Was Russell Brand’s VMA monologue offensive?


The staff over at the Daily Mail and The Sun have gotten themselves all worked up over Russell Brand’s opening monologue for last night’s Video Music Awards. Apparently it was quite offensive to British audiences, which I found especially shocking. I would think they’d have the best chance of appreciating Brand’s “unique” type of humor.

Apparently Brand’s labeling George Bush a “retarded cowboy” was the major sticking point.

Russell Brand faces being blacklisted by the American media after causing outrage with a string of offensive jokes at the live MTV Video Music Awards. The Essex-born comedian labelled President George Bush a ‘retard’, called Britney Spears ‘the female Christ’ and poked fun at young virgins.

He began his opening monologue by saying: ‘Please, America, elect Barack Obama. On behalf of the world. Some people, I think they’re called racists, say America is not ready for a black president. ‘But I know America to be a forward-thinking country because otherwise why would you have let that retard and cowboy fella be president for eight years?’

He added: ‘We thought it was nice of you to let him have a go, because in England he wouldn’t be trusted with a pair of scissors.’

[From the Daily Mail]

I watched Brand’s opening monologue a few times and have to say that while I didn’t find it to be spectacularly funny, it wasn’t especially offensive either. People have been complaining about that particular use of the word “retarded” for a long time now. And while I agree it’s inappropriate, it’s clearly a part of the lexicon, like it or not. Nothing about an edgy comedian using it is particularly shocking. It’s quite simply a matter of taste, and no one can be surprised that a comedian like Brand doesn’t have much. He wasn’t hired by MTV because of his class. People can go ahead and complain about the word as much as they want – I abhor it. But it’s been used that way for long enough that I feel confident it’s a waste of time. And the more attention they give to it, the longer it stays relevant.

The joke itself was pretty stupid. There was just nothing funny, unusual, or interesting about it. Celebitchy complained that she laughed once during the whole thing. I counted, and I laughed a solid five times. Normally I’d still consider that a miserable failure, but compared to one chuckle I guess that’s pretty good.

I did like Brand’s whole riff on Bristol Palin’s boyfriend Levi Johnston. He joked that a lot fewer kids would be having premarital sex if they all had to go to the Republican National Convention as punishment. And made some joke about how from now on Johnston would be so careful he’d use a condom even when her masturbated. And would then take the condom and bury it just to be safe. I think four of my five laughs came during that whole idea. And I think sending kids to the Republican National Convention should become a new form of punishment. Everyone would behave a lot better.

Here’s Brand’s monologue. I’m especially interested to hear how many of our readers though it was actually funny.

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85 Responses to “Was Russell Brand’s VMA monologue offensive?”

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  1. geronimo says:

    Overall, I thought it was just a bit lazy and lame and the Bush joke added nothing to anything. Brand IS genuinely funny but possiby not for this audience.

  2. Ruby says:

    Your video link isn’t available to us Brits, so I’ll have to look elsewhere before I can give you my considered Brit-opinion :-)

  3. Jess Doherty says:

    I’m really surprised by all the criticism Russell Brand is receiving. I thought he did a fine job of hosting. He has a unique style that maybe wasn’t appropriate for MTV?? I don’t know, but I think he did a better job than, I hate to say it, Jack Black.

  4. Mairead says:

    Still can’t see the viddy-wid this side of t’Atlantic. :cry:

    I did laugh at the “trusted with scissors” bit – ’cause I’m puerile like that :twisted:

    The Daily Mail and especially The Sun couldn’t possibly be surprised at him being offensive. I mean considering they’re the “official” Big Brother rag surely they watched “Big Brother’s Big Mouth” at least once in the past. Or forgotten his other antics.

    Fecker seems to have calmed down since moving to Americay!!! What are you people doing to our Russell!!!!! 8O

  5. Anon says:

    If anything he seemed rather subdued! Maybe that list of forbidden words and subjects weighed heavily on his style :-)

    I liked the running with scissors joke. And as semi-Brit I don’t see anything offensive. The Daily Hate Mail and Sun just like to get upset for the hell of it, methinks.

  6. breederina says:

    Didn’t see the show but just watched the clip. He wasn’t any more offensive than a lot of comedians, just not very funny with subject matter that had huge potential. Have no idea who he is.

