Russell Peters - Sept 18th - 2007

Russell PetersTuesday, 18th September
So I was checking my inbox the other day and I got this e-mail.

“Tarun, do you hang out with Russell Peters? Are you guys doing a show together soon?”

Well, there is no show, but I’ve gotten a few e-mails like this so I thought the following story was relevant:

When I was doing comedy in NY, I randomly came across this comic named Russell Peters. I knew he was some guy in Canada, but that’s about it. So I was pretty surprised a few years later when his video was being forwarded to me on the internet. My mom called me up ‘have you seen this guy Russell Peters?’ Now, I’m pretty set in my own ways. I learned early on that show business is a race against yourself. If you think otherwise then you’re an idiot and you should quit now.

Still, I was annoyed that people kept mentioning this guy to me because we’re both Indian. “Russell Peters, Russell Peters” Even my boss at work asked ‘Tarun, you do stand-up comedy, can you get me an interview with Russell Peters?” ENOUGH!

I also used to take boxing classes with my friend Adam. There was a big fight on HBO and Adam calls me up. ‘Hey man, I met a comic at the Laugh Factory and he invited me to watch the fight at this house. I mentioned you and he said to bring anybody I want, wanna go?"

"Yeah, what's his name?"

"Russell Peters.”

SOOOOO…. a few days later I’m in Hollywood at the edge of Russell’s driveway. I was just standing there looking at his house thinking, ‘this is not a good idea.’ I say this because although my two very best friends are stand-up comics, I find a lot of comedians irritating, especially those that are always ‘on’ which sometimes seems like everybody. I've also been doing comedy for 10 years and my closest friends have been in the trenches with me. I didn't want to meet anybody new.

I turned around to go home when the 12 pack of Coronas slipped through the grocery bag I was carrying and crashed to the cement.


I turn around and there was Russell pulling up in his car with a big smile on his face. I rolled my eyes and started picking up the glass.

Without going into too much detail, Russell gave me a tour of his house, showed me his DJ equipment and even made me a hamburger. I learned that the guy has been doing comedy some 17 + years. He has paid so many showbiz dues that somebody owes him money. He didn’t even know me but went more than out of his way to accommodate a total stranger.

An hour later we were on his living room couch and he’s like ‘mind if I call a few friends?” Twenty minutes later I’m watching the fight and am sitting between Adam Corolla and David Allan Grier. (I know i don't have to mention this, but to me, it's the coolest part of the story. Adam told me that he used to be a carpenter and a boxing trainer!)

It just goes to show, you can’t base anybody off what they seem like on TV or any pre-judged notions. I’ve only seen Russell a few times after that, and he's always extremely nice. (except for the time I tried to take him down upstairs at the Laugh Factory and he put me in a jiu-jitsu hold) other than that – he’s cool.

If you haven’t heard of him, I recommend you check out his webpage at or buy his comedy DVD ‘Outsourced’ which is probably available on his webpage. And if you still don't like him, go over to his house. He makes a great hamburger.

Thanks Russell!

Tarun ShettyComment