Russell Peters

Growing up in Toronto, Russell Peters recalls, white kids would call Child Protection Services rather than clean their rooms when so ordered. But filial respect is different for the second generation of an Indian immigrant family. You got a smack if you talked back. But Peters treats this as normal—like his father attempting to become Canadian by throwing a neighborhood barbecue. With rice on the grill. (Doesn’t work out, as you’d imagine.) Today one of Canada’s biggest and most travelled comics, Peters scores well in cities with Indian populations—which is to say, every city on his Green Card Tour, from Cape Town to Hong Kong, New York to Seattle (where we have a sizable South Asian community). But he’s no partisan about Indian culture. Like Bollywood, for instance: “If you’ve never seen an Indian movie in your life,” he says, “I’m here to save you 12 hours.” Nor is he sympathetic to those who argue immigrants are taking good Canadian (or American) jobs. In a polite rebuttal, he asks, “I’m sorry, sir, did you want to open a dollar store?” BRIAN MILLER

Fri., June 11, 8 p.m.; Sat., June 12, 8 p.m., 2010

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