  7. Victoria says:

    I did not find it offensive at all…There are alot of words out there that would have made it that way,,,BUT, he was yaking up and having fun…I agree with all above on ” scissors”…funny….The entire THING, was NOT at all based on humor, but it is just HIS WAY….THAT makes it interesting….Makes sense ??

  8. katie says:

    yawn. he made fun of george bush, virgins and republicans. and not in any sort of clever way, but in a “hey! george bush is soooo lame!” and “who doesn’t have sex these days? i mean really, what’s up with that” kind of boring tired way. I thought his monologue was incredibly lazy. poking fun at conservatives and their lifestyle is an easy way to fake that you are edgy and educated and really, it’s just overdone and starting to sound a little whiny.

  9. RReedy says:

    It is extremely rude to criticize a head of state while you are a guest in that country and many others have welcomed you and made your visit nice. It is an affront to each American no matter WHO is in office. I thought he was crude and UNfunny. God Bless America.

  10. Mr. T says:

    MTV has lost relevance. I’m suprised anyone watches that garbage anymore.

  11. AP says:

    Russell was the only thing that was entertaining on that snooze of a show that seemed to be overtaken by the Family Values Coalition. That and Xtina’s awesome gay-licious superhero performance. LOVED HER.

  12. chinacat67 says:

    I found the entire VMA production to be offensively BORING. You know it’s bad when you long for the good old days of seeing Michael Jackson make out with Lisa Marie… :shudder:

  13. anony says:

    Think of the high wire act that is hosting one of these generic awards shows: you need to be ‘witty’ but not offend the easily offended megalomaniacs in ‘the industry’. Russell would have lots more fun (read: clever material) had he been doing stand up in an audience that was there to see him which is true for most comedians. Any time anyone has to pander to such a mass of needy egos the results are not impressive.

    People have been bashing Bush forever now, not sure why this is suddenly scandalous. Jordin Sparks’ little outburst saying ‘not everyone wants to be sluts’ I found way more offensive than anything Russell said. So that means anyone engaging in premarital sex is a slut? Perhaps that she did not mean to imply that but it could easily be perceived that way; think before you respond in the heat of the moment next time.

  14. Lauri says:

    I’m a republican, but I couldn’t take offense to his “jokes.” They were just dumb. I mean, they were just not funny. I actually felt a little pity for him. It’s got to be embarrassing to bomb that badly on nationwide TV.

    And what’s up with bashing people who choose to remain virgins until marriage? I realize that it’s not the normal thing anymore, but I thought sexual freedom included the option of NOT having sex. I genuinely can’t think of a single reason why that would be considered something to laugh at.

  15. vdantev says:

    And who the hell is this idiot? I’ve never heard of him before the VMA. Oh that’s right, I suffer from an acute case of GOOD TASTE- that’s why.

  16. vdantev says:

    “God Bless America.”

    Yeah, right in the mouth with a sharp left hook and get these idiots from spouting pointless over-used trite little phrases when they’re tiny patriotic feelings get hurt.

  17. Orangeitjulius says:

    vdantev – :lol:

  18. geronimo says:

    CB, my comment spammed. Had a ‘telegraph’ link of Brand for European viewers. Thanks.

    Edit. Thanks!

  19. Jane says:

    I found him a bit off game, but all in all, I thought he was the most entertaining part of the show. I found his retarded cowboy comment hilarious…and Im from Texas. I think people are way too serious. He just did what he was hired to do. I agree though that Russell aside, that was the most BORING VMA show ever.

  20. Mairead says:

    V.I. Pete – just because you’re being passive-agressive and speaking about a “certain ethnic group” in air quotations doesn’t mean you’re not flouting the “will not make bigoted remarks” rule as outlined in the extensive disclaimer below

    Now… if you don’t mind, the New World Order-paranoia forums are that way

    Ooooh and thanky-spanky geronimoooo – I’ll have a looksey at the viddy-wid now (even though it violates my policy of not reading the Torygraph, except for James May’s column. I heart teh Capt. Slow. :D

  21. geronimo says:

    :D Most welcome! I love May too, Mairead. Have you seen him on his Big Wine Adventure (BBC2) with Oz Clarke? Funniest thing ever.

