Junos host Russell Peters is sticking to the formula
Sheri Block, CTV.ca
Published Wednesday, February 4, 2009 5:31PM EST
Russell Peters has one strategy going into his second round of hosting duties for the Juno Awards: don't mess with what works.
"I think you do what you did last year and then add to it. I think the formula works, so if it ain't broke don't fix it," said Peters, shortly following a press conference to announce the 2009 Juno nominees in Toronto.
"I'm very excited about hosting again another year. I think the more you do something the better you get at it so I think this year should be a little better than last year and if they ask me a third year it will be even better then and so on and so forth."
Peters didn't do too shabby his first time out of the gate though - the 2008 Juno Awards in Calgary were one of the most-watched in the show's history with more than 4 million viewers.
His hosting duties also earned him a Gemini Award.
How could he possibly top that?
"Maybe an Emmy?" joked Peters.
"That was pretty cool, yeah. I didn't see that coming, to be honest with you. I've been nominated for Geminis in the past and lost to lesser people but I'm not bitter."
The Brampton, Ont., native has a 20-year-strong career as a comedian. He has showcased at festivals around the world, from Montreal's Just For Laughs Comedy Festival to the Edinburgh Comedy Festival and has appeared on a number of television specials, including "Comic Without Borders" for Showtime and two appearances on The Comedy Network's "Comedy Now!"
Peters' comedic work, which often crosses racial and cultural barriers, has also become a worldwide hit on the Internet.
His latest DVD, "Red, White and Brown" has been met with an overwhelming response, selling more than 75,000 copies since its September release in Canada, according to Peters' official website.
"It is doing great," said Peters. "It was shot in Madison Square Garden last year and I'm very happy with it."
The DVD was just released in the U.S. and Peters hopes to match its Canadian success south of the border.
"Keep your fingers crossed," he said.
His previous comedy DVD and CD "Outsourced," which was released in North America in August of 2006, went 11 times platinum in Canada.
Peters is about to set out on his 20th Anniversary Tour that will cross Canada starting in June, stopping in Halifax, Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary. The last time he played in Toronto he sold out the Air Canada Centre - twice. And at a capacity of 30,000 people, that's no small feat.
The tour will also take him through the U.S. and the U.K., including a show at London's 02 Arena on Valentine's Day. When tickets first went on sale, 9,000 were sold in one day. More seats have since been added and the show is almost completely sold out.
Peters says this has become the norm for his international shows.
"We did Dubai and we did four nights in a 3,500 seat place ... that's 14,000 or 15,000 people over four days (who came to see me) so that's pretty cool, too," said Peters.
"Yeah this Russell fever is spreading. It's Russell mania."