Peters began performing in Toronto, Ontario in 1989 and has been nominated for four Gemini Awards.
Russell Peters was born in Toronto, Ontario to Eric and Maureen Peters, and raised in Brampton. He is of Anglo-Indian descent. His father was born in Bombay, India and worked as a federal meat inspector and his mother was born in Calcutta, India. He has an elder brother named Clayton who was also born in Calcutta.
He went to Georges Vanier Catholic Elementary School from kindergarten to grade 8, Chinguacousy Secondary School for grades 9–10 and North Peel Secondary School for grades 11–12 in Brampton
Peters began performing in Toronto, Ontario in 1989. He has since also performed in the United States, UK, Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Denmark, South Africa, the Caribbean, Vietnam, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Sweden, India, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, and Trinidad among other places.
He hosted the Canada Day Comedy Festival 2006. His comedy special Russell Peters: Outsourced, aired on Comedy Central on August 16, 2006. The DVD version features his uncensored performance. The DVD has been popular, especially in Canada, selling over 100,000 copies. Outsourced remained on the National DVD Chart over one and a half years after release.
In September 2007, it was confirmed that Peters made a deal with Fox to develop a new sitcom, based on his experience in Canada. Peters says, “It’s really a snapshot of where my family maybe was ten years ago” and he ensures that the sitcom is “Something that will be funny and honest.” Peters participated in a USO tour of Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, Africa and Greenland in November 2007 with Wilmer Valderrama and Mayra Veronica. Peters’ latest DVD/CD combo Russell Peters: Red, White, and Brown was recorded on February 2, 2008 at The WAMU Theatre at Madison Square Garden. Peters and his brother, Clayton Peters, who is also his manager, self-produced and financed Red, White and Brown. It was released in Canada in September 2008 and in the US on January 27, 2009. Peters also currently produces and stars on the radio situation comedy series, Monsoon House, on CBC Radio One.
Peters was the host of the 2008 Juno Awards televised ceremonies in Calgary on April 6, 2008, for which he won a Gemini Award for “Best Performance or Host in a Variety Program or Series”. The 2008 awards broadcast received the second-highest ratings ever for the program. He was asked to host the 2009 Juno Awards for a second year in a row. The 2009 Juno Awards took place in Vancouver on March 29, 2009.
Between June 2008 and June 2009, Peters earned $10 million, making him one of the highest-paid comedians during that twelve-month period.
Peters’ popularity extends to several countries. In Canada, Peters became the first comedian to sell out Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, with more than 15,000 tickets in two days for the single show. He ended up selling over 30,000 tickets nationally over the two-day sales period. A total of over 60,000 tickets were sold across six cities. In Sydney, Peters had a record breaking audience of 13,880, making the event the largest stand-up comedy show in Australian history
He has been nominated for four Gemini Awards, the Canadian television awards. He has also been nominated for Best Male Comic at the Canadian Comedy Awards. Peters has been featured at such shows as Montreal’s Just for Laughs (Juste Pour Rire) Comedy Festival, the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival.