West indian culture

Dubai: Comedian Russell Peters talks about cancel culture, comedy and more – News

Attend his ‘Act Your Age World Tour’ in the city

Published: Tue, March 8, 2022, 2:50 PM

Last update: Tue, March 8, 2022, 2:54 PM

He has a way of working with crowds that is fun, laughing, fearful and hectic all at the same time. Russell Peters has achieved worldwide fame by making fun of people and accentuating all stereotypes, whether gender, ethnicity or culture. In a world where political activism is rampant and cancel culture is on the rise, no one dares accuse the Indian-Canadian comedian of being politically correct. It’s a label he’s proud to wear. Born in Toronto, Canada to immigrant Indian parents, Peters’ signature set primarily revolves around mining stereotypes, many of which are drawn from his own ethnic and racial background. But at the heart of everything he says is his mission to make people laugh, so what if it comes at the cost of their ego!


When we catch up with him on Zoom ahead of his Act Your Age Dubai show on March 8, we’re determined to learn more about an artist who makes us consciously laugh at our own shortcomings, shedding light on the very DNA that makes us this. that we are. But when we confess our apprehension about going to his show for fear of being harassed in front of a live audience (we prefer to watch it from the safety of our home, thank you) for a moment there’s a look of disbelief on his face .

From cancel culture to aging and the current state of the world, his new tour sees the ace comedian handle it all with trademark panache. Excerpts from our interview with the man who encourages us to withdraw into ourselves and makes us realize that despite the apparent differences, we are all the same in the end.

Congratulations for your marriage! You are one of the rare artists who got down to work between two world tours!

Between pandemic and world tour, I lost and found love, I made love! It was a lot of love everywhere!

So, will there be a lot of marriage jokes this time around?

Not really. I don’t think that’s the angle I’m leaning towards; I’m just gonna have to deal with being an old man now.

Your world tour is called act your age. How is that appropriate in the context of your own life right now? You are 51 years old, you just got married, you have children…

Because I’m still very immature! I’m at an age where I’m not even middle-aged anymore. I am past middle age; I’m closer to dementia than anything else!

When I say play your age, for me, I’ll be 52 this year, so I have to act at least like I’m 40. Because I’m definitely not going to play my age.

If you could freeze time, how old would you choose to be?

This is going to sound awful, but I would go back to 39 and make different decisions.

How is it to return to the Coca-Cola Arena, where you were the first band to perform when it opened in 2019?

I’m excited to be back because the cool thing is I opened the Arena, then less than a year later everything was closed, and now it’s all starting to kick off. I feel like part of the crew opening it up again! So I opened it, now I’ll open it again! I may not be the first to get involved now, but I’m definitely at the start.

Today, you are likely to find more Indians among a New York audience and vice versa. So how do you manage to bring out a new number for each audience?

It’s kind of like that – if you go to a steak restaurant, you’re not going to take a vegan with you. So people who come to me get exactly what they want. I’m their steakhouse so to speak – maybe a steakhouse isn’t the right answer for Indians, but you get the idea!

You mentioned that you never touched on politics or religion during your act. Is it like an established rule for you?

For the most part, yes. There are people who devote their whole career to politics; comics that are in tune with the political world and in all honesty, you just have to turn on the TV and see about 10-15 different channels talking about the same political events. Free. Why would you want to come hear a guy who doesn’t know anything about it talk about it?

And religion is such a personal thing to people that it’s not fair for me to say anything one way or the other.

So I think with the two things – one I don’t know anything about and the other is too risky as far as I’m concerned because you can be misunderstood in this area – (better) avoid them both .

It takes a lot of courage to be a comedian today because the cancel culture is huge…

Is it good ??? Have you ever met someone who loves cancel culture? I have never met one physically. These are all online; bots as far as I’m concerned. People bow down to that weird 0.5%. I’ve never met one physically… Do you have a face for anyone on that? I don’t have anyone’s face on it.

I don’t believe it’s like a real thing. It’s one of those things where you empower people who never had power.

With the pandemic and a world in conflict, do you think people need to laugh more now?

Whether it’s me or anyone else, the world definitely needs to laugh a lot more. We must forget our problems and we must remember that we were once much happier.

After all these years of performance, do you still have stage fright when you go on stage?

Not so much stage fright, but when you’re at the Coca-Cola Arena and you know 10-15,000 people came to see you – I’ve been to Dubai so many times and they constantly show up and give me great energy – the feeling I get backstage is; I really don’t want to disappoint these people. Let me make sure I remember everything.

Have you ever felt that enormous pressure to be the funniest person in the room?

I don’t know what other people expect, but I know who I am and I know my personality. Sometimes people go; ‘you don’t need to be funny right now’, and I’m not trying to be, that’s literally my nature. I love seeing people laugh, I love meeting people, I love finding out what makes different people smile. I love connecting with people, so for me it’s not a pressure when I walk into a room. For me, it’s like, aah, I wonder what’s going to happen here.

Has anyone you cast on your show ever approached you afterwards?

No (laughs). When you’re in the room when I’m doing it, you understand the tone of what’s going on. Of course, sometimes – I’ll give you this – I can step over the line. Even then I will call myself and say; “It was useless.” But no, I’m not doing this to hurt anyone’s feelings. I just do it more to make you feel uncomfortable because when people are uncomfortable it’s really funny.

Did you know?

*Peters has a three-stripe blue belt in Jiu Jitsu.

*He’s an avid DJ and hip-hop addict who enjoys spending a few minutes on the decks every day.

*He has a TV series The Indian detective released on Netflix. And was also seen in a feature film, Clifford the big red dog.

*His podcast Culturally Canceled with Russell Peters is a mix of hilarious comedy and candid conversation as he chats with celebrity guests.

*It is one of Rolling Stone’s ’50 Best Stand-Up Comics of All Time’.

Find Russell Peters on March 8 at the Coca-Cola Arena

Source link