Three questions with international comedy phenomenon Russell Peters

Russell Peters
Photo: Aijaz Rahi / Associated Press

Exactly how many countries have you not yet visited?

There's tons of places I haven't been. I get requests from everywhere, from the Czech Republic to Kenya to Indonesia. I just haven't had time to go to all the countries that I need to get to. I know that I'm overdue to visit more African and Asian countries, and, hopefully I'll be able to get out there sometime next year. My schedule is full until mid-2011.

Despite any number of cultural differences, what characteristic do all comedy crowds have in common?


Russell Peters
May 30, 9 p.m., $45.50-$75.50.
The Joint, 693-5222.

Honesty. Everyone responds when you're being honest, but you've also got to have material that they can relate to. I talk about race and culture, and that's what my fans respond to. If you grew up in an environment where race and culture were never an issue for you, or where you don't see the humor in our so-called differences, then you might not respond to what I'm doing.

I'm always amazed at how much people "get" when I'm performing overseas. I've never had to change my act on my international shows; I just make sure that I've taken some time to get to know the people in those countries before I perform. That's been really useful.

Unparalleled U.S. popularity aside, what is there still left to achieve after bringing in the largest comedy crowds of all time?

I still have a lot more to do in the U.S. I'm still off-the-radar despite some of the things I've done. I'm not mad at that; I'm not much of a self-promoter and don't do much press. I also hate talking about myself, which I know makes me different from a lot of guys out there.

I just did a movie with Jake Gyllenhaal called Source Code, and that was a great experience. Ideally I'd like to be working steadily as an actor: movies, a TV series, that sort of thing. I've been through a few different TV development cycles and they didn't work out. When the time and project are right, it'll come together. Like I tell a lot of guys, it's not a race; there's no finish line.


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