This week’s issue of Time Out New York, out today, includes my new interview with British comedian Russell Brand, who just so happens to be arriving in Montreal today for Just For Laughs hot off sparking a new controversy over in the U.K. Coincidence? I’ll have to ask Brand about that.
Americans and Canadians alike probably have just started getting to know Brand — named best comedian in the U.K. by Time Out London — from his breakthrough performance in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. No coincidence that Brand is here in Montreal this week along with Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen. He’ll make his New York City debut next week (Sunday and Monday, July 20-21) at the Blender Theater. Click on my Ticketmaster button for tickets.
Aside from what Brand already told me in our interview, here are a few other asides…
What Brand has learned from other Brit comedians. Among them: "Eddie Izzard literally told me don’t consider yourself a stand-up until you’ve done a hundred gigs. So he gave me a vital piece of advice there," Brand told me over the phone from London earlier this month "And Ricky Gervais told me, don’t give explicit tales of prostitutes in his hometown."
On coming to North America to win over new audiences, Brand found a comparison here, saying: "I know sex is a delicate proposition, but that doesn’t meatn that it shouldn’t be undertaken with delicious enthusiasm."
He did get to perform in Los Angeles earlier this year, and learned this: "I made sure I had a set that was not entirely strewn with English references and bizarre idioms."
On Montreal and JFL: "I remember seeing Just For Laughs on the telly. That little green lizard monster thing."
As he has gotten more famous, has his rocker-style hairdo gotten larger and larger? "There’s a direct corollary," Brand told me. "It’s a cloud of brunette fuzz, the size of domes atop of the cathedral."