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Largely hit and miss Russell romp
on 23 November 2009
Russell Brand often has me thinking I could listen to him talk for hours, but popping in this 80-minute show has me doubting myself. That said, it's refreshing to see a standup show that sees the performer address himself so thoroughly, both as an entertainer and an affected personality. It makes a change from the equally welcome but perhaps over saturated observations of a McIntyre or Howard or the oft-exhausting barrage of jokes from Jimmy Carr.
Scandalous has Brand discuss his involvement in that whole pointless controversy of last year in some detail before moving onto a sequence of smaller pieces (sketches, almost) that peter out after he's done with the MTV awards. He makes startlingly honest mention of how he hated American anonymity ("without fame, this haircut just looks like mental illness") before a disastrous hosting of the VMAs made him the fifth most searched for on Google (with 'VMA Host' and 'Russell Brown' also charting in the top 50). It's his addressing of the Russell Brand character during the show that had me intrigued, especially as he dissects his actions under constant watch of the paparazzi. Sadly though, the brilliant first half of the show isn't matched by the second, as he descends into a barely funny and self-aggrandizing reading aloud of death threats (fair enough Russ, there are thick people on the internet) and a piece on oral sex tips that isn't quite the climax it thinks it is.
Still, his every delivery is a joy, from his standard cockney-eloquence to his other regional accents, and the Radio 2 incident section sees some of his best material yet- it's just a shame the steam runs out so fast.