The King of comedy


by ASJAD NAZIR FUNNYMAN RUSSELL PETERS BRINGS HIS DEPORTED WORLD TOUR TO THE UK HE MAY have started out in tiny clubs as the lone Asian telling jokes on stage in 1989, but today Russell Pe­ters is one of the greatest stand-up comedians on the planet.   The amazing success has crossed cultural boundaries and enabled him to connect with perhaps the widest cross-section of audiences of any stand-up comedian working today.   That is why there is great excitement about the Cana­dian funnyman returning to the UK for the Deported World Tour this month, with shows in London, Birming­ham and Leeds.   Eastern Eye caught up with Russell to talk about his remarkable journey in comedy, forthcoming shows, getting older, motivation and more… When you started out, did you ever imagine packing out huge arenas around the world?   I never imagined that in my wildest dreams. I start­ed in 1989 and at that time was the first and only Asian guy doing it. My only goal was to make a liv­ing. By making a living, I mean earning a modest amount of money working weekends and just liv­ing my life.   Today you are a superstar of comedy but you seem to cope with the pressure really well. Or is that just great acting?   I don’t look at it as pressure because they are al­ready there to see you, so all you have to do is make them laugh. The hardest part of comedy is winning the audiences over.   You always bring something new. Where do you get your material from or do you have a joke genie?   (Laughs) No, I just live life. My act over the years has become more autobiographical, and that is what it is! People are coming to hear my take on certain things. My take on marriage, being a father…

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