The triumphant return of Russell Peters

The UAE’s favourite comedian is back for one night on Yas Island


He’s probably the world’s most recognisable comedian – and we know for a fact that Russell Peters is the UAE’s favourite funnyman. Or perhaps performer full stop: On his last visit to the emirates, Peters broke regional box office records, selling out two shows at Dubai World Trade Centre in less than three hours combined.

Thankfully, he’s back to quell that thirst with a show on Yas Island. The Canadian comic shot to stardom through the power of YouTube, renowned for his uncompromising digs on cultures, behaviours and stereotypes. We know he’ll bring the house down (again), but 43-year-old Peters refuses to blow his own trumpet.

‘I can’t say I sit there “I’m going to put on an amazing show”,’ he tells us ahead of Abu Dhabi gig. ‘I just go “I’m going to do a show and hopefully they like it.” How ‘bout that for humble? Didn’t see that coming.'

One thing Peters is keen to tell us is that, even though it’s the same Notorious World Tour he brought to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi last year, there’s plenty of fresh material to entertain hardened fans.

‘Last year in March 2012, the Notorious tour started in the Middle East. And the act was not really – as far as I’m concerned – not really ready yet,’ says Peters.

‘And subsequently, cut to almost two years later, and the act is more than ripe and I’m bringing it back. And yeah there will be stuff you may remember from March 2012, but it’s very much more polished and refined, and it’s a better act now. It is slick. So basically you saw a car with primer on it and now it’s been painted, buffed and driven.’

Ahead of the gig at Yas Island’s du Arena, on Wednesday October 23, we thumbed up on some Peters trivia.

- In past interviews, Russell has brought up his undiagnosed case of ADHD which caused him to be sent to ‘special school’ when young.

- Known for his jokes surrounding his Indian father, Russell’s father died of cancer in 2004, and it’s been said that Russell has since stopped quoting his father in comedy material.

- Peters perceives Bollywood music and film as ‘awful’.

- Peters was ranked by Forbes as one of the top ten highest grossing comedians in 2009 and 2010.

- He sold 2,000 tickets in eight minutes for his second Dubai show last year.

- Peters has collected more than 80 million hits on YouTube (approximately eight times the population of the UAE).

Read our 2012 cover story interview with Russell Peters

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