Russell Peters in Lebanon – Show Review: Lame

Russell Peters’ show yesterday could be divided as follows:

40% of the time, he was picking on a man named Bassel.

20% of the time, he was picking on a 16 year old Saudi teenager called Khaled.

20% of the time, he was rehashing old jokes made at previous shows.

20% of the time, he was offering the audience new things.

The end conclusion is 100% of lameness.

I have watched most of his previous DVDs. So the idea I had pre-conceived about Russell Peters was that he was a good enough comedian to have a great show, albeit with a few slow moments stranded here and there. I wasn’t complaining. You can’t have it all over the top.

But what I had to go through on Saturday night at Platea Hall was definitely not something I had expected. Not in the least.

To begin with, the sound quality of the hall was horrible. Being on a limited monetary income, we couldn’t splurge to get the high-end tickets of the “lucky” front-rowers. So us, the poor commoners in the back, had to sharpen our hearing senses to be able to hear Russell Peters who seemed determined not to get the mic close to his mouth. Some had even tried to shout at him that “we couldn’t hear” but he was busy going at it with Bassel, a 38 year old man who happened to have huge eyebrows. Or caterpillars as Russell called them.

At the times when he wasn’t making fun of Bassel’s eyebrows, he was alluding to the masturbatory habits of 16 year old Khaled from Saudi Arabia. It might have been funny at first but when he interrupts a joke more than once to allude to it, it gets redundant and silly.

After feeling Khaled and Bassel became worn-out issues with the crowd, he moved on to a rehash of his previous jokes, the most famous of which is his father’s Indian heritage and accent. Car blinkers, child punishments – all retold with an Indian approach. Been there, done that.

The newer jokes, however, were not all that bad and some, especially those culturally relevant to Lebanon, were quite good. My favorite was an observation about how rampant plastic surgery has become in Lebanese society. Even the government is giving loans for people to do plastic surgery. We can’t accept ugly people here, he joked. Then a fashionably late Lebanese woman walks in. Peters looks at her and complements her breasts – or governmental breasts.

This leads me to another observation of the night. Lebanese people have redefined the concept of fashionably late and Russell Peters pointed it out. The show was supposed to start at 9:00 pm. It started at 9:30 with an opening act. Russell Peters was on stage at 9:45 and some people were still being ushered to their seats at around 10:00 pm. How hard could it be to get there on time, I have no idea.

When the opening act was better than the main show, you know something was messed up. I felt Russell Peters was unenthusiastic, disinterested, going through the motions to simply get things done and be out of there. He wasn’t really performing like he usually does. He was reciting.

I may be either too serious a person or Lebanese people are way too easily entertained because some were going gaga over the show as it ended. I’d like to think it’s the latter because I can appreciate a good comedy show when I see one. This was not one.

6/10

22 thoughts on “Russell Peters in Lebanon – Show Review: Lame

  1. I actually loved the show, yes he recited some old jokes yet he was able to crack us up! And yes it was very disrespectful when lots of people came late to the show, this is why i guess he had all the right to get pissed off! we shouldn’t blame him for reciting the jokes… plus the best part of his performance is when he interacts with the audience, no matter how humiliating it gets. To sum it up the disrespect came from people who came late, and from this guy who was taking off and gave Rusell “the finger” indirectly with the gesture he did and it appeared on the screen, He was the guest so the least people should do is be respectful to him. So you still wanna talk about his lame performance?

    Reply
    • Ya maybe if Platea was actualy a respectful venue in a proper location then people would not have been Late.

      The parking was a disaster, it was a mess and there was no where to park, the location is like in the middle of no where and there was no organization at all.

      And Russel was LAME- he was in a crapy mood, and lame. Proly because people where late, it’s not the peoples fault- its our incompitence in this country, to host and organize a simple event properly.

      Reply
      • The venue looked nice from outside. Going inside, I was disappointed. The parking didn’t even have asphalt but we still managed. I don’t know why it wasn’t held somewhere else.
        But people coming late cannot be excused. When thousands came in early and were seated, those arriving almost an hour late cannot be explained.

        Reply
    • Most of the jokes were lame. The Jordan/UAE/Indian jokes have all been done. So that’s half of the show.
      Him picking on Khaled and Bassel was funny at first but then it was the only thing he was basically doing and it got grating and somewhat rude.
      The funniest joke was the one about plastic surgery and the Syrians going into Lebanon – because they were actually relevant.
      For a performer who has been to Lebanon before, he must have had numerous things to say. Why didn’t he say them?
      Do I care about jokes of India vs Pakistan? Is it relevant to me? Absolutely not.

      Reply
  2. What’s lame to you might be funny to others, especially to people who watched it for the first time yesterday, so it’s kinda subjective. Plus when you want to evaluate a stand up comedy, you shouldn’t talk about the relevance, jokes are supposed to come out of nowhere so you talking about the relevance was totally irrelevant.

