No matter who you are or where you’re from, you won’t be spared the wisecracking mischief of Russell Peters. After all, jokes on racial, class and cultural stereotypes are what the Indian- Canadian comedian does best, delivering side-splitting gags on accents, ethnic differences and his childhood experiences.
Ahead of his return to Singapore this month with new material, Benita Lee spotlights four of his all-time classic witticisms.
On mixing ethnicities
‘Hook up a Jamaican with an Italian. They can have little “pasta-farians”. I’m Indian, I can hook up with a Jewish girl; we could have little “hin-jews”. Get a woman from the Philippines, a guy from Holland, you get little “holla-pinos”. Guy from Cuba, woman from Iceland – little “ice cubes”. A French and a Greek: “freak”.’
On the home country of Indians
‘I’ve been doing a lot of travelling. I just came back from South Africa – I was in the motherland! Not my motherland, obviously. Black people’s motherland. I’m Indian. We have our own motherland: England.’
On Indians in South Africa
‘Indian people have been in South Africa for six, seven generations now. Here’s the messed up part: Indian people were taken to South Africa as slaves. Who the hell uses an Indian slave?! Do I look physically ready to do hard labour? My people don’t work that hard! Give us a calculator, we’ll do your taxes!’
On parental punishment
‘“Somebody gonna get hurt real bad” – that was my dad’s threat, right before he beat me. Every single time. I hated that threat, ’cause he’d always say “somebody”. He’d never tell you it was you! I mean, you knew it was you, but he’d give you this hope! “Somebody. I’m not gonna say who. Oh, I think you might know him very well!”’
Russell Peters is at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre on Apr 6-8.