Review: Russell Brand, “Re:Birth” on Netflix

I’ve long held a love/ambivalence about the comedian and actor Russell Brand.

On the one hand, Brand holds a world of ideas within his head and a dazzling gift for sharing his ideas and prompting bigger conversations about life and love and everything else. On the other, Brand’s ego and vanity often gets in his own way.

As I wrote in my review of his new comedy special for Netflix, Re:Birth

His paradoxical nature remains on full display. As he joked in that opening clip, he aims to spread the wonders of connected consciousness, but he’s also in it for the money and the fame. He long since found it in Britain (here in America, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him To The Greek almost made him a star stateside, and though his Arthur remake and a short-lived late-night talk show slightly diminished it, he has since returned in HBO’s Ballers).

Brand calls this hour Re:Birth in honor of becoming a father for the first time, joking in very traditional terms about his wife’s labor and childbirth, and the sudden psychological and emotional transition from man to father. It allows him to segue back to his passion about consciousness and a tangent to Michelangelo’s painting of the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Read my full review in Decider.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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