As one of the world's highest-grossing comedians of the last few years, Russell Peters has learnt a thing or two about the star-studded Hollywood lifestyle.
But it has been armies of red-eyed YouTube watchers rather than Tinseltown red carpets that have paved the way to celebrity for the 42-year-old Indian- Canadian comic.
"I still don't know who actually posted that clip (of my stand-up show) on YouTube in 2004," he says ahead of his Perth visit. "But if I ever find out, I sure will buy them a nice delicious sandwich."
Six-inch Subways aside, Peters admits he owes some serious praise to his anonymous YouTuber. Within months of his stand-up clip hitting the cybersphere it had scored millions of views, and the comedian swiftly went from no-name to hot property.
"An example," Peters explains. "In February 2004 I went and played this gig in a university in Chicago somewhere.
"I can't remember exactly which one but 13 people came to that show and they paid me, like, $700 for it . . . Cut to November, and I was selling out four-night seasons at massive theatres, making like, $30,000 or $40,000 . . . So yeah, it was pretty fast."
But even though his life changed overnight, his act has always had its unique, consistent edge. Since switching from DJ-ing to stand-up in 1987, Peters has used his sharp impersonation skills to play on ethnic stereotypes, which he uses to tell hilarious stories of people he's encountered throughout his life.
Some of his most celebrated material is in fact drawn directly from his childhood. (His father's reprimand that "Somebody's gonna getta hurt real bad", has become a catchphrase rivalling South Park's "Oh my God, they killed Kenny".) So what is it about Peters' style that has such epic universal appeal? "Well when I was a kid growing up in the 70s and 80s in Canada there was a sense of being the victim of racial abuse, being Indian, but that always puzzled me . . . I really couldn't it figure out, because I didn't actually realise that I looked slightly different than everyone else.
"So I think I've always been interested in getting to the root of what makes people different, and that's not about looking different, it's about something else.
"It's what separates us but also what brings us together.
"And I think people respond to my show because, at the end of the day, they realise that the funny things Indians do, or that Asians do - they thought they were the only ones that did that stuff. But really, the truth is that everybody does the exact same thing; it's just done in a different accent."
And the sweetest irony of this funnyman's epic viral online success?
"I've actually never posted anything on YouTube myself," he says. "I wouldn't know the first thing about downloading or uploading - I'm pretty useless when it comes to computers, I'm kind of an embarrassment, to being Indian."
Though his diehard fans (of every colour and creed) might well disagree with that.Russell Peters’ Notorious World Tour stops at Perth Arena tonight.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.