  22. JoJo says:

    Funny how comedians from the UK always call America racist. The first black congressman in the USA took office in 1868; the first “black” (actually Asian Indian, but the British refer to him as black) parliament member in the UK took office in 1892. In the USA, the first black female was elected in 1968; in the UK, the first black female was elected in 1987. The first black cabinet member in the USA was appointed in 1966; the first black cabinet member in the UK was appointed in 2002. The first female cabinet member in the USA was appointed in 1977; the first black female cabinet member in the UK was appointed in 2003.

    I’ll give the UK credit that they have been ahead of the USA when it comes to electing women to office. However, the USA has been at least a generation ahead of the UK when it comes to non-whites in politics. So shouldn’t comedians in the UK start calling themselves out as racist before pointing at the USA. Goshdarnit, we are sexist not racist…just look at our press’s reaction to Palin!

  23. Mairead says:

    I only saw a few episodes – and to be honest I could have willingly throttled him 8O . I’m not youtubing it to maintain my good impression of Gentleman Jim :wink:

  24. Mary Ann says:

    V.I. Peter, if you’re going to post paranoid anti-Semitic bullshit, at least have the balls to come right and and be a bigot.

    A side note– I’ve never met a person who thought that the Jews controlled the media who wasn’t also a.) a compulsive gambler or b.) a bitter loser who projected their problems onto everyone else.

  25. geronimo says:

    Throttled May or Clarke? If it was May, I can understand why at the beginning but, it was a revelation when he actually got a clue about wine and started to really get into it. Loved it because they were such an odd match.

  26. ri23 says:

    Offensive? No. Bush is a retarded wannabe cowboy. Russell Brand is funny, but he can’t do his real stuff on American TV. And Mr. T: Couldn’t agree with you more. MTV has lost all relevance. Yawn.

  27. Mairead says:

    Mr. May :oops: :oops: :oops: But I did only see the first couple of episodes. Thanks for restoring my faith geronimo :mrgreen:

    I just had a thought… imagine if it was Clarkson that presented the VMAs 8O

  28. poky says:

    i didnt find it offensive, but it certainly wasnt funny. his timing was off and i found it eh..like who is this? he stinks.

  29. crazycatlady says:

    The guy was just annoying, I could not stand listening to him. Political jokes are great when you don’t have an agenda, but he is obviously an Obama fan and felt the need to share his opinion during an awards show. He did not do Obama any favors…

  30. Lauri says:

    “I am fed up with this government as well”

    That’s all good and well, and you are absolutely entitled to your opinion.

    Good thing you don’t live in China, where you don’t have that luxury. Or in numerous other countries that subject their people to horrendous human rights violations.

    I’m not trying to say that the US is perfect; it absolutely is not. But what makes us different, I think, is that we are always striving to make ourselves better. We may not always succeed, but we do genuinely try. And as a woman, I’m grateful to live in a country where I get to make my own choices about how I live…who I married, obtaining higher education, being allowed to pursue my career of choice, having the right to vote, being permitted essentially to do as I please as long as I don’t harm others along the way.

    Just trying to keep things in perspective. Like it or not, the US really is one of the greatest and most free places on the planet. :D

  31. Poland says:

    I found his monologue rather funny. Bristol Palin as the best advert ever for safe sex, that’s hilarious. You have to be pretty biased, not to recognize that. Sure he has a very european point of view, but if you don’t want to ear an european point of view, why bother inviting a brit?

  32. Lancerjoe says:

    If you were offended by that then you really are thin skinned. Russell Brand is a very funny person, but he was hurt by being censored. He had many funny moments, though. The scissors comment,Palin’s baby daddy, the chapstick on his balls line, and the “I don’t want to piss off teenage virgins, I want to do the opposite, well not the opposite as in piss on.” That line had me in stitches.

    Russell Brand and Lil Wayne were the only good parts of the show. Republicans wouldn’t be fans of Russell or his work anyway, so I doubt he hurt his chances of success in America. I can’t wait for “Get him to the Greek,” it should be another hilarious Apatow film starring Brand as Aldous Snow.

  33. Tealady says:

    Russell Brand’s hairstyle and outfit, now that was funny. His baby fine hair limply teased to towering proportions with his funny walk, I assume due to his tight pants, made it difficult to focus on what he was saying.
    Was this an anti purity statement? I read it more as an “I’m desperate that’s why I look so ridiculous statement”.

    His jokes aimed at politics and sex/abstinence were cheap and lazy. He is capable of more intelligent humor.

