I don't know, that theater looks pretty big. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say 15,000, at least. Either way, 15 or 140, that's really packing them in, don't you think?
To be honest, I had never heard of Russell Peters before watching this "exclusive to Netflix" special. Seriously, never. Apparently, though, he is one of the most bankable standup stars of the current generation, having made an estimated 15 million dollars a year recently. If I could make that kind of money doing an hour long set a night while traveling the world, I wouldn't be sitting here typing out a Netflix blog, let me tell you.
Wow, am I jealous?
And it's not that I don't think he doesn't earn his money. His set is pretty sweet, even if I was never ROFLing. He did manage to get a few good laughs from me at various points, but nothing really wowed me like Eddie Izzard did in Dress to Kill.
A combination of low-key racial humor and life observations, Peters' set covers the world and lightly touches on the class divide, immigration, and the never-ending problems in the Middle East. To be honest, I've never seen a comic do a whole bit on getting a handjob from a Thai masseuse... with his MOTHER in the stands, no less... and still manage to keep the audience from turning. He's just that personable.
It is safe to say that a lot of his set keys on racial stereotypes, but they never really seem to offend. He just rolls into them and lets the audience do the catching up, but never quite calls them on it save for one or two moments. I think it helps that he's as self-deprecating to himself to the same level or worse than the situation he is describing. There's a bit in the set where he's trying to find a particular color of paint at a Big Box home improvement store and is stymied by the language barrier, but it's more his fault that the Hispanic immigrant's so the jokes are less aimed outward than inward... and it works.
It doesn't work spectacularly... but it manages to pull off without leaving any bitterness. There's innocence and the every day in these bits and the do manage to please. They just don't astound.
I can say that I really liked his audience interactions, he showed off a couple of improv'd one-liners that definitely helped win over the audience (and me).
Still, as comedy specials go, Peters had me right up until the credits rolled and the camera started following him back stage. I thought that meant he was doing an encore, but no such luck. It was a solid set, I was just disappointed the after-footage went nowhere.
Until tomorrow, Potatoes~