Quote of the Day – Russell Peters on Bollywood

We love the Canadian stand-up comedian Russell Peters (his parents are originally from India).

The guy is absolutely hilarious.

Here’s what Russell Peters had to say about Bollywood and Aishwarya Rai to the Indian media the other day:

I wouldn’t watch a Bollywood film even if I am at the lowest point of my life. These films have horrible stories and terrible acting. I don’t know why your films have singing or dancing every other minute. Either you are telling a story or you are not. Aishwarya Rai is the biggest example. She has proved it time and again how bad acting can do wonders. In Bollywood people can become superstars just by having a pretty face.

Source: DNA (10/19/2008)

Of course, as regular readers of the SearchIndia.com blog know by now, we’ve said the same thing a gazillion times – Most Bollywood movies are garbage and – with very few exceptions – Indian movie stars just can’t act.

Now, just imagine what Russell Peters would say if he were to watch Aishwarya Rai’s husband Abhishek Bachchan make an ass of himself in that recent mega-disaster called Drona.

Russell Peters is now on a tour of India and will perform in Kolkata, Mumbai and Bangalore.

Here’s a video of Russell Peters on stage:

14 Responses to "Quote of the Day – Russell Peters on Bollywood"

  1. gandhiji   October 20, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Pretty good, have never heard of him before. I thought youtube limits videos to 10 mins. each.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: I thought youtube limits videos to 10 mins. each.

    We think earlier users could post long videos on YouTube but now (presumably in response to content owners’ complaints) Google has clamped down on the length of videos.

  2. shuaib68   October 21, 2008 at 12:55 am

    Will he be welcomed with open arms? or is anybody organising any protest, harthaal or even effigy burning?
    Because, there might be an “ardent and a beloved” fan who could seek for any revenge on Russell Peters for his criticism.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    We hope Russell Peters has a good show in India.

    This guy is just too good.

  3. gandhiji   October 21, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Thanks to SI.. i have been on a Russell Peters marathon till late last night.. In India, I think he will probably concentrate more on other races.. or have a different strategy.. the race jokes won’t produce as many laughs as it does here, because India is not exposed to as many races as America.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: i have been on a Russell Peters marathon till late last night..

    Good to know that you are enjoying Russell Peters as much as we do.

    We think Indians in India have a different brand of humor that’s crudely vulgar (the Vadivelu/Vivek/Johnny Lever kind you see in Tamil and Hindi films).

    Despite deploying vulgar language or actions, American/Canadian humor (Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, David Letterman, Rusell Peters, Bill Maher, Chris Rock et al) does not come across as crude.

  4. gandhiji   October 21, 2008 at 10:12 am

    The Indian comedians are good in some movies.. but unfortunately they are not consistent.

    Letterman, Conan and Leno don’t even employ vulgar stuff. I have run out of Russell videos, so am checking out Ali G. now..

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    We are not sure whether to describe Conan’s language and actions as risque or vulgar.

  5. shuaib68   October 21, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    I still haven’t got a chance to see Russell’s stuff. As it goes he must be enjoyable.

    Will write after watching…

  6. StrYngLad74   October 21, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Regarding Russell’s assessment on Bollywood- it’s true that pretty faces tend to find work easily there. Priyanka Chopra, John Abraham, Dino Morea, Milind Soman, Namrata Shirodkar, Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, Gul Panag, Lara Dutta, were either models and/or former Miss India/World/Universe, whose acting skills are non-existent at best (save for Gul Panag, who shows some skills). However, let’s not forget that recently Hollywood has been guilty of cashing in on the “in thing” by casting rap artists. Why else would 50 cent, Common, Ja Rule, Ludacris, DMX, and other plagiarizers (rap is plagiarism…end of discussion), who can’t act to save their lives, find work in Hollywood’s A-list movies? 50 cent was in ‘Righteous Kill’ with De Niro and Pacino..WTF?!! Plus, have you ever seen Vin Diesel, Keanu Reeves, Seann William Scott, or Paul Walker act? These too are pretty boys who can’t act worth s**t, and yet they find work. Did I forget Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? How many movies has this block-face been in? The guy has been doing 3-4 movies per year steadily since 2006.

