Live Nation has just announced that more seats are available to tonight’s Comedy Central taping with British comedian Russell Brand in New York City "due to production releases." Tickets cost $45 (online via Live Nation or Ticketmaster, or by phone at 212-307-7171). But is it worth it?
That depends. Let me tell you what happened last night and see if that piques your interest. Doors open at 7 p.m. at Teatro Heckscher of El Museo Del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Ave., in Spanish Harlem. But last night’s show didn’t start until 8:40 p.m. as the crew worked out a variety of tech issues. Perhaps this explains the decision to release more tickets tonight? Regardless, the show. Well, first, the set. It looks like a Persian palace lounge, with long hanging tapestries of red and orange separated by equally long bands of yellow beads. Three gold painted skulls stare out from the front of the stage between the speakers. Brand has created a "Den of Thieves" for his Comedy Central debut to American audiences.
What you won’t hear: Any more apologies from Brand about what the British tabloids have called "Sachsgate," the prank phone call that led to him quitting his BBC Radio gig. That’s most likely not a sin of omission, but rather a decision that American audiences would not care for an explanation of that incident in a comedy show. Brand knows fans would like to hear more about what happened when he hosted the MTV Video Music Awards, though, and delves in-depth into that for upward of a half-hour. He’ll tell you the jokes he had planned that he decided NOT to say that night on MTV, as well as offer this additional thought on the Jonas Brothers: "I’m about as angry about the Jonas Brothers as I am about cotton candy!" Want to know what he means by that? Want to know what story The Daily Mail published about him that made him believe "they’re reporting from inside my insecurity?" Or would you just like to see Brand in form-fitting pants with prominently large shiny zippers on his crotch and buttocks? In 70 minutes — and Brand chose not to do any of his traditional crowd work, mind you — this personable personality with a wickedly poetic use of vocabulary also touched upon his experiences filming Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the temptations of meeting the Queen, and his oral sex tips. Much of his closing bit, you must figure, will have to air during Comedy Central’s overnight "secret stash" timeframe, if it makes it to air at all, or will show up later on a DVD. I’m not sure how they’ll get "seagulling" around the standards and practices censors, but I’m sure Brand will try. The boy likes to seek out trouble, don’t you know? Or is that all part of his master plan to make himself as famous in America as he is infamous in Britain?
Earlier: My review of Russell Brand’s NYC debut in July. Also, my interview with Russell Brand.