It’s funny cause it’s true.
Russell Peters is one of those comedians you never forget. But it’s not just for having coined one liners like “Be a man, do the right thing!”, there’s something incredibly convincing about the unabashed way he delivers his punchlines that makes you just want to laugh out loud.
It’s no wonder then that on the very first Asian stop of his all new DEPORTED World Tour, the Singapore Indoor Stadium was nearly sold out last Saturday (24th February).
Opening the show was Jake Johansson to warm up the crowd. A favourite of talk show host David Letterman, Jake’s brand of humour works like a slow burn – taking a while to sink in before leading up to the epic punchline. Jake’s awkward anecdotes revolve around feeling out of place with the world as he grows older, learning to catch up with technology as we know it and the ever-changing relationship with his wife. It’s an entertaining segment for sure, and easily got the audience ready for the main event.
Naturally then, as Russell Peters stepped onto the stage, he was greeted with whoops, cheers and a huge round of applause. In DEPORTED, Peters presented an entire hour and a half of brand new, never before heard material. Russell is spot on with his observational humour, with jokes that remain incredibly grounded and relatable despite his celebrity status and a mouth that’s unafraid to swear because it’s such a natural reaction. It is precisely this frank, down-to-earth personality that makes his punchlines go over so well, mining humour from simple realities and regular, human fears and experiences – funny because they’re true.
In this tour, Russell has levelled up yet again by going beyond his usual topics. One anecdote involves him recalling a conversation with his ‘undeniably gay friend’, and learning about the different grades of gay men, ranging from Gold Star gays who’ve never had sexual contact with women to the fabled Platinum gays (“they’re like unicorns”). As a straight man, Russell is never insulting in recalling this conversation, his horror at the thought that anyone could find sex with a woman revolting completely understandable. Russell also introduces an extended joke about his health and a visit to the doctor’s, leading to an interesting experience with an endoscopy, as he mistakenly assumes it goes up the ass as opposed to down the throat.
But of course, it’s not a Russell Peters show without his signature brand of humour. Russell excels at his audience interactions, making razor sharp observations about people sitting in the front row, and even manages to make one couple’s baby’s name a recurring joke during the course of the show.
Russell’s strongest jokes come in the form of his childhood memories growing up as the son of Indian immigrants in Canada. From Indians not believing in acid reflux resulting from all the spicy food to their insularity and strange relationship between North and South, there is an absurdity to his adolescence (and the great accents) that makes the simplest of lines (“It’s a fact!”) feel so damn hilarious. At one point, Russell even recalls a trip around India he makes in an attempt to find his roots, and cleverly weaves in humour that plays on homonyms and even concepts of reincarnation.
Seeing a Russell Peters show is the rare chance to watch a real master of comedy work a live audience. Peters makes it look so easy with his big personality, his loud voice and his skill at weaving in just about every kind of humour into his ordinary anecdotes turned extraordinary punchlines. There’s a saying that it takes someone truly special to turn a story into something truly amazing – Russell Peters has certainly honed it into an art, and DEPORTED is all the proof you need to know the power of comedy and the sheer amount of hearty laughs you can juice from one man’s life story.
Photo Credit: AEG Presents
Russell Peters’ next show is on 27th February at The Kasablanka, Jakarta (Indonesia). For the full list of upcoming countries Russell Peters will be touring after Singapore, visit his website here