|Birth name||Russell Dominic Peters|
September 29, 1970 |
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Medium||Stand-up, television, film, radio, books|
|Genres||Satire, observational comedy, improvisational comedy, black comedy|
|Subject(s)||Racism, race relations, stereotypes, multiculturalism, Indian culture|
|Influences||George Carlin, Steve Martin, Cheech and Chong, Don Rickles, Eddie Murphy|
|Spouse||Monica Diaz (2010–2012; divorced) 1 child|
Early life 
Russell Peters was born in Toronto, Ontario to Eric and Maureen Peters, and from the age of four, he was raised in nearby Brampton, Ontario. He has an older brother, Clayton, who currently serves as his manager. His family is of Anglo-Indian ancestry and is Catholic. His late father was born in Bombay, India, and worked as a federal meat inspector; he is regularly mentioned and featured in his comedy work. Peters attended Chinguacousy Secondary School for grades 9–10, and North Peel Secondary School in Bramalea, for grades 11–12. In school, he was regularly bullied because of his ethnicity, and eventually began boxing, which enabled him to counteract the bullying. Peters also became a hip hop "junkie" in his youth, and by the 1990s, he was a well-connected DJ in the Toronto scene.
Peters began performing in Toronto in 1989. His popularity extends to several countries, as he has since also performed in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Afghanistan, Sweden, South Africa, India, the Caribbean, Philippines, Vietnam, mainland China, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, Norway, Lebanon, Oman, and Malaysia, among other places.
In 1992, Peters met comedian George Carlin, one of his biggest influences, who advised him to get on stage whenever and wherever possible. He said he "took that advice to heart, and I think that's the reason I am where I am now." In 2007, 15 years later, he hosted one of Carlin's last shows before his death the following year.
Peters attributes a performance he did on the Canadian TV comedy show Comedy Now!, in 2004, which was uploaded onto YouTube and became viral, as the turning point in his career. While the initial video upload featured his performance in its 45 minute entirety, subsequent videos uploaded by other YouTube users were snippets of that performance, chopped into each of the cultural groups he targeted. According to Peters, those snippets made their way to those specified cultural groups, and were well received by them.
Notable performances 
In Canada, Peters became the first comedian to sell out Toronto's Air Canada Centre, with more than 16,000 tickets in two days for the single show. He ended up selling over 30,000 tickets nationally over the two-day sales period. His show in Sydney, Australia on 15 May 2010 had an audience of 13,880, making it the largest stand-up comedy show in Australian history. He broke a UK comedy sales record at London's O2 Arena when he sold over 16,000 tickets to his show on 2009. Russell Peters' performances on May 5-6, 2012 in Singapore also set attendance records for a single stand-up comedian at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
He hosted the Canada Day Comedy Festival 2006. Peters participated in a USO tour of Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, Africa and Greenland in November 2007 with Wilmer Valderrama and Mayra Veronica. Peters also currently produces and stars on the radio situation comedy series, Monsoon House, on CBC Radio One.
Peters was the host of the 2008 Juno Awards televised ceremonies in Calgary on April 6, 2008, for which he won a Gemini Award for "Best Performance or Host in a Variety Program or Series". The 2008 awards broadcast received the second-highest ratings ever for the program. He was asked to host the Juno Awards for a second year in a row. The 2009 Juno Awards took place in Vancouver on March 29, 2009.
His debut comedy album, Outsourced aired on Comedy Central on August 26, 2006. The DVD version features his uncensored performance. The DVD has been popular, especially in Canada, selling over 100,000 copies. Outsourced remained on the National DVD Chart over one and a half years after release. Peters released a second DVD/CD combo, Red, White and Brown, in Canada on September 30, 2008, and in the U.S. on January 27, 2009. The album was recorded on February 2, 2008, at The WAMU Theatre in Madison Square Garden. Peters and his brother Clayton self-produced and financed Red, White and Brown. In May 2011, Peters released The Green Card Tour: Live from the O2 Arena, a live performance recorded in front of a total audience of 30,000, over a two-night performance at O2 Arena in London, England. The show was directed by Dave Higby, who also produced Outsourced.
On October 26, 2010, Peters released his autobiography, Call Me Russell, co-written with his brother Clayton and Dannis Koromilas.
According to Forbes, Peters earned an estimated $15 million between June 2009 and June 2010, continuing his run as one of the highest-paid comedians after earning an estimated $5 million in the prior year's report. He was ranked as the seventh highest paid comedian by Forbes.
Comedic style 
Russell Peters' stand-up performances are mostly made up of observational comedy where he uses humour to highlight racial, ethnic, class and cultural stereotypes. He often refers to his own life experiences growing up in an Indian family and impersonates various English accents of different groups in his act to poke fun at each group. As Peters told an audience in San Francisco, "I don't make the stereotypes, I just see them." Peters uses his minority status to allow him to poke fun at different races in his performance, but according to an interview done for The National, he does not intend to put down or offend different races and cultures, but instead tries to raise them up through humour.
Peters is widely known for his punchlines, "Somebody gonna get a hurt real bad", in which he tells a joke about his childhood with a traditional Indian father who would use corporal punishment, and "Be a man!", while imitating a Chinese man trying to get him to pay more for an item at a shop.
Personal life 
Peters proposed to girlfriend Monica Diaz on July 10, 2010, at the Los Angeles International Airport. He announced the engagement via Twitter. The couple married on August 20, 2010 at A Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. The wedding was attended by about 20 guests, including an Elvis impersonator. Soon after, Peters told The Canadian Press that Diaz was pregnant, stating, "Did I get married because she was knocked up? I would say that expedited it." Peters and Diaz's daughter, Crystianna Marie Peters, was born two months early on December 14, 2010. In a March 2012 interview, Peters revealed that he and Diaz were divorcing.