  34. Diva says:

    Oh, and as one of the former purity gang, I wasn’t the least bit offended by Russell Brand. Plus, I think when he saw he did offend Sparks, he was very courteous about, yet still retained his “Brand” (hehe, a pun!) of humour, too.

    People should look into other things Brand has done before judging on his performance last night, though. I’m a Russell Brand/Noel Fielding fan for a long time now and there were parts of last night that made me think Russell wasn’t quite ready for this stage.

    *edit* He does always, and has always dressed and looked that way, Tealady, why should it have been different for this crowd?

  35. what says:

    i was so embarrassed for him that i turned off my tv after the first ten minutes. really it seemed like he went on an unpremeditated rift and i thought the people at mtv would censor him in repeats.

    nevertheless this just brings me back to my earlier point: people outside of the U.S. love obama. he might have less foreign policy experience than mccain but foreign relations will be easier for him.

  36. vdantev says:

    What, why are you bringing politics into this thread? Do you need to go to the woodshed, young man ??

  37. Tealady says:

    Perhaps it’s the contrast to the perfect pop packages that made Russell look out of place on this occasion Diva.

  38. what says:

    haha, dante, i’m a young woman.
    and apparently even mtv presenters are bringing politics into their intros these days.

  39. corblue says:

    I thought he was hilarious and not at all offensive. Remember, free speech is very important!

  40. SeVen says:

    Yeh All you Bible Thumping Right Wing Fundis here need to remember : FREE SPEACH *queue batman theme song*

    Anyho – Im american and I thought he was great. Takes a large set of balls to stand infront of americans and insult their government and for that he gets props and a few giggles.

    I also think he was spot on for his piss take of Purity Rings. Way to advertise for abstinance only sex education Jonas hoes!

    Now if you’ll excuse me I think someone hit a racoon down the road and that smells like dinner

    YEHAW!

    /sarcasm off

  41. Jenna says:

    I enjoyed the monologue. It seemed a bit rushed, as well as any speaking Britney Spears did. Granted, Brand wasn’t as funny as the things he was saying should have been. He was just making fun of the pop culture that Hollywood is dying in as well as a few political refrences.

    Seriously. How can someone find it offensive? Other people who don’t host the VMAs do the same thing.

  42. Diva says:

    Did you SEE Tokio Hotel???

    LMAO, Brand looked tame compared to those boys! (they all were boys, right?)

  43. starr says:

    he was funny..may have offended ppl..but who cares…ppl have been sayin this about bush for 8 years now…now as soon as a non-american says something ppl now have sympathy for bush..haha..

    ..aywyas yea he did a good job.. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

  44. hsingmom says:

    I can’t stand it when people use the word “retard” as an insult. I do find it incredibly offensive not to mention unimaginative. Making fun of Bush is fine, but it’s insulting to the mentally challenged to call him a retard.

  45. Jeanne says:

    Why was he shouting? And what’s up with the bed head and the girlie eyebrows. Rather annoying.

  46. Charlene says:

    russel brand shouldnt have said that.
    he had no right.
    AT ALL.
    he is so stupid.
    soo soo stupid.

    and it offended me as a republican.

  47. enchantress says:

    I’m sure Barack Obama is REALLY thrilled to have this guy’s endorsement :roll:

  48. Diana says:

    So not funny. During that 5 minute monologue, the only minor chuckle Brand received from me was during the masturbation comment. First off, I’m not fan of Bush but unless you are an American, you shouldn’t be making fun of our President on national tv. Poking fun at celebrities is expected so that wasn’t terrible but to compare the President to people with disabilities is not cool. Also, to continually poke fun at self-confessed virgis is not funny…I totally back up Jordin Sparks rebuke of Brand. He was totally inappopriate for the show and he was not funny!!!

  49. JaundiceMachine says:

    Is it offensive because it is true? Is it true because it is offensive?

    I’m not really sure I care too much anymore. The only thing “american” I give two rips about is football, and Aaron Rodgers just made my week. Fuck you next week, Farve.

  50. what says:

    as americans we make fun of other people’s presidents on national tv all the time. snl had a digital short music video about how ahmadinejad is gay. that video, however, was hilarious. russell not so much.

  51. Victoria says:

    I think it was a fine attempt at connecting to his American audience. It was not at all offensive. Some people just want to complain about (or bring attention to) the dull ass channel, with its dull ass awards show. I couldn’t stand to watch more than 4 minutes of it at any given moment.

