Russell Peters Reveals Why He Was Never on Letterman


Video Creator’s Channel Jordan B Peterson

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So Okay So You You Started To Get

popular In the mid-90s You said and when did you make the transition so locally. I was becoming locally in Toronto and so people would know who I was it just and it was strictly mostly in the black community at that time and and then I started getting interest from Indian people because they kind of shut me out at the beginning they didn’t they you know they weren’t I’m the first guy so they’re going to be very there was a lot of trepidation. You know the word I said it wrong but you know what I’m saying they they they were hesitant to accept. I think it’s trepination what you know whatever it is it’s Oh no that’s when you get a hole packed in your goal Trepidation yeah it’s trepidation okay good idea right good um so. They were hesitant so they started like edging towards me like Hmm let’s have him host this Indian culture show and I would do it and then they would get offended because I wasn’t.

I Wasnt Like The Other Indian Kids.

I wasn’t the guy who’s going to be like hello. I didn’t grow up like that so don’t expect me to all of a sudden know what your what what what your customs are in India are not the same as what my family’s customs were in India so India being such a big country with so many different types of people. There’s not one uniform thing so they’re there they started to this. I would either kill or bomb.

There Was No Middle Ground For It And

and then I started touring around. I started going to England a lot and from England is where I started seeing. The world I started going to England in 95 and from England you would get gigs. I’d be like Hey Russell. Do you want to go to northern Ireland this week and I’m like hell Yeah, So I’d go belfast and dairy and this is at the time when the ira were bombing Garbage Cans in London and stuff.

They Were Still Very Much Big With

what they were doing and then you would get gigs and be like hey do you want to go to Belgium. Do you want to go to Denmark and I was like yeah Yeah yeah and I started going all around the world and I started really digging it and that’s when I started opening my eyes to so many different ways and that’s why I think very early in my career, I was exposed to so many different countries, so it wasn’t like. Being in Toronto and meeting different cultures. I was going to these places and seeing it firsthand so late 90s You started to get mass audiences No. I started gaining audience popularity when they would start coming out specifically for me at clubs let’s say around 2004 after my 2003 special had aired and it’s funny because Yuck Yucks where I was working.

They Used To This Is How

scummy this business is and this is no slight against them. I get it you’re running a business but come on Don’t make me feel like I’m getting something when I’m not they rely on the pay scale for a headliner was 100, 150 or 200 a show, so it was a double a or triple A. I was a triple a um so I was getting 200 a show and they had booked me in the Mississauga Yuck Yucks and. They called me into the office and said Russell here’s we’re going to do something for you that we’ve never done before we’re going to give you your 200 a show um but because you’re selling so well. We’re gonna give you an extra dollar per paid customer and I said wow that’s really cool they were like is that cool.

I Go Thats Fantastic Sure Great

and the ticket price was 17 dollars well. I get to the club didn’t They raise the price to twenty dollars one. They got two yeah well then you were rolling in money at that point. I think I pulled out eight grand for the weekend, which at the time was a lot of money. Yeah like nobody’s pulled this much out of yuck yucks when did you start okay two questions one when did you start getting recognized randomly on the street.

And Was That Transition Difficult From Not Being

recognized because I’m sure after you’re special I think I watched your special. I think everybody I knew watched your special, So there must have been a transition from being recognized everywhere from not being recognized well. I see the thing is I was always like out and about and I don’t want to say I was popular but I would go out a lot and I would and I was also Djing at the time back then so I if I wasn’t doing comedy. I was Djing at a club or something so I always knew like the club scene and that’s really the only place you could really become popular and there was no social media back. Then so either you were inside or you were outside.

So I Knew The Bouncers The Owners The

and I didn’t drink at the time. So they never they never had to worry about me coming to their club and getting drunk and starting problems. I was I was a sober guy until I was about 31 and so I always knew how to get into clubs free, so it kind of felt like I was already popular because I’d walk there’d be a line. I’d walk up like Hey Russell come on in who’s with you and um and it was kind of always a cool feeling so people saw that and then would talk. to you in the club Hey man that’s all you’re talking about you know the bouncer, but you know and then and you become friends with all these different people.

So When It Started Happening To

him. It just started happening to me more and more frequently is what happened so it never really came out of nowhere just built and I was honest and I’m one of those guys who loves people so when people come and talk to me. My security guys always get annoyed because I stand and talk to a person. I don’t I don’t go thank you so much keep it moving. I’m like hey what do you do what’s your name.