    Reply
    • Let me quote to you what he said regarding the Pakistan-India joke: “If I had told this for a Pakistani, it would have killed.” So yes, relevance is highly important.
      And those going to watch him for the first time would be entertained but the absolute majority in the room had watched him on DVDs before or even his previous show in Lebanon.

      Reply
  3. 100%

    The crowd was ridiculous they would go crazy for any word:

    “Jordan”: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
    “Dubai”: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
    any word anything he would spit clap and WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    stupidest audience for the lamest show im really disappointed not even worth 10$

    Just to ad to it:

    bottle of water was 3 000 LL where in normal situations: should be 500LL (normal lebanese rip off!) but just good to know we are still at our habits!

    and there is a guy in the front row that left, Russle made fun of him the camera filmed him the guy Flippes Russle of leaves and never comes back the audience went OHHHHHH!!!

    I spoke with the primitive sound engineers … since i was one of the less fortunate… he muffled something like: they added chairs it was supposed to be only till where they were place ( like behind the 150$ tickets )

    all in all Russle is of my list!
    + I am a Canadian and have attended one of his shows in Canada…

    ( and about the old jokes it wasn’t jokes like good ones … it was stuff the grocery sore manager would tell you …. lame shit … my friends can tell me better one)

    Reply
    • so why u went there …. to write of this thing on blog ,,,,,, this is real russel peters …. and i m actually laughing by reading this blog …… the show was not lame …. i think u all understand who was lame …… BE A MAN …. hahahaha

      Reply
  4. 100%

    The crowd was ridiculous they would go crazy for any word:

    “Jordan”: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
    “Dubai”: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
    any word anything he would spit clap and WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    stupidest audience for the lamest show im really disappointed not even worth 10$

    Just to ad to it:

    bottle of water was 3 000 LL where in normal situations: should be 500LL (normal lebanese rip off!) but just good to know we are still at our habits!

    and there is a guy in the front row that left, Russle made fun of him the camera filmed him the guy Flippes Russle of leaves and never comes back the audience went OHHHHHH!!!

    I spoke with the primitive sound engineers … since i was one of the less fortunate… he muffled something like: they added chairs it was supposed to be only till where they were place ( like behind the 150$ tickets )

    all in all Russle is of my list!
    + I am a Canadian and have attended one of his shows in Canada…

    ( and about the old jokes it wasn’t jokes like good ones … it was stuff the grocery sore manager would tell you …. lame shit … my friends can tell me better one)

    And just some information for people who are ignorant about stand up comedy

    when you bash the audience too much it is when you want to fill empty parts in your show … or it is a small % of your show ! it is the rule of stand up comedy … and trust i have almost seen them all
    (he would stop a joke to make fun of a person in the audience and never continue his JOKE WTF! how bad is that)

    The only good one i found was the turtle one that’s it ! … the last one

    Reply
    • The show was also a chance for some Lebanese-Canadians to go all Canada pride :p There was a girl behind me that shouted my ear off every time Russell said the word “Canada.”
      I wanted to turn and tell her: We get it. YOu have a second passport. But I figured it’d me inappropriate.

      Regarding water bottles, I didn’t bother ask. I was more than certain it was going to be that way – when is it not in such shows? And I totally agree about your last point. He just went on and on with picking on the audience members. It was as if he had nothing else up his sleeve. And in reality, he didn’t.

      Reply
  5. i really enjoyed the show… i thought both Russel and the opening act where real funny. i think it made it harder on Russel to get in the groove and enjoy giving a performance when he kept being interrupted by stupid people showing up late and walking in front of him all the time…. how stupid you gotta be to arrive late at comedy show… typical Lebanese. as for the Indian jokes that some people didn’t enjoy… that’s what made Russel peters famous… i live in Canada and we always imitate how Indian people talk… his Indian jokes are more for an North American audience who would understand what he is talking about….. i do think that the organizers should have closed the doors once the show started or delay it a bit until everybody was seated because it was annoying.

    Reply
    • I think he took it way to heart. Some people are stupid, as you said. 45 min late – are they kidding me? But this is a tour. There are pre-prepared jokes to be made. When most of the show was spent on Bassel and Khaled, were those jokes made?
      If they were, they weren’t funny to many. If they weren’t, then why not?

      I know his Indian heritage is part of what made him famous. His jokes regarding the matter are hilarious in his previous shows. But his jokes this time around were more of the same. Isn’t there something else for him to present?

      Reply
  6. The reason why he must have repeated a lot of the same material because he was in Lebanon, for the first time where a lot of the people are probably watching him for the first time ever. Comedians reuse their material all the time when they’re performing in another country because chances are people from that country haven’t heard it before.

    Reply

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