Brand X with Rus­sell Brand

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

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.

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