Known for his racial humor and “gay Indian” jokes, Canadian comedian Russell Peters will be headlining this year’s Fall Festival. Tickets for his show on Oct. 3 in Kresge went on sale for MIT students on Sept. 17 and can be ordered online for $15 at https://sao.mit.edu/tickets/.
The Undergraduate Association Events Committee picked Peters for his popularity among students. “In past surveys, Russell Peters ranked at the top of who students wanted to see perform,” said Paul Spangle, assistant director of the Student Activities Office.
Peters, who is of Indian descent, grew up in Canada and much of his humor involves poking fun at racial stereotypes, especially stereotypes about immigrants. Some of his better-known jokes feature immigrant parents beating their children, terrorists, and Indian labor.
Because Peters was in such high demand on campus, the UA worked especially hard to secure him. According to Spangle, the UA will pay Peters roughly $40,000, more than has been given to acts at previous Fall Festivals.
He said that the cost will be balanced by sales of tickets, which are pricier this year. Last year, tickets to see comedian Pablo Francisco were $10 for members of the MIT community, and $18 for guests and students from other colleges.
This year MIT students will have to pay $15 to see Russell. Other members of the MIT community, including staff, faculty and alumni, and local college students will have to pay $25.
Spangle said the increased cost is worth it, considering how big of a celebrity Peters is. Peters will also be accompanied by an opening act of his choice, which is yet to be announced.
Every year it is MIT tradition to celebrate October with a cross-campus festival. In this month-long affair, a myriad array of events occur, ranging from a resounding Jazz Brunch to a romantic Fall Formal. The Lecture Series Committee is joining in as well to offer up a free showing of Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. To top the month off, there’s a special spin on everyone’s beloved holiday known as HallowMIT, which is a carnival open to the MIT community.