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Career Peters began performing in Toronto in 1989. He has since gone on to perform in several countries worldwide.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

In 1992, Peters met comedian George Carlin, one of his biggest influences, who advised him to get on stage whenever and wherever possible. Peters said he "took that advice to heart, and I think that's the reason I am where I am now."<ref>Russell Peters - 10 Comics to Watch RussellPeters.com. Accessed on March 25, 2013.</ref> In 2007, 15 years later, he hosted one of Carlin's last shows before Carlin's death the following year.<ref name="peters">"Call him grateful", The Globe and Mail. Accessed on November 6, 2012.</ref>

Peters attributes his 2004 performance on the Canadian TV comedy show Comedy Now!, which was uploaded onto YouTube and became viral, as the turning point in his career.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> While the initial video upload featured his entire 45-minute performance, YouTube users subsequently uploaded segments of the performance where Peters focused on individual cultural groups. According to Peters, those segments made their way to the "targeted" cultural groups and were well received by them.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The video and its viral nature was referenced by Peters on the DVD performance of his show Outsourced, when he entered and jokingly addressed the audience with "Look at you, you filthy downloaders!"<ref name="Russell Peters: Outsourced Aired on COMEDYP — Ark TV Transcript">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Notable performances

In 2007, Peters was the first comedian to sell out Toronto's Air Canada Centre,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> selling more than 16,000 tickets in two days for the single show. He ended up selling over 30,000 tickets nationally over the two-day sales period. He broke a UK comedy sales record at London's O2 Arena when he sold over 16,000 tickets to his show in 2009.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> His show in Sydney, Australia on 15 May 2010 had an audience of 13,880, making it the largest stand-up comedy show in Australian history.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> Peters' performances on May 5–6, 2012 in Singapore also set attendance records for a single stand-up comedian at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Peters hosted the Canada Day Comedy Festival 2006, and participated in a USO tour of Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, Africa and Greenland in November 2007 with Wilmer Valderrama and Mayra Veronica.<ref name=BagramUSOTour20071121>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> He also currently produces and stars on the radio situation comedy series Monsoon House on CBC Radio One.

Peters was the host of the televised 2008 Juno Awards ceremonies in Calgary on April 6, 2008,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> for which he won a Gemini Award for "Best Performance or Host in a Variety Program or Series".<ref name="gemini"/> The show received the second-highest ratings of any Juno Awards broadcast. Following the show's success, Peters accepted an invitation to host the Juno Awards for a second consecutive year; the 2009 Juno Awards took place in Vancouver on March 29, 2009.

On September 28, 2013, Peters was awarded the 2013 Trailblazer award by the Association of South Asians in Media, Marketing and Entertainment (SAMMA) for his contributions to the world of comedy. He is among the first South Asians to achieve international success in the field.

DVDs and book

Peters' debut comedy album Outsourced is from his performance aired on Comedy Central on August 26, 2006. The DVD version is uncensored. The DVD has been popular, especially in Canada, selling over 100,000 copies. Outsourced remained on the National DVD Chart over one and a half years after its release. Peters released a second DVD/CD combo, Red, White and Brown, in Canada on September 30, 2008, and in the U.S. on January 27, 2009. It was recorded on February 2, 2008, at the WAMU Theatre in Madison Square Garden. Peters and his brother Clayton self-produced and financed Red, White and Brown. In May 2011, Peters released The Green Card Tour: Live from the O2 Arena, a live performance recorded in front of a total audience of 30,000, over two nights at O2 Arena in London, England.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> The show was directed by Dave Higby, who produced Outsourced.

On October 26, 2010, Peters published his autobiography, Call Me Russell, co-written with his brother Clayton and Dannis Koromilas.

Earnings

According to Forbes, Peters earned an estimated $15 million between June 2009 and June 2010, continuing his run as one of the highest-paid comedians, after earning an estimated $5 million the prior year. Forbes ranked him as the third-highest-paid comedian.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref>


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