and they know what they do is corny. So I was making fun of this one actor in the audience. I was ripping his a** apart and I kept at it. Then at the Speedy Singhs set, I met Anupam Kher, and I said, ‘Hey, good to meet you man…’ to which he said, “You performed in India right?” And I said, ‘Yea.’ And he said, ‘I believe you met my son.’ It was hilarious. That was him I’d made fun of.”
* Born to Anglo-Indian parents in Canada
* Started stand-up in 1989, is a YouTube sensation
* Known for his racist, multi-cultural digs
* Last set: Russell Peters: Red, White And Brown
* Best jokes: “Indian people, we are proud of our cheapness. You are never gonna insult us by calling us cheap. That’s the best part, you know. You walk up to an Indian guy “You guys are cheap”... “Thank you for noticing, thank you. Thank you very much.” “That guy just called you cheap” “No, no, no. He pronounced it cheap. But what he was saying was smart. Very smart he was.”
* “Somebody gonna get a hurt real bad.” - on Indian parents beating kids