Russell Peters has made people roll on the floor, laughing on his unabashed one-liners on stereotypical accents, race and ethnicities for years now. The Indo-Canadian stand-up star, who began his career his in 1989, says comedy is not a race and that it takes years to develop the voice and to build an act.
Over the past decade, the comic space has grown. Peters finds it both good and bad.
“It’s good and bad. It’s good that more voices are being heard, but the bad part is that there are a lot of younger comics racing to put out specials or get to the next level of their career without actually putting in the time to play the road and develop their craft,” Peters told IANS.
“Comedy isn’t a race. There’s no finish line. It takes years to develop your voice and to build an act,” he added.
The 48-years-old comedian began performing in Toronto three decades ago, and since then he has gone on to perform in several countries. In 1992, Peters met American comedian George Carlin, one of his biggest influences, who advised him to get on stage.
Peters, who is popular for his catchphrase “someone’s gonna get hurt real bad”, terms comedy as a craft.
“If you’re getting into stand-up to be famous or for the money, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. It’s a craft and a calling. You have to do it and have to be on-stage,” added Peters, who is returning to perform in India in October as part of a return leg of his smash hit “Deported World Tour” with Zee Live.
In this phase II of the performance, he will perform in Pune on October 1, in Ahmedabad on October 4 and Hyderabad on October 6.
Peters was one of the first Indian-origin comedians to make it big globally and now, many more names such as Hasan Minhaj, Vir Das and Kanan Gill among many others have followed.
How would Peters describe the comedy scene in terms of diversity now?
“It’s great that everyone can express themselves now without being judged for it. Everyone has a story and something to say, hopefully, it’s funny. Being a comedian is no longer restricted to just men or one or two ethnic groups, it’s for everyone. That’s how it should be.