Skip to main content

Russell Peters: 'Canada breeds comedy'

By Jarrett Bellini, CNN
Click to play
Russell Peters represents the NRIs
  • Comedian Russell Peters sells out arenas in countries around the world
  • He feels like an outsider because he is Indian and Canadian
  • His comedy focuses on race and class

Editor's note: In the video, Russell Peters uses a word (one that many people consider offensive) five times. To be fair, he's relating an interesting observation, and it all makes sense in context. Nevertheless, after consulting with our Standards and Practices folks, we decided to let it slide only once so you know what it is. The other four times, we dropped the audio. Some of you might think we were overly cautious. Others, not cautious enough.

(CNN) -- For most comics, filling three-fourths of the Ha Ha Room in Nowheresville, Large-Square-State, is an accomplishment worth celebrating ... alone, of course, in a guest room at the Holiday Inn with a bottle of gin.

Not the case for Russell Peters. In fact, as one of the top-earning comics in the business, Peters enjoys worldwide popularity that's hard to match, selling out arenas (yes, arenas) from Canada to Australia and everywhere in between.

Focusing on race and class, Peters draws from being Indian and Canadian, and he believes audiences around the globe like him because he's an outsider.

"It's like I'm reporting live from a party I shouldn't be at," he says. "There's the cool kids, and then there's the nerdy guy who snuck in wearing a hat. I'm the nerdy kid who's wearing the hat."

Chris Hardwick is a huge 'nerd'
Kristen Schaal gives sex advice

What makes Peters' success even more amazing is that, aside from the occasional stand-up comedy special, you probably haven't seen him on TV or in movies.

Sure, he's done a bit of acting, but a quick glance at the titles on his IMDb page doesn't reveal any blockbusters. That said, "The Legend of Awesomest Maximus" does stand out as a potential must-see. I mean, after all, it features Ian Ziering playing a character named Testiclees.

So it must be good!

When the 40-year-old Peters -- who has penned a memoir called "Call Me Russell," in which he chronicles the unlikely path of his career from scrawny loser to comedy megastar -- met with CNN, he walked into the room wearing a T-shirt adorned with the image of that Internet-famous fat kid whose own shirt reads, I F--- ON THE FIRST DATE.

Cute. Funny. But kinda sucks for a video editor. Hence the blur in the video.

Thanks, Russell. You better Tweet the hell out of this ...

Featured Deal |