  52. chaz says:

    the only offensive thing here is that Mtv still finds its self relevant! good for Brand for pushing the envelope! I don’t know anybody over the age of 13 who actually watches Mtv anymore. i think it’s hypocritical that the same people who watch the garbage on this channel would think that this comedian went too far. The moronic programming that this channel offers is extremely offensive to me, besides he was right about Bush!

  53. whatevs says:

    Chris Rock said something along those lines as well:

    “It’s ready for a retarded president, why wouldn’t it be ready for an African American president?” -Life Magazine

    Were people upset by that comment as well? I don’t remember hearing any backlash from it.

    After watching the video I can say I’m not offended but I can also say I did not laugh. The guy’s not really my kind of humor.

  54. geronimo says:

    Diva, Or this stage wasn’t ready for him? I love him, think he’s really clever, honest, eccentric etc but he works best with an audience that gets him. He was strained here and dealing with an audience that just wasn’t ever going to get the best out of him.

    And I love Fielding! – seriously funny Amnesty Big Quiz gig link of the two together -
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_IQwcVjsgo

  55. Cletus says:

    Dude. That wasn’t funny. I know from funny, and that wasn’t it. I wasn’t offended. I was bored. I want to give him a flea dip- he looks filthy. You know, I wish he really WAS mentally ill- they at leat make pills for that. To my knowledge, there is no cure for Not Funny. I miss those Monty Python boys.

  56. geronimo says:

    Diva, adore Fielding too! Came across this yesterday when looking for the Brand VMA link – him and Noel doing the Amnesty Big Quiz gig -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_IQwcVjsgo

    This was just the wrong gig for Brand. I love him, his cleverness, his honesty, his eccentricity, but he works best with an audience that ‘gets’ him. This one was never going to bring out the best in him.

  57. geronimo says:

    Diva, love Fielding too! Did you see him and Brand on the Amnesty Big Quiz together? If not, there’s a great u tube link which I’ve tried to post here but it keeps getting eaten and I just can’t be arsed complaining about it. If not, just search big quiz brand fielding and it’ll come up.

  58. Rachel says:

    Maybe its because I’m british and have that typical Brit humor but i find Brand absolutely funny as! :twisted: He’s just making light of various things, and is a bit of a goon charactor. Did you see him when he was hosting Big brother big mouth or something like that. Bloody brilliant. My friend (17) met him and he was jokingly hitting on her, goddddd i love him to pieces, i dont understand why people don’t get his humor. :?

  59. gg says:

    I agree with tealady. Russell Brand seems to me a preening, snotty, wannabe rock star who dresses like he popped out of Whitesnake, circa 1983. The stretchy girls jeans with the knock knees is a really, really bad fashion choice. All of which could potentially be overlooked if he was actually funny, but instead, he acts like a precocious teenager. I’m embarrassed looking at this thing. He should take lessons from Noel Fielding on how not to look like such an unwashed tool.

    Oh, and if you just cannot stand living in America any more? Please leave, darling. I’ll pack your bags for you and even buy you a one-way ticket to Venezuela. We’d love to have more Brits here to class up the place AN’ YER TAKIN UP ROOM! :P

  60. geronimo says:

    @gg, Brand dresses to please himself, not others. Think of him as a modern day Byron channeling a funnier, more thoughtful Marquis De Sade.

    @Rachel – brilliant on Big Mouth! The only person ever to make it really watchable! If people don’t like him/get him, fair enough. But for those that do, check him out on u tube, there’s so much more to him that this VMA gig.

  61. gg says:

    Yes, he sure does. I just don’t like looking at somebody who doesn’t shave yet doesn’t have a beard! What’s up with that? :lol:

  62. Mairead says:

    Brits to class up the room?!?!?!? 8O yez are running a fever my lady!! :P

    I have to say I used to think he was the most moronic eejit when he was on MTV UK – but once I got used to him on Big Mouth, I found him scndalous but funny. Usually :wink:

  63. CC says:

    who is this guy? i’ve never heard of him in my life. You cant go to a foreign country and openly make fun of them. Especially dont poke fun at 14 year old virgins (Jonas Brothers). Thats not cool dude

  64. BillyBubba says:

    Russell Brand needs to continue his rants for Obama! Every word he spouts gets another vote for Mcain/Palin. The british need to look at their own disfunctional country and leave our politics alone!

