Canadian comedian incorporates world cultures into act

Neha Aziz

Though born in Canada, funny man Russell Peters, whose parents are Indian, wanted to break away from the typical South Asian mold of choosing a practical career choice and instead opts for a more provocative occupation in the comedy business. The result, a successful career in comedy and an international tour, “The Green Card Tour.”

“I don’t live my life for anyone else but me, if I walk into a doctor’s office and get cut open for surgery, I don’t want to walk out knowing that this person did not want to do this for a living,” Peters said.

Peter’s material is not as much jokes as it is observations on various people and cultures. He not only performs in front of the audience but he bonds with them as well.

“When I perform a show I don’t have a set routine, I know where I’m starting and where I’m finishing, the audience plays an important role in my performance as well, many times an audience member will be the source for my next joke,” Peters said.

Since Peter’s material pokes fun at different cultures and communities especially his own South Asian culture, backlash would normally be expected but that is not the case for Peters.

“Its funny, more people get angry at me for not including their community in my material instead of the other way around,” he said.

In a past routine, Peters poked fun at the melodrama of Bollywood and when asked if the films appealed to his taste, it was safe to say that the answer was no.

“All of those movies are awful, Bollywood movies in no way represent our culture,” he said. “We have such a rich history that it is embarrassing that it resorts to these films.”