    It’s true that Bollywood churns out infinitely more crap than Hollywood and is light years behind it in acting, technicality, and story-writing, but I have this fear that Hollywood might be taking a page or more out of the Bollywood Bible and committing such hara-kiri as I mentioned above.

    As for Russell’s routines, ironically like Bollywood, he relies on the same formula for most of the time. I haven’t seen his acts (seen 3 of them so far) deviate a lot from the usual “make fun of the Asian (Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean) people and their accent” or “make fun of my Indian upbringing” routines. In addition, I know he looooves hip-hop and is somewhat a DJ himself. I guess he loves THAT kind of a plagiarized ‘art-form’, but not THIS (Bollywood) kind. Pot, meet Kettle.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. Our favorite line from the above comment:

    ItÒ€ℒs true that Bollywood churns out infinitely more crap than Hollywood and is light years behind it in acting, technicality, and story-writing, but I have this fear that Hollywood might be taking a page or more out of the Bollywood Bible and committing such hara-kiri as I mentioned above.

    Scary thought that Hollywood might be taking a page or more out of the Bollywood Bible and committing such hara-kiri.

    2. But Russell Peters makes a valid point on the absence of acting skills in Bollywood.

    Most Bollywood & Kollywood actors are completely alien to the concept of acting. As we never tire of saying, most Indian actors wouldn’t recognize acting if it smacked them on the head.

    3. We missed Gul Panag in the recent release Hello but liked her in Manorama Six Feet Under.

    4. True, while there is a strong vein of Indian-ness in many of Russell Peters shows, they are still enjoyable.

    • MadAtBollywood   January 19, 2010 at 4:47 pm

      Russell’s New York, I believe in 2003 or 2004, was very Raw and entertaining!! Have u seen/heard that one?

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      May have seen excerpts. We’ll see if Netflix has it.

      Meanwhile, enjoy Russell Peters – About Indian Bollywood Movie(s) @ NYC

      & Russell Peters talks about New York Italians

      F*cking hilarious.

    • MadAtBollywood   January 19, 2010 at 4:47 pm

      Russell’s New York program, I believe in 2003 or 2004, was very Raw and entertaining!! Have u seen/heard that one?

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Can’t remember…watched so many excerpts of the guy.

      We plan to watch Russell Peters: Red, White, and Brown (2008) (Russell Peters at Madison Square Garden,. NYC)

    • vjcool   January 19, 2010 at 11:44 pm

      Followed the comments and here I’m in another old post. I found Gul Panag discussed here .. now theres one beauty queen who doesnt make an appearance as a beauty queen in every movie.. I loved ‘Dor’ by Nagesh Kukunoor ..

      BTW Deepa Mehta’s ‘Wate’r was also good, have you seen it, couldn’t find the review, the music was also good (ARR).. the film did get the critisism of stereotyping anyway it was good.. found the poster of water with a caption ‘un film Magnifique – Salman Rushdie’.. now that is one great recommendation.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      1. You write: BTW Deepa Mehta’s ‘Wate’r was also good, have you seen it, couldn’t find the review,

      Here’s the Water review (pre-SI blog days).

      2. We’ve seen Gul Panag in Manorama Six Feet Under (pre-SI blog days).

  7. StrYngLad74   October 21, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    “True, while there is a strong vein of Indian-ness in many of Russell Peters shows, they are still enjoyable.”

    Russell is the best comedian of Indian origin and I have no problem with the Indian-ness of his routine, except that it’s getting stale. Yeah, we have the accent, the hot food, and the “cows are sacred” thing going, but c’mon Russell, try harder. There are a lot more funny things about India and Indian-ness besides just those commonly known idiosyncrasies (if you want to call them that) in the Western world. There’s a gay Indian comedian (Vidur, if I am not wrong) and this female comedian called Vijai (Lakshmi?) Nathan whose material is a lot more refreshing and new than Russell’s.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    He goes beyond accent, food and similar stuff. In one of the shows we watched, Russell Peters briefly addresses taboo social themes like gay pride and the attitude of the older generation Indians to it.

