4 Reasons to Never Miss a Russell Peters Show in Abu Dhabi
If you were raised in an Asian household, especially an Indian household — particularly a migrant Indian household — it's a safe bet you've heard of Russell Peters. You've probably already seen him live.
Russell Peters, one of the world's most successful comedians (he's won the Gemini Award, the Peabody Award and the International Emmy Award), is a favourite in the UAE. In September 2021, he just had another sold-out show at Etihad Arena, Yas Island Abu Dhabi.
This was his first performance since his Abu Dhabi show in 2013 and his first live, in-person show since COVID-19. It was a full house, and it did not disappoint. That’s a good thing, because his tickets sold out at least two months before the event date. That's the power of the Russell Peters name.
Speaking of his name, let's talk about some of the reasons you should never miss a Russell Peters show.
1.What's in a Name?
The first thing that must have struck you was his name: Russell Peters. It's such a startling contrast to his obviously Indian ethnicity.
He's already gotten a lot of mileage from this. One of his popular routines talks about him visiting India. Indian people would ask him his ‘good name,’ and he'd act out their incredulous reactions when he told them it was Russell Peters.
He also often plays the role of the person on the other end, the one who couldn't believe the name he was hearing. He constantly interacts with the audience in his shows, and when an audience member says a name that doesn't fit his profile — e.g., a Russian with a name like ‘Anand’ or a Chinese called ‘Wayne’ — his eyebrows would shoot up. He would look at the person crosswise and mimic the reaction people have when they hear his name for the first time.
His audience members' names are such fodder for Russell Peters’ rich imagination. He can make a joke out of them when they don't seem to fit and more so when they do. For instance, he asked a Chinese person his name, heard it's ‘Kat Sang Bong,’ and immediately followed it up with, ‘I'll do the jokes now.’
2.What Colour Are You?
Russell Peters is known for his ethnic comedy. It was probably a natural path for him since he's an Indian (ethnicity) Canadian (citizenship) born and raised in Canada by Anglo-Indian immigrant parents.
This is one of the things that makes his material so remarkably provocative. He is a master at treading sensitive cultural topics, stepping on many toes but always narrowly missing the line he shouldn't cross.
It must be the self-deprecating air he always has on; he'll make fun of Indians, but you know for sure he's laughing at himself, too. And since he doesn't spare himself, he gets a special licence to laugh at other ethnicities, too. He particularly likes poking fun at Indians, Asians, Arabs, and Africans, particularly what he so fondly calls the blacks and the browns.
Of course, he doesn't let an opportunity to roast the whites go by. In his Green Card Tour, he asked where the whites were and said he missed them, which was ironic because he was in England, ‘the factory that made’ white folks. It was a commentary on the ethnically diverse crowd present as well as the racial intermixing trend, calling whites collector's items on limited release.
As mentioned earlier, audience participation is a big part of what makes Russell Peters' shows eminently entertaining.
In one show, he asked a man from Senegal if there were Indians where he came from. The man responded, ‘They have started coming in.’ You can imagine how a clever comic like Russell Peters ran with that.
His wit is such that he can turn almost anything into a joke. In Almost Famous, he asked the doctors in the crowd to identify themselves. He got three: a gynaecologist, an orthopaedic and a general surgeon.
Making an ethnic joke, as usual, he observed that nowhere else could you get that many doctors in one place. There was a huge Indian crowd, and the stereotype is that becoming a doctor is an Indian's (especially Indian parents') dream career path.
4.Never Gets Old
In Russell Peters' long career, he has made a lot of jokes, and many of them will never get old. The following are a few of his memorable lines.
‘Somebody gonna get hurt real bad. That was my dad's threat, right before he beat me. He'd never tell you it was you. I mean, you knew it was you, but he'd give you this hope.’
‘I will be looking at an Armani shirt or a high end designer and flip the tag and I see “Made in India”. I'm stuck with a real dilemma. I'm like “Do I buy this shirt, or do I call my uncle. I wonder if he knows where this factory is.”’
‘Apparently in China I’m Shaquille O’Neal. I go to the mall. I walk into the store. I’m like, “Hey, you got a 10.5/11 in those shoes?” “Ah no! How about an 8?” “How about I can’t negotiate my foot size with you?”’
See Russell Peters Live in Abu Dhabi
Russell Peters is an outstanding stand-up comic, no doubt about it. If you want to laugh at stereotypes and be with people who can take a joke about their culture, you'll fit right in with a Russell Peters crowd.
Russell Peters regularly headlines in Yas Island. Stay tuned for his and other events in Abu Dhabi by visiting the Yas Island website and following Yas Island on social media.
Getting To Yas island
Yas Express is our complimentary shuttle bus service that can get you to any of the major island attractions. For more information, timetable and map, download the pocket guide or call +971 (0) 600 511115.
- To Yas Island:
- Boarding spots are available at the Deira City Center entrance (beside Aloft Hotel) and Ibn Battuta Mall, Parking 7 stop (right in front of the China Court section).
- Within Yas Island:
- The shuttle service bus can take guests to any of the major island attractions.
- Air travel to Yas Island
- If you're coming from outside the UAE, aim to land in Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), as it is located just 10 minutes away from Yas Island.
- Rental car to Yas Island
- From Abu Dhabi International Airport, you can rent a car. All car rental offices operate 24/7
- Connect to the Wi-Fi at Abu Dhabi International Airport and book an Uber or Careem via their apps.
- Taxis to Yas Island
- You can take a taxi to Yas Island from Abu Dhabi International Airport (10 minutes), Abu Dhabi (25 minutes), and Dubai (45 minutes). To get a taxi, you can flag them down at the roadside, call the TransAD hotline 600 535353 to book, or use the Abu Dhabi Taxi app available for both iOS and Android platforms. Taxis are plentiful and fares are reasonable.
- From Abu Dhabi:
- Board the 102 Bus Route to Yas Island at the Abu Dhabi Bus Station next to Al Wahda Mall.
- From Dubai:
- Travel to the Dubai Al Ghubaiba Bus Station to ride to the Abu Dhabi Bus Station, then board the 102 Bus Route to Yas Island.