Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Russell Peters Live

5th November 2008, Wednesday

I first got into contact with the comedy brilliance of Russell Peters about 4 years back when some casual surfing on the net led me to an hour long clip of Russell doing his comedy act at somewhere in North America.
Being an Canadian-born Indian, he gave an insight on how tough it can be growing up in Montreal with the deep North American influence with a rather traditional Indian family especially a father who is not afraid to use his belt to whack young Russell senseless when he overstepped the line.
Somehow when you are not a native Indian speaker, whenever you listen to the accented English, you just can't help giggling and Russell did it to perfection...and Chinese/Cantonese/Hong Kong style English as well...

Over the years my buddy, TW had developed an ecletic taste for stand-up comedy as well, especially during his British Colombia days in Canada... and he of course had been a big Russell fan...
So when he was posted for attachment at Osaka in 2006, we were saddened by we had missed the chance to catch Russell live in Singapore...well I only got news of it after it was over.
Therefore you can expect the excitement when it was announced on the papers a few months back that he would come back to our tiny tropical island for a 2 night only performance (which later he added one more on Sunday due to undying rabid response).
I got hold of the date for online booking of seats and managed to be one of the first few to log on that morning and got us some good seats (great view of the stage and of course Russell yet not visible enough for us to become a comedy topic for the night)... Foo was roped in for the show which I think he glady enjoyed as well.

The venue was Rock Auditorium in Suntec City which I had always thought was an arcade or game center with those cheap synthetic rock cliff at the entrance... only to realize that it is in fact a well-known venue for church sermon (was quite afraid that some evangelists might jump on the chance for their recruitment..fortunately not)
The final show on Tuesday saw a massive crowd as expected and the mass clsuterfuck the teeny weeny entrance which form a bottleneck immediately with the people behind eager to proceed thus some jostling which didn't went down well with the claustrophic yours truly.
Midas Production, the event management team for the show should had done better with crowd management.

When the entire crowd got seated properly, the show was kick off with Russell's gargantuan Greek-Canadian friend, Angelos Tsarouchas.
This man-giant went on ballistic about the reaction he got from Asian countries like India and Singapore..even in England.
His specialty was fat jokes which projected on himself..The most memorable line would be about he went on those commercial 2 weeks diet plan...he mentioned it led him to lose...14 days!
He made quite a few references about his Greek ancestary and some parents joke which were quite Russell's area...
But Angelos is pretty good at his own rights and truly tickle our funny bone enough for the main guy...Russell

Yes live in front of our eyes..the comedy extraordinaire from Montreal.
His main genre was observational comedy and of course improv which led to some of the audience up front became the bane of his comedy act.
First up was this American guy J.R. who had stayed in so many Asian countries throughout his life that he is as Russell mentioned a Asian buffet.
Speaking about American, they were the focus of ridicule because of their shallow yet bigot nature who think they are above us all...and of course with the presidential election today (as of 12 noon Singapore time, Mr Barack Hussein Obama has become the 44th President of United States of America, and the inaugural African American one...), it's hard for him to ignore stiff-arm-McCain and the intellectual prominence of a certain ex Alaskan beauty queen, Sarah Palin...Love the ribbing of the Americans which they themselves love it...
There was a particular Chinese-Indian on the front row which Russell addressed as Buddha because he does look abit of a laughing buddha...He became some sort of ridicule throughout the night but it is highly suspicious that he might be a mole planted by the organizer as well as Harvey the loud shirt Bordeaux wine merchant, to spice up the show.

Russell's popularity was well recieved worldwide and being much traveled, he was able to draw material from the people of various nationalities and races he had came across and his impersonation of the accents, slangs and behaviors is so impeccable, it's hard not to be floored by it.
However something I didn't quite expected was his tirade of vulgarities or sexual annuedos and referances which at this time and age is widely acceptable even by our country's standard (maybe except Malaysia who barred him from performing there).
Well it was by no mean truly offensive, still it was quite a shock for me who had only seen his internet clips which was rather family orientated.
However one of the funniest bit was a joke about his black friends in his youth had hustled him to introduce Indian girls to them which he rejected without a 2nd thought.
While being labeled a racist, he duly rebuked that allegation, citing a fact that sending his kinsman to his naturally better endowed black friends would be like lending your perfect fit sweater to an obese friend...ok you go figure...

While the synopsis of the show stated he would talk about his adventure in India where he found it hard to understand his native kinsman, it took him to the nearly end which was running overtime by 10 plus then to address this topic.
He did end on the high with a really funny joke about dancing being banned in Bangalore yet public urination is common... he then simulate a situation when the latter resulted in the former resulting in an unfortunate arrest...really hilarious...

Well we see encore for concerts but didn't realize it was common for live stand up comedy as well; so after being cheered by the crowd on this final night of performance here in Singapore, Russell obliged for another great 10 minutes which he spoke about his childhood and yes his old man which was a fan favorite over here.
He advised on some of the parents on show to spank their kids when there's a need to thus lay the foundation about his Caucasian childhood friend Ryan who gave him those poor advice that led him to bigger trouble....

By the end of the 2 hours, my facial muscles sore and body temperature was immense which was why the auditorium was friggin cold to begin with...excessive laughing can lead to heat generation my friend...
The whole crowd was going at the jokes and for once I found the arena for me to burst into my uncontrollable fit of laughters and no fellwo audience cautioned me about being overboard...
However there were a few who seemed muted by the relentless chain of jokes...one was straight-face Tony in front, another kept being pointed out by Russell...
The other is TW...

My buddy loves a good laugh but somehow he knew he wasn't going to get amused with the foulest mood I had seen...
Still in the midst of his in-camp training which was taking a toll, he seemed to have a tiff with his lass before arriving...which thoroughly spoiled his mood to a point he nearly want to forgo his tickets.
While she eventually got immersed into the jokes and was spotted laughing uncontrollably like normal people would, he remained muted, at times yawning and figeting as if hoping the show would end soon...He was really serious about not able to enjoy the show
I wonder if it's been obstinate or resolute...if it's me, even with my foulest mood, if you put me in front of a comedy, I would still laugh like nobody's business...then resume to feel cranky afterwards...

It was a great experience for someone who enjoys laughing as myself and surely will be in line together with the entire expatriate community here for the next time Russell hits town...
It might be too much to ask for but perhaps some talented but truly risque black comedians like Chris Rock, Dave Chapelle and even Wayne Brady should dropbyb oour comedy-yearning island soon as well!

Japanese word of the day: ユーモア (humor) Think some people have in born sense of humor some doesn't

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