    We’ll check out Vidur and Vijai (Lakshmi?) Nathan later today or tomorrow.

  8. gandhiji   October 22, 2008 at 12:18 am

    yo lad, insulting other accents is one thing.. speaking in those accents is considerably more difficult.. and keeping the crowd engaged while doing those various accents needs brilliance.. that’s what he is .. brilliant.
    And he doesn’t leave the white and black folks unscathed.. he just does the asian, nigerian and caribbean accents more because they draw more laughs and more millions for him.

    and why do say “rap is plagiarism”??

    i like some of the rap songs.. as one site describes eminem’s skills..
    Much of his success is due to his uncanny ability to rhyme what isn’t supposed to rhyme, rhyme an enormous amount of syllables back to back, and switch up his flow with the greatest of ease... i totally agree with that assessment.

  9. shuaib68   October 22, 2008 at 1:09 am

    Forget the Indian actors’ handicap, what about the fans and the viewers of these movies? As we have watched many movies during our life time mostly the Indian ones, we still cannot pinpoint and say “that’s fine acting” or “this is lousy”.

    All the Indian film lovers and filmgoers do and expect is, to be in the dark for 3 hours, staring at some moving scenes composed of a bulk of human emotions mixed with sophomoric love, stupid fights, crude jokes, sometimes irrelevant songs and music with an end all love to see – “A fairy tale ending”.

    We simply can’t get over this. This is the expectation of 90% of the Indian movie goers. The limitation in creativity has now become the addiction of the Indian movie lovers.

    Everybody knows that “Drugs/Dope” are unhealthy and dangerous. But, to those who got addicted, it’s heaven. Ultimately they are going to loose their lives. But, that’s the fact. Indian movie addiction is something like that.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    It takes two to tango.

    True…Film-makers stick to routine fare because most of the time that’s what works. When the producer is spending Rs 30 cr-Rs 40 cr for a Bollywood film, he/she/it wants to play safe.

    You need an audience willing to see offbeat films with talented actors not merely big stars just as much as you need bold film-makers willing to stray beyond the oft trodden path.

  10. Asha Tampa   January 20, 2010 at 7:27 am

    True, Russell Peters has a limited repertoire – but the fact remains that he has me in splits every single time. Red, White, and Brown is my favorite – nothing else has come close. I have to say this though, after watching Bill Maher, I dont feel like watching Russell Peters so much.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Bill Maher is for the thinking man (or woman) and real classy too.

    Russell Peters is the Vadivelu, Brahmanandam, Johnny Lever kind of guy…good initially but it’s possible you may tire of him after the initial 20 minutes.

  11. 1012900   February 25, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Everyone ought to agree with Russell Peters.

    Being an Indian, I hate to admit it though. With very few exceptions, Indian movies are crap.

    Fans are the major reason for this. All they want is for their Thala or vaalu to bash up dozens of thugs at a time, romance the heroine, tell punch dialogs etc.

    These so called fans accept whatever “crap” their thala or vaalu throws at them, making even the worst movies to become atleast an average hit at the box office. So these directors and actors stick to the same old beaten to death themes. Just take a look at this link.
    http://www.behindwoods.com/tamil-movie-news-1/jul-08-01/vijay-01-07-08.html

    The second reason is that most directors (hindi and tamil) lack the basic thing that is required to make a good movie-CREATIVITY.

    May God save the Indian film industry πŸ™

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: Being an Indian, I hate to admit it though. With very few exceptions, Indian movies are crap. Fans are the major reason for this. All they want is for their Thala or vaalu to bash up dozens of thugs at a time, romance the heroine, tell punch dialogs etc.

    We are not sure we agree with your point that Indian movie fans want crap and hence we get crappy movies.

    But one hypothesis we have is that is that many of these so-called fan-clubs are secretly funded and controlled by the stars for their benefit. Only a fool would doubt that.

    The fan-clubs are basically mouthpieces for the stars.

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