I Genuinely Want To Know About

the person. If you’re being nice enough to come and say hi to me. The least I could do is be nice enough to have a conversation. Yeah well it’s so it’s such an unbelievable stroke of good fortune to have perfect strangers like you Yeah that’s what I say Oh man it could be a lot worse. Oh Yeah, you know yeah and I’m not the guy you want to come up with an attitude with because I’m like oh we’re going to have a problem here pal and so if you go out now just for a random stroll down the street, how likely are you to be recognized In California.

It Well Well You Got To Tell

us about different places in Los Angeles. There’s celebrities everywhere all the time so that becomes who’s the bigger celebrity in the room at that point and I geek out when I see celebs sometimes like holy bleep that’s blah blah blah Yeah I was in Montreal I was in Montreal just about 86 I guess something. Like that when I just started graduate school so I just come from northern Alberta Alberta and I was walking across Sherbrooke street, just south of McGill University and Pier. Trudeau walked across the crosswalk and we were the only two people on the street and I went holy bleep it’s. Trudeau was he still prime minister, then no no he was he he wasn’t at that point, but I was you know I know the star struck feeling you know and that just erupted out of me in a fit of stupidity and I’ve always been you know mortified as a consequence of it.

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Ive Done.

I’ve said the dumbest things to people. I you know the worst thing is when you get in this business and you have nobody you literally you’re the first guy in your entire family bloodline to have ever and jumped in this business. And then you’re the first Indian kid You you got all these things in your head and you don’t understand how this industry works if you’ve never been around it. So I look at other people and how they navigate like well that’s because that guy’s dad was blah Blah blah.

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They Know How To Move Nice

and spluidly. I stop and look at everything because I’m still stunned by the situations. I’m in and I remember years ago. It’s been 25 years ago in Montreal, just for laughs. Somebody said hey that’s the girl that books David letterman um and she was a very unattractive woman.

Let Me Just Say That A Very

unattractive woman like anyway so they said you should go be nice to her so you know maybe she puts you on letterman and I’m like okay and I’m only 96. I’m only been in the business seven years. I’m you have no business talking to people unless if you’ve been in the business less than 10 years. You have no business doing anything that should involve that as far as I’m concerned so we’re at this midnight party and everyone’s dancing there’s a free buffet and everything and I see her at the buffet and I happen to be at the buffet and I I know who she is but I’m trying to play like I don’t so I I don’t know why I thought this would be funny or clever or witty. It was none of the above I just went.

Wow You Must Be Important She Goes

why do you say that I said because all the pretty girls are out there acting like idiots UK-h so did you get booked on letterman never or did you get Macaroni dump down your shirt? She goes what and I go. I just walked away. I just walked away. What am I gonna. I’m not gonna defend that so yes I’ve stuck my foot in my mouth many times well you’d have to if you’re a comedian yeah.

I Mean Thats I Think Part Of The

process yeah well you’re not going to find out what’s funny until you know a bunch of things that aren’t funny and you flub up a lot. I tell people that you’re not going to appreciate success until you’ve had failure and how do you are you good at coping with failure like I’ve been. Fortunate you know because I haven’t bombed in front of a large audience and that might be because people are willing to give me more credit than I deserve because they’re you know they’re already viewers of mine and so on, but like I don’t I don’t know if I could hack that I’m not resilient in that way, and I I you said that when you were first starting that you bombed in in many places listen with comedy you’re never above bombing it doesn’t matter who you are chappelle can go out and have a bad night. I mean anybody that’s the I think that’s what keeps us interested in our job is that what’s tonight going to be like we don’t people go you’re going to kill it.


Russell started going to England in 95 and from England is where he started seeing.& I’d be like Hey Russell.& Do you want to go to northern Ireland this week and I’m like hell Yeah, So I’d go belfast and dairy and this is at the time when the ira were bombing Garbage Cans in London and stuff . Russell says he would either kill or bomb.& There was no middle ground for it and then I started touring around.& The world is where I started going from England.& From England, from England you would get gigs.& Russell. He would be like . Hey Russell Russell. Do you . want to . go to . Denmark and I would go to Denmark and he would like to go . to Denmark. I’d like to be like to see them. I would like them to go from Denmark and they would like him to see him. He was like to hear him. It was like he’d like him. I…. Click here to read more and watch the full video