Russell Peters isn’t just the biggest desi comedian in Canada, he’s arguably the hottest comedian period (no, he’s not Tamil). For the second year in a row, he was tapped to host the Juno Awards, Canada’s equivalent of the Grammys and the most popular award show north of the border. The Junos were held Sunday night at General Motors Place, home of the Vancouver Canucks.
Peters made a colorful entrance with a group of Punjabi dancers and two drummers.
Once the group disappeared, Peters showed off some of his other moves, amid roars from the crowd.
You can watch Peters’ entire monologue here (cue to the 5 minute mark).
At least one observer, Leah Collins of Canwest News Service, wasn’t crazy about Peters’ entrance or some of his jokes.
Maybe weâ€™re just suffering Slumdog Millionaire fatigue, but Russell Petersâ€™ Bollywood entrance was pure cheese â€” even by Juno standards. However, once he started popping and locking on the â€œgrow-opâ€ set, we couldnâ€™t deny the comedian has some skills. If only the opening monologue was as tight. West-coast pot-head jokes? Sigh . . . You know what else Canadians are known for? Tired regional humour. [Link]
Peters did impress Stuart Derdyn of Canwest News Service, who called him “crazy funny.”
“I know this is Vancouver, but look at this grow-op on this stage,” Russell Peters began his intro comments about the set design following Nickelback’s kickoff. Then it was off to the races; man this guy is crazy funny.
Honestly, the Junos deserve credits for giving over their show to a guy who can manage a joke about Mike Reno eating for the weekend, wanting to see that Anne Murray sex tape and note that Hedley and Simple Plan are both in the house, but he doesn’t know which is which.
Peters left his vast collection of ethnic jokes at home, but did refer several times to his brownness.
Peters said he would bruise more egos in his second consecutive year hosting and followed through with a few off-colour topical jokes about artists in attendance during his monologue.
On Sarah McLachlan, who split with husband Ashwin Sood last year, Peters said: “I hear Sarah’s single. Listen Sarah, I don’t want one brown guy to ruin it for the rest of us.”
He also drew a few nervous laughs with a shot at former Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page, who was charged with drug possession last summer (a judge later said the charge would be dropped if the singer stayed out of trouble for six months).
“Speaking of snow, Steven Page left the Barenaked Ladies,” Peters said. “Apparently to sniff out some other work.”
Following some disapproving groans from the crowd, he added: “You know I had to do a few lines on that.” [Link]
Perhaps the funniest segment of the show was Peters’ skit with Michael BublÃ©, in which the comedian and crooner riffed on how easy the other’s job was. (Here’s the clip.)
“Knock knock, who’s there? Brown people. Give me a million dollars.” That was Michael BublÃ©’s line in a very funny skit with Peters and it continued the edgy, very funny back and forth of the broadcast. [Link]
Though Peters probably helped write the skit, Collins of Canwest News Service seems to give BublÃ© more credit.
Finally, the Junos have figured it out: let Michael BublÃ© do what he does best. And no, contrary to your grandmaâ€™s opinion, that thing is not singing. The dude is funny â€” as in he-should-really-be-hosting-this-show funny. The biggest laugh of the evening, by far, was BublÃ©â€™s skit with Russell Peters. Buble for St. Johnâ€™s 2010. Letâ€™s get this campaign started. [Link]