Why Russell Peters is almost 'Famous' Print
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altSusanna Myrtle Lazarus/Feb 17, 2015 /“People recognise me; some people recognise my face, some people know my name but don’t know what I look like, and some people just don’t know who I am. So it’s not almost successful, because I’m definitely successful. So I’m just almost famous,” is how comedian Russell Peters describes himself.The funnyman is in India on his Almost Famous world tour as part of Only Much Louder’s Stage42 festival. Perhaps best known for his dad’s line, “Somebody gonna get a hurt real bad,” his material always focusses on his life and what he is going through.

“It’s about me and being 44 years old and struggling with technology and with being a father and divorcee. It’s an interesting place to be in my life. And it’s funny. I think that’s important. Audiences really seem to like it,” he says. “I know how my show begins and how it ends. I know what the middle is but it is always open to suggestion. If anything is good enough to get revisited, it will make it into the script. But the crowd interaction is always different. You never really know what you’re going to get from the audiences,” says Russell about being on stage. He doesn’t generally get hecklers at his shows so much as overzealous fans who just want to yell out old punchlines from shows he’s not doing any more. “They’re excited to see me and they want me to know that they know my older stuff; I get it. It’s not really a bad thing,” he says. As an Indo-Canadian, Russell often used to visit the country as a child, but it was always Calcutta and Bombay. “My grandfather is from Madras, but we never went to the South. It’s like a completely different country down here! But I enjoyed performing in Madras last year, the crowd was great.”
He’s a great fan of insult comedy, and he explains why: “What people don’t understand is that when someone is standing on stage and insulting you to your face, as crazy as it sounds, it really means the person cares about you. It’s a way of showing that I like you. And because I like you, I’m going to say all these nasty things about you. That’s the way of showing there’s no malice towards the other person.” While it’s yet to be seen if the explanation goes down well in India, Russell says, “Here’s the thing that puzzles me about India: I love India for all its hypocrisy and all its greatness and all it has to offer. People will voice their outrage regarding what I say about whatever, but they won’t do the same when women are getting raped and murdered in the villages. Why are you so concerned about the words coming out of my mouth and not about what people are physically doing to other human beings? There’s a guy starving when you’re eating at a restaurant; don’t get mad at me for pointing it out, go give that guy some food, do something about it,” says Russell. “I’m not a great fan of social media,” he says, adding that he’s a doer not a sayer. “I look at the profiles of people who say dumb things to me on the Internet and they say things like ‘Twitter addict.’ What’s there to be addicted to? Go talk to a human, idiot.” The next leg of the tour will take him to Sri Lanka and later to Australia. “I will be in Los Angeles for a couple of weeks. My daughter gets mad at me for being away so much. She gives me attitude, and when I spend time with her, she doesn’t want to talk to me. She’s almost like a real girl.” Courtesy: Hindu

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