Russell Peters made $21 million last year, but many people don’t even know who the comedian is, and others didn’t know he was currently on tour.
Speaking of the tour, it’s called “Almost Famous,” which is Peters felt was a fitting title, according to E Online. The man is obviously funny, or Peters wouldn’t be doing a standup tour around the world. If he does look familiar, there’s a good chance you spotted him as one of the judges on Last Comic Standing or in his comedy special Notorious on Netflix.
Despite not being readily recognizable by most people in the United States, he has made the list of highest earning comedians for several years, and that’s no small feat. But now here’s another real shocker. The comedian’s estimated net worth is $40 million.
While Russell Peters’s earned $21 million, his IMDb page shows that he will appear in the upcoming 2015 release TCB Baby. He is rumored to portray the role of Michael in the film alongside veteran actors such as Whoopi Goldberg and singer Meat Loaf. None of the roles in the film have been confirmed.
Russell Peters also landed the coveted role of Santa Claus in this year’s holiday film Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever. The 44-year-old comedian has an impressive number of other writing, directing and acting credits, but it was his 2013 Almost Famous World Tour that reportedly helped him earn $21 million in 2013.
Russell Peters has been linked romantically to bisexual adult film actress Sunny Leone, who later said that dating the comedian in 2008 was a mistake but not for the reasons one might expect. She said Peters is a nice guy who was once a close friend before they decided to trade their friendship for romance. She explained during an event earlier this year, all before he made his $21 million.
“You know, we were friends for such a long time and sometimes if you are friends for so long you think you can end up together. So we dated each other for some time, but I think that was a mistake.”
The comedian was born and raised in Toronto, according to the Examiner. He describes his family as “very working class.” He said that his dad wanted him to get a union job or government job. But he followed his own path.
Before Russell Peters made $21 million, the first comedy show he went to was Eddie Murphy’s “Pieces of Me” when he was 16. Three years later, he launched his own standup career in his hometown. Peters has been living his dream ever since.
“You don’t choose comedy, comedy chooses you,. It was either ignore the calling and be miserable or go with it and be happy. I went with it. I’m happy.”
Netflix streamed his Notorious comedy special along with a four-part documentary about his life on the road. He’s a judge on Last Coming Standing and has appeared in several movies, include New Year’s Eve, Chef, Source Code and most recently, he played Santa in Lifetime’s Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever. But it’s been the sold-out shows where people have found Russell Peters.
The comedian sold-out at Radio City Music Hall, the Sydney Opera House and London’s 20,000-seat 02 Arena. In Dubai, tickets to his Notorious shows became the fastest selling in the history of the Emirate. He says he “never imagined” he’d achieve such success.
“I never got into it for the money. If you’re getting into comedy to make money, you’re in it for the wrong reason.”
In 1992, Russell 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.” 15 years later, he hosted one of George Carlin’s last shows before Carlin’s death the following year.
He 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 towards his $21 million. 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. 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!”
In addition to Eddie Murphy, Russell Peters had a lot of comedy idols that include George Carlin, Steve Martin and Cheech & Chong. His favorite comedy movie is “Midnight Run.” As for television, he’s a big “Friends” fan and is currently hooked on Andy Samberg’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
While Russell Peters made $21 million, his net worth also comes from previous years, notes The Inquisitr. The comedian 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.