“Can you tell that I’m wearing an expensive watch?”
RUSSELL PETERS: RED, WHITE AND BROWND: Jigar Talati (Warner, 2008). Rating: NNNN; DVD package: NNNN
After the disappointing Outsourced, comedy king Russell Peters bounces back with this concert show taped at Madison Square Garden that basically delivers the same material he did at his record-breaking ACC appearances in June 2007.
Riffing on the diversity in his crowd, Peters lays into pretty much every ethnic minority and stereotype around. He argues which three races are the cheapest and delivers a ballsy argument about genital size and world population. You'll be laughing too hard to be insulted, and despite his onstage swagger, Peters remains an ultra-likeable comic throughout.
He's also a great lateral thinker, as he shows in his dead-on comparison of the U.S. invasion of Iraq to a street brawl. The Brampton-born comic's visit to India brings home the difference between race and culture, and he illustrates this with physical bits, like wiping his ass with a cup. Listeners to the bonus CD, sadly, won't have these images to complete the jokes.
Unusual for live comedy tapings, this was all shot in one night and not over two to combine the best versions. Director Jigar Talati uses six cameras, so there are plenty of reaction shots - including people singled out for washroom breaks or crying because they're laughing so hard.
The commentary track by Peters, brother/manager Clayton Peters and director Talati is loose and jokey. It's 25 minutes before they explain why they taped the show in NYC. In some ways, the commentary plays out like an episode of Entourage, showing a group of guys enjoying the ride.
It's fascinating to hear about their unhappy experience with Outsourced (this new disc is fully produced by Peters et al.), Peters's weight issues and his obsession with high-end labels. The extras include bootleg material from a show the night before. Some of this material, especially the relationship jokes, is first-rate, but you can see at times that Peters isn't fully present. A sneak peek at a feature-length doc Talati's working on offers a glimpse of Peters the man, with some moving material about his late father, the inspiration for much of his act.
EXTRAS Commentary by Russell and Clayton Peters and director Talati, deleted scenes, bootleg footage with commentary, sneak peek at Peters doc-in-progress by Talati, bonus CD.