Currently one of the UK's (and to a lesser extent, America's) more popular comedians, Russell Edward Brand (born 4 June 1975 in Grays, England) is known for his somewhat abstract and off the wall demeanor. He's best known in the UK as the host of The Russell Brand Show. Part of his act is explaining the joke, which usually makes it funnier. He's also known for playing sexually open and airy rock star Aldous Snow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and its spin-off Get Him to the Greek. Other works of his include Trinculo in The Tempest (2010), his two title roles in the 2011 remake of Arthur, the voice of a slacker Easter Bunny in Hop, Lonny in the film adaption of Rock of Ages and Dr. Bessner in Kenneth Branagh's 2022 Hercule Poirot adaptation Death on the Nile.
There appears to be a sharp division of opinion in Britain regarding Russell Brand. You either love or loathe him, you either regard him as a comic genius or as an untalented Lothario who got there solely because of his looks, his accent, and his bizarre behavior. It tends to boil down to two things: (a) whether you like his sort of comedy or you don't and (b) whether or not you read the tabloids.
He was forced to resign from his Radio 2 show with the BBC in 2008 after the controversy that swelled over prank calls he and Jonathan Ross made to actor Andrew Sachs. Brand has since moved on to working almost exclusively in Hollywood.
Brand has had sex with just about every woman in the UK (and beyond), including a couple of famous ones, and he loves to brag about it — which got him into trouble more than once. He was once married to kitschy pop star Katy Perry. Russell is also close friends with Noel Fielding, and the two formed "The Goth Detectives" on The Big Fat Quiz Of The Year.
He's the only man that Peter Andre has ever kissed.
Citing tropes associated with Mr. Brand:
- All Germans Are Nazis: Was accused by tabloids of making this observation in 2013 — in fact he merely pointed out the undeniable fact that Hugo Boss, the sponsor of the event at which he was speaking, made a tidy profit designing the uniforms for the SS (and that, to be fair, "they looked fantastic"). Might have got away with it if it weren't for the subsequent Basil Fawlty impression...
- Agent Peacock: Probably the most notorious Real Life example.
- Book Dumb: Brand's marks in school were atrocious but after reading his book he comes off as highly intelligent. Some of his old school notes note that his teachers seem to think he's smarter than he lets them believe.
- Bourgeois Bohemian: These days, he's much more famous for his grassroots rabble-rousing than anything else, especially in the United States.
- British Rockstar: He pretty much is one, except that he's a comedian. It made him a natural choice to play Aldous Snow.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: It might come as a surprise to find that behind all the hair and the crazy and the endless scandals, he's often rather funny.
- Camp Straight: One of the banes of his life is apparently that people take all the flirting he does with men seriously (and the clothes he wears) and assume that he is gay (or at the very least, bisexual). Despite the fact that he is a notorious womanizer (and was married to the very female Katy Perry), he constantly has to remind the world that no, he is not gay.
- The Dandy: Ever since his post-drugs days, he has worn flamboyant shirts and tights pants and nice boots.
- Genius Ditz: Despite his outlandish, manic, and controversial behaviour, he is a highly intelligent professionally trained actor who received multiple scholarships for the drama schools he attended. Alfred Molina, Helen Mirren and Julie Taymor have all commented that he is one of the most talented people they have ever worked with.
- Hidden Depths: He has a very manic persona, but at the same time, frequently makes incredibly intelligent jokes and insightful comments. When former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died, a major newspaper carried a remarkably thoughtful, critical and compassionate article that Brand wrote about her legacy.
- There's also his quite insightful take on contemporary British politics in an editorial for the New Statesman, although that might also be as polarizing as his celebrity status is.
- He seems to think everyone deserves a chance to have their say, but his new Youtube show 'The Trews' - a combination of 'truth' and 'news' - has seen him tackle a number of subjects from Gaza to Ferguson in a manner often more insightful than a number of news programs.
- I Am Not Leonard Nimoy: Whether the man is funny is beside the point, its pretty obvious he just can't or won't play anybody besides himself. When he hosted SNL in February 2011, he states during his monologue that he deserved an Oscar for playing a "narcissistic, drug-addicted, sex-addicted, British entertainer" (a "role" which he performed in Real Life for well over 20 years, until he got the drug and sex addiction under control) in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
- Large Ham: If he appears in a movie, that movie now stars Russell Brand. Even if he's just The Cameo.
- Love at First Punch: He fell in love with Katy Perry when she threw a bottle at his head. No, really.
- Modesty Bedsheet: In a video in which he talked about his pornography addiction, he covered himself with bedsheets while leaving his torso almost exposed.
- Odd Couple: Him and Katy Perry (though they're now divorced).
- Perky Goth: He was arguably one a few years ago, when he dressed primarily in black.
- Refuge in Audacity: Sometimes, he relies on this to not get in trouble for some of the things he says and does. Sometimes, it works, other times, like the time he dressed up as Osama Bin Laden on the day following 9/11, it gets him fired.
- He often refers to the 'drugbrella' (i.e. 'drug-umbrella'). When friends try to shame or embarrass him with incidents from his past (and aren't there a lot), he will dismiss them as being when he was on hard drugs are therefore under the amnesty of the 'drugbrella'. Clearly, being on heroin does lead to diminished responsibility, but when someone points out, for instance, 'you stole money you were meant to be collecting for hospital donations' and you answer with 'I was also taking illegal drugs', it does seem to be an odd way to exonerate yourself.
- Sad Clown: He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder while in rehab. Also, he had bulimia as a teenager, went through a phase of Self-Harm (he cut himself a lot), and numerous addictions (drugs, alcohol and sex). As he put it, "My biggest problem is that I have lived an autobiography rather than a life."
- Self-Deprecation: Has often described himself as a "PVC Willy Wonka," an "S&M Willy Wonka," or "a scarecrow who robbed a bondage shop."
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: He is famous for using very fancy language in everyday conversation.
- Sex Drugs And Rock N Roll: His favorite pastimes in his younger years.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Appears to have developed one in FOX News host Sean Hannity. While Russell was content to challenge Hannity's vitriolic style of interviewing 'guests' - often attempting to bully them into submission or force them to agree with his points - Hannity's first attempt at retaliation saw him branding Russell a drug addict and 'Katy Perry's ex-husband' while gathering other commentators to retaliate against points Russell had raised. This backfired hilariously when several of Hannity's guests agreed with Russell's points, causing Hannity to argue with them on air.
- Sophisticated as Hell : Russell has a habit of combining his Essex accent with a sophisticated vocabulary. He notably used this in his autobiography, resulting in such gems as I aint never had much fun really. I particularly dislike preordained happy occasions.
- Brand would regularly open spinoff show Big Brother 's Big Mouth with an elaborate, verbose story, occasionally based on literature or factual historical events, invariably ending with him getting his nob out.
- Take That!: He did an extended riff on The Daily Mail, calling it "distilled evil" among other things, after they wrote a bit of gossip about him.
- The Teetotaler: He used to be an alcoholic; now he doesn't drink at all.
- Troll: He invited two members of the infamous "Westboro Baptist Church". The interview started off friendly with some moments of tension from the guests and audience but when Russell asked them which audience members would go to hell. Russell soon pointed to a man and woman who have physical disabilities and opposing nationalities, this caused the church members to fumble. He soon brought forward some of his friends who told the guests that they were openly gay and religious themselves. The guests were quickly disgusted by this and soon left after they realised that they were just humiliated on live TV. Not only that but the church members worsened their own image by rejecting a gay man who was being nice them.