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3 Business Secrets on how Russell Peters Became a Millionaire Comedian

Russell Peters Hong Kong Almost Famous

Dear Professorsavings fans,

This week I went to see Russell Peter’s live in his Almost Famous comedy show in Hong Kong.

Seated in the third row, I was able to appreciate Russell Peters improv skills, his comedic timing, as well as his mastery at observational humor.

We all have heard of the “starving artists” concept where aspiring artists will follow their passion yet fail to gain financial success.

I have personally met successful comics in person from Seth Rogen, Tracy Morgan, and Jimmy Kimmel and all notably are not worrying about not having enough money in their checking account.

The bottom line, pun intended, is that artists need to understand the business aspect.

You need to be a … business musician, business comedian, a business pianist.

The truth is that if you don’t take care of the business aspect, you will not have enough money to truly scale or grow your company.  The job of an artist should be truly to master his or her craft but they also need to know how to take care of the money side.

Jumping back to Russell Peters who I have seen two times live. Once in San Francisco many years ago and now in Hong Kong this week at his sold out show.

Seated in the VIP third row seats, the seats were worth around $160 USD.  Packed, sold out.

So let’s jump to the three secrets on how Russell Peters is able to monetize and continue his business success as a comedian.

3 Business Secrets on how Russell Peters Became a Millionaire Comedian

#1:  First to mind marketing secret.

If I have $160 to spend on a comic show, the first person that comes up to mind is Russell Peters for me since I have seen his youtube clips countless times.

In 2004,  Russell Peters performed on  the Canadian TV show Comedy Now and next became a viral sensation on Youtube.  Some of his Youtube clips have received over millions of views.

Click here to view the entire Russell Peters Comedy Now show.

Basically, Russell Peters was able to build his brand equity with each viewer and the way he grew or scaled his marketing efforts were zero since other users uploaded his videos, shared it on social networks, and began talking about Russell Peters.

The more exposure the more likely we will have the brand “Russell Peters” come to mind when we think about comedians.

Russell Peters “BE A MAN” line with his iconic Chinese accent has been thrown around in conversations.

#2: In the Russell Peters Forbes interview above from Vanna Le (@vannamle), Russell Peters talks more about his approach.  He signed an exclusive deal with Netflix to distribute his content giving him more exposure.

Yet, the money maker is simply traveling around the globe and doing lives shows.  While many comedians aim to make it big on television to gain “tv fame” they may lose a big chunk of the revenue since the studios and producers keep a big chunk before it trickles down to the comedians.

Russell Peters keep a big amount of the sold out shows since the business pipeline is think just involving him and the producers of the show.

While live show produce big bucks, comedians need to build a strong enough brand that motivated me to take a train for almost one hour and pay big dollars to see Russell Peters to perform for a bit over an hour.

The drawbacks include being tired from jumping city to city. So every business strategy has a business decision.

#3:  Build 1000 True Fans.

Start small and build true + loyal fans.

Kevin Kelly of Wired Magazine developed that theory about generating 1000 True Fans.

So if we do the math, a musician needs to have 1000 true fans that would spend money see you perform live, buy you merchandise, and buy your songs. Cherish these fans. Wish them happy birthday if you can.

So let’s do the math.

An average true fan spends $100 yearly and you have 1000 fans so the total in revenue equals $100,000. Not bad for an up and coming artists. Simply, you grow from there.

Surely, doesn’t hurt that Russell Peters is a national icon in India alone and last time I checked India has around 1.2 Billion people.

Russell Peters started out doing comedy in smaller venues and then later after years of hard work began to sell out shows in  large arenas.

So there is no overnight success.

Most entrepreneurs + artists much understand that it may take seven plus years to even build a solid fan base.


I hope these tips will help you whether your an entrepreneur or aspiring artists to understand a bit more on the business end.


Rayfil Wong

CEO Professor Savings




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