Friday, October 25, 2013

Russell Brand won't leave me alone

Russell Brand is a comedian who appeals to the young. I don’t like him, but that’s fine. I’ve reached the age when I am not meant to like that sort of performer.

The trouble is, he won’t leave me alone.

Compare him with another of “those Russell comedians they have nowadays” (as Stewart Lee put it), Russell Howard. I don’t like him either. I have complained about him on this blog. But these days I don’t watch the programmes he is on, so we get on just fine.

But Russell Brand turned up writing on football for the Guardian. He guest edits the New Statesman. He's interviewed on Newsnight. I can’t get away from him.

He wasn’t much of a sportswriter and his political views on Newsnight were ridiculous – a bunch of media-left slogans and a call for unelected officials to tax us all.

But then why should he be expected to be an expert on these things? He is a niche comedian.

Brand’s trouble is that he has become a symbol of youthful cool and everyone wants to be associated with him.

Jonathan Ross’s exit from the BBC arose from his inability to grow middle aged gracefully. He wanted to show how young and hip he still was. And the way to show that was to demonstrate to us that he knew all about Brand’s love life.

Hence those bullying phone calls to Andrew Sachs. As my mother said at the time, he and Brand behaved like two teenagers making dirty calls from a phone box.

For all I know, Brand may be a good comedian. I have never seen him in that role.

But my views on him from all the other appearances I have been unable to escape are well summarised in this tweet…

I am sure I once read an article making very much these points, but I cannot find it online - perhaps I dreamt it? Anyway, I am writing it myself.


Martin Brookes @oakhamuk said...

I first saw Russell Brand on a Channel 4 show trying to be funny did not like him. I think he was into Hare Krishna then?

I then saw him on a show about drug projects he was good on that.

News Night a bit hysterical I agreed with some things he said but not all he seemed a bit different

Phil Beesley said...

Russell Brand is 38 years old, knocking on the door of middle age. I am not convinced that his fan base is significantly younger. A symbol of youthful cool? I have to admit that he dresses very well, taking cues from Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and television costume dramas.

P G Wodehouse used words in amusing fashion and he knew enough to assume that entertainment sufficed. Brand can turn out a smart phrase (sometimes without overuse of a thesaurus) but he can't deliver a coherent political thought. Yet he strives to do so. Brand lacks the self awareness shown by Wodehouse.

Herbert Eppel said...

I too find Brand irritating, but see""

Phil Beesley said...

I guess that Herbert Eppel wishes to link to:

You might follow, but expect to think 'why bother?'

Jonathan Calder said...

Or, even better, click here.

Herbert Eppel said...

Phil, yes, that was my intention, but I messed up the link in a vain attempt to make it clickable (unfortunately, unlike in LinkedIn, for example, links aren't automatically 'live' here). I note you didn't succeed either, but thanks to Jonathan for rectifying the situation. As for 'why bother', I dare say readers can decide for themselves.