A former DJ, Russell Peters is a stand-up comic of Indian descent, who has gained popularity in recent years, even becoming the first comedian to sell-out Toronto's Air Canada theatre (Peters' popularity North of the border extends to the comic's CD sales, as well; his previous album, "Outsourced", moved 100,000 copies.)
The comic's material is largely revolving around racial discussions, but while that's going over familiar ground, Peters manages to poke fun in a way that's intended to take down stereotypes rather than try to play them up. There's definitely some very funny riffs on different cultures and Peters does an impressive job of making the riffs irreverent and sharp enough to not seem like softballs and yet not totally venture into insult comedy.
The comic also succeeds thanks to energetic delivery (which includes a way with accents that - once again - is funny without going overboard) and a good-natured stage presence, not to mention terrific writing (the comic's take on "Dance Dance Revolution" definitely gets some good laughs.)
Another highlight comes later in the show, as Peters talks about going to school for special needs ("My school had ramps all over the place - it looked like Tony Hawk designed my school.") because he was doing so badly in his prior school they thought he needed to go. While Peters ventures into familiar topics, the jokes thankfully rarely feel stale - at worst, Peters swings and misses but never strikes out.
Peters even manages some good off-the-top gags, lightly goofing on some audience members, including one woman heading back to her seat after what may have been a visit to the ladies' room and another guy who - for whatever reason - actually brought his little kid to a stand-up performance that offers more than a few curse words. I'd never heard of Peters before getting this disc to review, but I thought this was definitely one of the most enjoyable stand-up performances I've seen in recent memory.
This is the extended edition of the performance, with 20 extra minutes of footage.
VIDEO: "Red, White and Brown" is presented by Paramount in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Sharpness and detail seemed perfectly fine, as the picture remained consistently smooth and crisp. Aside from a couple of minor instances of compression artifacts, the picture was free of flaws. Colors remained bright, vivid and clean, with no smearing.
SOUND: The show is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. The surrounds do offer up some mild surround use for crowd ambience, but otherwise remain - as one might expect from a stand-up show - silent. Audio quality was fine, with crisp dialogue.
EXTRAS: "Support the Troops" features a couple of stand-up bits from Peters where he discusses taking the trip to show, some of the unexpected obstacles that came up along the way and staying in one of Saddam's palaces. There's also the "White Jacket Bootleg" (w/commentary), which offers a couple of additional scenes. The deleted scenes show the comedian in a white coat, which the director didn't like the look of (the lighting also looks much different) and so the first night of footage wasn't used in the final special.
Finally, comedian Russell Peters, producer Clayton Peters and director Jingar Talati offer commentary for the show itself. While the commentary does have a few moments here-and-there of silence, I was actually rather surprised at how enjoyable this track was, as Peters and the producer/director chat about such topics as re-working the look of the stage for the second night, chatting about some of the audience members, crafting gags and more. While I wondered how much could be said about a stand-up show, this turned out to be a good listen.
We also get the CD version of the show.
Final Thoughts: While I'd never heard of Peters before this release, I thought "Red, White and Brown" was a very amusing stand-up performance. The DVD offers not only an extended version of the concert with not only some nice extras, but also the CD. Recommended.