Russell Brand skewers a seemingly unprepared MSNBC team [video]

Russell Brand had his way with MSNBC's "Morning Joe" team on Monday.
Russell Brand had his way with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” team on Monday.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Russell Brand might have a job over at MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show -- because on Monday he did a better job interviewing himself and acting like an anchorman than the three people who were there to chat with him.

Then again, it’s probably not a job he wants. Tuesday on Twitter, he promoted the segment by saying, “This is me on a mad American program. Quite funny.”

Remember how Mila Kunis turned the tables on a nervous BBC interviewer back in March? Well, this went down sort of like that, without the interviewers having the excuse of first-time nerves.


It didn’t start well. Mika Brzezinski prefaced her introduction of Brand by saying: “Joining us now, he’s a really big deal — I’m told this, I’m not very pop-cultured, sorry.”

And that was about as prepared as the MSNBC team appeared to get.

The first minute went to discussing Brand’s appearance, especially his unremarkable boots. A knee-jerk question about whether he was mentally ill showed up in minute two. In minute three Brand got to explain his “Messiah Complex” tour a bit, then had to turn down a request to spontaneously perform 30 seconds of his stand-up act.

Shortly after the five-minute mark, however, the threesome started talking about Brand in third person and mocking his accent, and that he called them out on. “You are talking about me as if I’m not here and as if I’m an extraterrestrial,” he said. “You know I’m from a country that’s near to you.”

But the most painful moment was yet to come -- that being the moment Brand was referred to as “Willy” rather than “Russell,” a faux pas he initially ignored.

“You shouldn’t say ‘he’ when a person is present,” Brand said. “You should refer to a person by their name. That’s basic good manners.”

“That’s where Willy is heading,” interjected panelist Katty Kay of the BBC, continuing a conversation she was having with Brzezinski.

“Who is Willy?” Brand asked.

“Is this what you all do for a living?” he added in disbelief.

At that point, around the 6:30 mark, he offers to help them out, and runs with it, telling the “people of America”: “We’re going to be OK; everything is all right. These are your trusted anchors.”

Midway through his riff, they again start referring to him as “he.”

Oy vey.

“Look beyond the superficial,” Brand implored. “That’s the problem with current affairs. You forget about what’s important, you allow the agenda to be decided by superficial information.

“What am I saying, what am I talking about? Don’t think about what I’m wearing--these things are redundant, superficial.”

And then it was time to move it along, which Brand did with a mild sexual joke, thankfully in British slang. See it all for yourself in the video below.

Brand referred to the interview again on Wednesday, tweeting a link to a Gawker article and saying, “I did an interview about Bradley Manning.... The journalist was nice (didn’t call me Willy Brand).”

This one might take a while to live down.


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