Brand X with Russell Brand
Thursday, 10.10pm, One In which stand-up comedian turned movie star Russell Brand demonstrates that not everyone who can act ( Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Rock of Ages) or write a funny book ( My Booky Wook) can be a chat-show host. Some degree of interest in your interviewees is actually the first requirement, not the last. Still, Brand is a funny guy and sometimes that is enough to save the day. There is a strange device in the form of a straight man — political analyst Matt Stoller — who acts as Brand’s sidekick. This works about as well as having an accountant on stage at a comedy festival. His job is to give factual accounts and analyses of the news stories Brand is lampooning. At almost the eight-minute mark in tonight’s 24-minute episode, Brand’s first guest, basketball player Metta World Peace (that’s his legal name), appears. He has better comedy ideas than Brand, and convinces him they should swap clothes. ‘‘ I’m not a homosexual,’’ says Brand, drooling a bit, ‘‘ but congratulations on your physique, mate.’’ It’s all a little bit pedal too hard to the floor. It then goes absolutely nowhere.