  65. gossip_ho says:

    chill-out bitches…why so serious?!

  66. Lancerjoe says:

    The oldest Jonas Bro is 21! I’m embarassed to be an American in times like this. The political correctness of this nation is disgusting. He said nothing that hasn’t been said or thought of before. The eldest Jonas Bro, if he’s telling the truth, is slapping every dude who has trouble getting laid in the face. Russell is right, it’s like Superman refusing to fly and instead take the bus.

    Also, Russell Brand isn’t going away anytime soon America. He has alot of projects on tap. He’s in a Disney movie with Adam Sandler, he’s starring in the next Judd Apatow flick. He’s in tight with both Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow, and those two are comedic royalty in this country.

  67. Diva says:

    geronimo…. Loved Brand and Fielding on the big quiz! Those two play off each other well. I knew of Fielding before Brand because The Mighty Boosh was on BBC America over here, and have never had the pleasure of seeing Brand on Big Brother’s Big Mouth, but I watch him on youtube all the time and think he’s hilarious (did you see the interview he did with Will Farrell? lmao)

    Anyway…as for the not going to a foreign country and make fun of them…. ummmm, American comedians do it ALL the time. Holy hell, talk about self righteousness, people, lol… he was giving a WORLD perspective, and like it or not that IS the world perspective.

    I’ve decided, lmao, that if John McCain or Barack Obama become president, I’m moving to ENGLAND! lmao

    (For those who don’t know me and don’t get the joke and are about to burst a blood vessel in your head, I’m moving to England with my husband in July of ’09 anyway, so calm down, Turbo!)

  68. Kathy says:

    I loved it! Very funny! I’m a Dem, so I was really ready for someone to actually say what the whole world is thinking. Bravo!! Maybe a bit hard for the Jonas Bros. but I’m pretty sure they can take it, and if not …..get out of the biz.
    His take on Palin was brilliant. If it doesn’t work in your own home,(abstinence)why would you try to impose it everywhere else. Way to go Russel!!

  69. GRUMPEE says:

    I found Brand to be offensive with his poin head remarks about the President. Although thought he was a riot. Let’s turn the tables and present a what if?
    How would the Brits feel if an American comic made acidic comments about the Queen on British TV?

  70. Mairead says:

    Grumpee, I’m not sure most of them would mind that much… behold…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__X1Uy_FCs8

    Although, funnily enough, Rich Hall the token American in the red shirt is the only one who keeps quiet.

    I’ve said it before, but there is a completely different approach to politics on either side of the Atlantic. Whether Americans like their President or not, most of my acquaintance feel it almost unpatriotic not to support him, possibly because it’s an inherent critiscism of the democratic process.

    In the British Isles (not going to speak for the remainder of Europe) we know we’ve elected complete friggin’ eejits so we may as well have fun while we wait for the next chance we get to elect another barely modified list of friggin’ eejits. :mrgreen:

  71. BinFL says:

    There was nothing about Russell Brand’s performance entertaining and it was almost entirely offensive. My first thought on seeing and listening to him, was how much of a shame that legitimate artists are forced to participate in such a show to receive credit for their contributions.

  72. Diva says:

    Watched him tonight on The Secret Policeman’s Ball on BBC America tonight and he was completely facking hilarious!

    I’ll concede he wasn’t up to his usual par VMA night, but don’t judge him on that performance alone…

  73. Buck says:

    Being Canadian, I can say that us and the rest of the world have quite a strong opinion about the U.S., especially Bush. Even though I didn’t find it too funny, I was very happy that he told you yanks what the whole world thinks of you, or more specifically… Bush.

  74. daisy424 says:

    Buck, This American does NOT care what you and the rest of the world thinks of us ‘yanks’.

    I did find this interesting;
    “Brand’s first major hosting gig was as a veejay for MTV in the U.K., but he thought it would be funny to come to work dressed as Usama bin Laden after 9/11. His contract was consequently terminated. We then hired him back in a swirling haze of scandal,” Van Toffler, the MTVN president, said in a statement earlier this year. “We’re definitely gluttons for punishment, since we already know he’s sought advice from some of his British colleagues, like Amy Winehouse, about how to behave in public.”

  75. Mairead says:

    You hadn’t heard about that Daisy? The man was off his trolley on smack at the time and will make no bones about it.

