Hubert Burda Media

10 Minutes with Russell Peters

When it comes to comedy, Russell Peters is peerless. The comedian with a knack for accents has been making people laugh for close to three decades with his spot-on impressions and sharp observations on racial and cultural stereotypes.

Once again, Peters is coming to Singapore for one night on 24 February 2018, as part of his Deported World Tour. He’s been to our part of the world four times already in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016, and clearly loves our island.

We chat with Peters to find out more about his thoughts on his career and what he would be doing if he wasn’t in comedy.

Russell Peters

You’ve been in Singapore a few times. What is it about Singapore that keeps you wanting to come back?

Singapore is the future. It’s Chinese, Indian, Malay, Filipino and everyone else. Everyone is different and they acknowledge and embrace their differences. They get what’s funny about themselves and each other.

You’ve been in comedy for so long. How do you keep yourself inspired?

Being a comedian is a calling. It’s what I have to do. I have to get on-stage the same way that someone ‘has’ to be a doctor or a teacher. I can’t not do it.

The hardest part is coming up with new material. But I took a lot of time off after the recording of my last special, Almost Famous. I spent time working on The Indian Detective, but as soon as it was done, I started hitting up clubs around LA and gradually built my new act over the past year now.

Looking back at your three-decade comedy career, what would you say was the highlight of it?

The highlight would have to be the first time that I played and sold out The Air Canada Centre in my hometown of Toronto in 2007. It was very emotional for me, which surprised me. I wasn’t expecting it to be. It was great.

Your comedy has always been about pushing the boundaries of political correctness. In a world that’s becoming increasingly, for lack of a better word, “snowflake-y”, how do you make sure that you stay within boundaries while still remaining true to yourself? 

I don’t stay within boundaries. That’s not my job. My job is to push the boundaries. If you’re uncomfortable with it, that’s not my problem. Everyone processes comedy through their own filters. I’m not responsible for how somebody interprets or processes what I’m saying.

I say things that everybody thinks, but just can’t say (they’d probably get fired!).

If you weren’t a comedian, what would you reckon you would be doing for a living?

Selling shoes or driving a forklift (laughs).

The Russell Peters: Deported World Tour 2018 Singapore is on Saturday, 24 February 2018. Tickets start from S$108 and are available through www.sportshubtix.sg.

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