Peters was raised Catholic, as mentioned in his Christmas special, A Russell Peters Christmas, although he said he was never a big fan of organized religions.
- Outsourced (2006)
- Red, White and Brown (2008)
- The Green Card Tour: Live from the O2 Arena (2011)
- Notorious World Tour (2014)
Television and film appearances 
Peters has appeared in many films, including the 2011 Punjabi-Canadian movie Breakaway, alongside Camilla Belle, Anupam Kher, and Vinay Virmani. He also appeared in Senior Skip Day starring Larry Miller, Tara Reid, and Gary Lundy. Besides this, he also made short appearances in the 1994 film Boozecan as Snake's Friend, the 2000 film Tiger Claws III as Detective Elliott, the 2004 film My Baby's Daddy as the obstetrician, the 2006 film Quarter Life Crisis as Dilip Kumar, and the 2008 film The Take as Dr. Sharma, among others.
He also acted in Duncan Jones's movie Source Code as Max, an amateur comedian with a bad attitude, and starred as Pervius in National Lampoon's The Legend of Awesomest Maximus. Peters also guest starred in Mr. D as the school super intendant.
- Boozecan – Snake's Friend (1994)
- Tiger Claws III – Det. Elliot (2000)
- My Baby's Daddy – Obstetrician (2004)
- Quarter Life Crisis – Dilip Kumar (2006)
- Let's All Hate Toronto – Himself (2007)
- Heckler – Himself (2007)
- The Take – Dr. Sharma (2008)
- Senior Skip Day – Uncle Todd (2008)
- The Con Artist – Pogue (2010)
- Bobby Khan's Ticket to Hollywood – Jack the Store Manager (2011)
- Source Code – Max Denoff (2011)
- The Legend of Awesomest Maximus – Pervius (2011)
- Breakaway – Sonu (2011)
- New Year's Eve – Chef Sunil (2011)
- Girl in Progress – Emile (2012)
- Ribbit – Deepak (2012)
- The History of Canadian Humour – Himself (2012)
- Comedy Now! ("Show Me the Funny") (1997)
- The Jack Docherty Show (28 January 1999)
- The 4th Annual Canadian Comedy Awards (2003)
- Comedy Now! (2004)
- The 5th Annual Canadian Comedy Awards (2004: Nominee for Male Stand-up)
- Royal Canadian Air Farce (7 January 2005)
- Just for Laughs (11 September 2005)
- CBC Winnipeg Comedy Festival (15 April 2006: Host)
- Comics Unleashed (Episode #1.6) (2006)
- Video on Trial (Episode #3.3) (2007)
- Pulse: The Desi Beat (Episode #1.9) (2007)
- Just for Laughs (Best of 2007: The 25th Edition) (2008)
- 2008 Juno Awards (2008: Host)
- Def Comedy Jam (Episode #8.4) (2008)
- The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Episode #16.33) (2008)
- Comics Without Borders (2008: Host)
- The Hour (18 September 2008)
- The 9th Annual Canadian Comedy Awards (2008: Winner for Best Large Venue Stand-up)
- The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Episode #5.96) (2009)
- 2009 Juno Awards (2009: Host)
- Russell Peters Presents (2009: Host)
- The 10th Annual Canadian Comedy Awards (2009)
- Cedric the Entertainer's Urban Circus (2010)
- The Hour (Episode #7.26) (2010)
- The Dating Guy (28 November 2010)
- 42nd NAACP Image Awards (2011)
- Lopez Tonight (26 May and 11 August 2011)
- A Day in the Life (24 August 2011)
- The Green Room with Paul Provenza (Episode #2.7 & #2.8) (2011)
- George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight (Episode #8.9 & #8.23) (2011)
- 26th Annual Gemini Awards (2011)
- The Marilyn Denis Show (Episode #1.99 & #2.51) (2011)
- 8 out of 10 Cats (Episode #12.9) (2011)
- A Russell Peters Christmas (2011: Host)
- George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight (Episode #8.102) (2012)
- Bob's Burgers (Episode #2.7: "Moody Foodie") (2012)
- The Burn with Jeff Ross (Episode #1.2) (2012)
- Mr. D (Episode #2.1) (2013)
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- Call him grateful The Globe and Mail. Accessed on November 6, 2012.
- FAQ RussellPeters.com. Accessed on November 6, 2012.
- RUSSELL PETERS: COMEDIAN, DJ, ANTI-FIST PUMPER DJ Mag. Accessed on November 6, 2012.
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- Russell Peters - 10 Comics to Watch RussellPeters.com. Accessed on March 25, 2013.
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- "Russell Peters on his memor "Call Me Russell" - full show". YouTube. 2010-12-16. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
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- "Have a hearty laugh". TTGmice. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
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- "Tweet". Twitter. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
- "Shinan: Leave out The Beaver?". National Post. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
- "Russell Peters and wife, Monica Diaz, expecting baby girl in February". 680 News. October 26, 2010.
- "Russell Peters eases into fatherhood and film". CTV News. May 31, 2011.
- "Russell Peters: Bring on the Funny". Gulf News. March 19, 2012.
- Hough, Robert (September 2009). "Lighten Up". Toronto Life. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- "Christmas Comes Early to CTV: 2.1 Million Viewers Make A RUSSELL PETERS CHRISTMAS Most-Watched Canadian Holiday Special Ever on CTV". CTV-Bell Media PR. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- Compolongo, Gabrielle. "EXCLUSIVE: Russell Peters Talks Source Code, Working with Jake Gyllenhaal". Movie Fanatic. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
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