Only a handful of today’s artists can claim their success began with YouTube, and even less, if any, having then been named alongside such luminaries as Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Eddie Murphy in Rolling Stone’s just released list of the 50 Best Comics of All Time. In comedian Russell Peters’ case, “success” may be a drastic understatement.
Peters gained critical and global recognition for his CTV “Comedy Now!” special which wound up on YouTube. Peters says: “I never put the special on YouTube. I still don’t know how to upload anything on the web to this day.” That upload launched a new level of fame and unforeseen success. It also led to larger and larger shows, not only in arenas in his native Canada, where he became the first comedian to sell-out Toronto’s Air Canada Centre in 2007 (as of today, six times and over 100,000 people), but to arenas in the United States, the UK, Australia, South Africa, the Middle East and Asia.