    He’s constantly doing really twattish things – like stripping off at an anti-war rally; forgetting that it was very cold out; not liking the effect of this; trying to “mitigate against” the effect and promptly getting arrested.

    I don’t particularly like the man or all his material, but when he’s good he really does cut close to the bone and forces you to think about the issue, even if it’s long enough to have a reaction. He’s no Bill Hicks certainly, but is everyone really a fan of the stuff he used to say about teenage girls?

  76. Ambrielle says:

    I thought it was hilarious. I like Russell Brand. =)
    Bush IS a retarded cowboy, haha.
    As an American, I’m quite ashamed of this country’s decision in electing him.
    Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin shouldn’t have been having sex. Aren’t they christian? Seriously. Sarah Palin just told everyone that she teaches her kids abstinence and that she opposes sex ed. Good job that did.
    About the Jonas Brothers… well, it’s fine that they choose to stay abstinent, no one said it’s a bad thing, but it’s Russell’s humor to make fun of it. Calm down, people.

    So yeah, People need to stop being so sensitive.
    Bush is one of the worst presidents we’ve ever had. There’s no point in denying it.

  77. daisy424 says:

    Mairead, to be honest, I have never heard of this guy in my life until this thread. I saw a news item on him last night.

  78. McKenna says:

    Not offensive at all, but also not funny. I figured he’d have to something really special if MTV used him instead of someone better known by the American viewrs but honestly, he didn’t incite much more than a couple of chuckles from me.

  79. Mairead says:

    Aaaah I see Daisy. It is true – I didn’t see it myself, but it did happen literally just after 9/11, so he was booted out of MTV immediately. He was the most annoying cretin on the telly back then. I haven’ read “My Booky Wook” yet, but he’s always been very open in every interview he’s done and on his own shows – so I doubt anything was concealed from those who booked him.

  80. Meg says:

    He was THE worst host! Worse then Britney’s performance last year! The worst part was when he was telling everyone that a little sex never hurt anybody…Thats like telling kids/teenagers to go out and have sex. Mtv is a teenage station. Ok, get pregnant then sue him because remember…sex never hurt anyone! Loser

  81. Corinne says:

    I thought it was funny. Comedians should push the edge, that’s part of their job. And our president has often been caricatured by our political satirists as a version of the retarded cowboy Mr. Brand spoke of. And i have to agree that if purity rings were worn on the genitals i’d take them more seriously.
    Though if you’re going to be that vulgar, you have to be REALLY funny. (See Richard Pryor, he was the best).

  82. Gina D. says:

    I think this man should be hung. Why did they want him to be the host. If they wanted crazy why not let Brintey do it. It is offensive of what he said about virgins. People who are not Americans should not have a say in this election because what if a communist said to vote for so and so you wouldn’t listen or would you? :?:

  83. Mairead says:

    Gina – unless the mini black holes made by CERN this week have suddenly dumped us back in the 60s, I think the Reds have long since come out from under the bed.

    Russell doesn’t have “a say in” your election, he has an opinion on it. It’s not like he’s Robert Mugabe where only one opinion counts. Like it or not, non-Americans are entitled to their opinion on this because other countries also have rights to free speech and the US government’s foreign policies and the condition of your economy have a huge impact on the rest of the world.

  84. Leslie says:

    Thanks for the post. To those of you all wound up about this…He’s a COMEDIAN! And this is a music industry event – it is entertainment. Let’s all remember that.

    I happen to be a big fan of Russell Brand. And he can be controversial – it gets his audience thinking, most times. He got himself into some pretty hot water in the UK, resulting in his being fired from the BBC.

    I’m an an American expat living abroad with my British husband, which is how I got turned on to him and to the UK style of comedy.

    Perhaps his style of humor didn’t work in the States, but the British culture is one that readily accepts a much more edgy and controversial humor – and they challenge their leaders brutally.

    And he can be quite vulgar – but that’s his brand of schtick, how he makes his living, who he is. I certainly don’t find him offensive – in any way (and I hold a semi-diplomatic post in my host country).

    Yes, I was a bit shocked/startled when I first began paying attention, but definitely not offended.

    If you look into Brand at all, you’ll find he is an interesting character with some interesting and perhaps thought-provoking views on life. He’s got issues – what celeb hasn’t? – but if you listen to his basic philosophy he’s got some good points that he tries to make through his comedy.

    Check him out.