Russell Brand started off life looking like an East End version of the character “Buzz” from Home Alone. Then with the help of illegal narcotics and their associated contrived aesthetics, he then became a superficial Goth-wannabe, complete with all the clichéd piercings and tattoos. This pseudo-70s throwback then began juggling the duties of presenting, stand-up comedy, and acting without becoming proficient in either. Most of Brand’s performances serve predominantly as some sort of meeting for substance abusers and sex-addicts, his catharsis being the source of the majority of his material. With his “I’ve had such a hard time on drugs” bromide routine, Brand has followed the “Book Of Hackneyed Cockneys” step by step, and has become a caricature of a postulant celebrity and aspiring-über-addict. Brand’s constant attempts to appear edgy has him portraying this character continuously, and by following the rocker-by-numbers pattern; he has become a tattooed, drug-addled, self-harming, bi-polar construct of a non-rocking non-celebrity.
Like many hollow celebrities and wannabe-artists before him, Russell Brand is also a weekend-spiritualist. Along with his fake Hare Krishna sentiments at the closing of all his routines, Brand likes to dabble with Eastern Philosophy and specious activism with his self-deprecating and self-promoting causes. Give It Up For Comic Relief will be yet another medium for Brand to hammer home his hairy and inked aesthetic, this time under the guise of a charity gig for drug and alcohol addiction. This will be yet another stage on which he tricks the uninformed white middle-aged and middle-class into thinking he is cool. It seems that Brand has a knack for attracting dreary middle-aged Caucasians, just ask Carol McGiffin.
Once tolerable in the early to mid-noughties in shows such as Big Brother’s Big Mouth, Russell’s prosaic bullshit is now beginning to wear thin. Describing himself as an “S&M Willy Wonka”, Brand fails to recognise that styling his hair with the static from a balloon does not make him in any way subversive, and likening himself to a literary classic will not help raise his dull act to the pantheon of genius. Roald Dahl would never write a character so vapid and one-dimensional, and anybody claiming to be counter-culture would not appear like some shit-stained jester at the Royal Variety Performance. Nobody with any self-respect or credibility performed at the closing ceremony of last year’s Olympics either, so it was apt that Brand appeared there like the rock star he wishes he was, whilst the character of “Aldous Snow” from Get Him To The Greek played in his mind. A perfect example of shitty art imitating shitty life.
A decade of newspaper-reading stand-up comedy shows where Brand discusses “Russell Brand”, and a decade of perfunctory film roles where Brand plays the character of “Russell Brand” proves that this One Man Brand is more addicted to himself than any drug on offer. This narcissist’s ideal role would be a drug taking stand-up comedian presenter who snorts lines off copies of Russell Brand’s Booky Wook, whilst masturbating to the picture of Russell Brand on the cover. And knowing Hollywood, this is probably in pre-production.