After seeing Russel Brand in the film, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I looked up some of his stand-up comedy. Very funny. Then the film Get Him to the Greek came out and I wasn't going to see it because I hadn't seen any ads for it and it sounded like some sort of really stupid movie about a fraternity but luckily Connor assured me it was nothing of the sort. He was right, in fact, rather than being about horrible frat rats, it was a brilliant comedy about rockstars and redemption. And a furry wall. And Puff Daddy... sorry.. Sean Combs. And, oh nevermind, just download it.
I really enjoy Russell Brand because he has an excellent vocabulary and a quick wit coupled with a beautiful tendency to act "camp". With an autobiography entitled My Booky Wook, how could I resist?
I love reading it because my internal narrator goes all British and it leaks into my other thoughts and I will find my self doing something dull like washing the dishes with an internal thought chatter jabbering away in a delightful accent.
Anyway, here's a peek of a live NYC show here.
Plus a quick comical word or two from his entertaining book:
"Don't stamp on those flowers..." Why say that? Had he not parted with the words, "Don't stamp on those flowers," I wouldn't have. It just wouldn't've occurred to me. I might have stamped on one to make an example of it. But in the sentence, "Don't stamp on those flowers," the word "don't" is feeble, impotent and easy to ignore. Whereas "STAMP ON THOSE FLOWERS" has a real linguistic verve; "stamp on those flowers" could be a slogan, a catchphrase, a banner under nations could unite. So the moment he shuffled out of view, all old and friendly, I stamped on them flowers. I stamped 'em till there was naught but mush, till they were but a memory of flowers; I stamped with a ferocity that meant that flowers everywhere would never again feel safe. It was a floral 9/11.
I became a vegetarian at fourteen... "Vindictive vegetarianism," I like to call it. I've never regretted it. I'm incredibly sentimental about animals. It's the only opportunity I get to occupy the moral high ground: when I got clean, after chatting to some Krishna devotees, I gave up fish as well. They said if you put death in your body you will emit death, but I'm in it mostly for the high ground. "You're vegetarian?" comes the inquiry. "Yes." Then the inevitable, 'Do you eat fish?" This is where they catch a lot of people out: the inquisitor is already at this stage anticipating a "Yes" and loading up with, "Ah, well, you're not a proper vegetarian then are you because fish are incredibly sensitive and some of them write haiku." That's why I have to stifle a smug grin when I reply, "No. No, I don't eat fish because it is cruel to them, the lovely little things." And on particularly smarmy days, "If you put death into your body you emit death." Even as a junkie I stayed true - "I shall have heroin, but I shan't have a hamburger." What a sexy little paradox.
One of my greatest pleasures in life is coining mischievous phraseology that other people then have to accept as a linguistic fact. It's exciting to be able to interrupt and alter language. It's anarchic and subversive to lay dirty lingo eggs that people are going to have to say, then watch like a voyeuristic cuckoo as they hatch - "There, speak like that. Now, talk all stupid."
It was much harder to find those fetuses than we had envisaged because the Royal Free [Hospital] is quite big, fetuses are small and it's hard to concentrate when you're on acid.
Yeah, don't you just wish you had context for all of that.
Photo from Google Images. Quotes from My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs and Stand-Up by Russel Brand. It Books: New York, 2009.