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Russell Brand is an English stand-up comedian and actor known for hosting various British radio and TV programs and his roles in major films, most notably as the character of a reckless rockstar named Aldous Snow in the 2008 romantic comedy film Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the 2010 comedy film Get Him to the Greek.
Brand made his stand-up comedy debut at the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year competition in 2000. The same year, Brand began working as a video journalist covering the nightlife beat in Britain and Ibiza for the MTV show Dancefloor Chart and hosted the video request show Select. In 2002, Brand hosted the British documentary and comedy program RE:Brand, which challenged various cultural taboos (shown below, left). Starting in 2004, Brand hosted the the Big Brother fan discussion show Big Brother’s Big Mouth (shown below, right).
Also in 2004, Brand performed a one-man confessional show titled Better Now at the Edinburg Festival, during which he openly discussed his history of heroin and alcohol addictions. In 2008, Brand achieved international notoriety with the release of the romantic comedy film Forgetting Sarah Marshall, in which he portrayed a reckless rockstar named Aldous Snow. In 2010, Brand portrayed the Snow character again in the 2010 comedy film Get Him to the Greek.
On December 1st, 2012, YouTuber Righteous Hammer uploaded a clip of Brand speaking on the Australian talk show program Today, in which the comedian urges viewers to align themselves with the “micro quantum world” rather than determining self worth from other people’s point of view (shown below). On December 26th, Reddiot mscarce submitted the video to the /r/videos subreddit, where it gained over 4,600 up votes and 580 comments prior to being archived.
On December 1st, 2012, YouTuber Righteous Hammer uploaded a clip of Brand on the Australian talk show program Today, in which he urges viewers to align themselves with the “micro quantum world” (shown below). On December 26th, Reddiot mscarce submitted the video to the /r/videos subreddit, where it gained over 4,600 up votes and 580 comments prior to being archived.
On June 17th, 2013, the OvergrowDaGovernment YouTube channel uploaded a video clip of Brand being interviewed on MSNBC, in which he criticizes and mocks the mainstream media for manipulating viewers (shown below). On the same day, Redditor depros submitted the video to the /r/videos subreddit, where it garnered upwards of 24,800 up votes and 3,200 comments prior to being archived.
BBC Newsnight Interview
On October 23rd, 2013, the television program BBC Newsnight broadcast an interview with Brand, who urged viewers to abstain from voting and discussed his ideas for a socialist revolution (shown below). On the following day, Redditor ecoshia submitted the video to the /r/videos subreddit, where it accumulated over 920 up votes and 230 comments in the next two months.
On October 24th, Redditor GeneticorpIndustries posted an “ask me anything” request for Russell Brand to the /r/IAmA subreddit, asking Brand to explain more specifics about his call for revolution. In the following two months, the request received more than 8,800 up votes and 970 comments. On October 30th, comedian Robert Webb published an open letter to Brand on the New Statesman, which challenged Brand’s position on voting as a means of political participation. On January 16th, 2014, The Cambridge Union Society YouTube channel uploaded a video in which Brand reiterated many of the points discussed in the BBC Newsnight interview (shown below).
Brand has won several awards for stand-up comedy, including the “Best Stand-Up” award from Time Out, Loaded Laftas and the British Comedy Awards in 2006, the British Comedy Awards “Best Live Stand-Up” award in 2008 and the British Comedy Awards “Outstanding Contribution to Comedy” award in 2011. As of January 2014, Brand has more than 7.4 million Twitter followers and 2.1 million Facebook likes.
On October 14th, 2014, Random House published Brand’s political commentary book Revolution, which advocates a social revolution to bring about an end to “corporate tyranny, ecological irresponsibility and economic inequality.” On November 2nd, British marketing consultant Dan Barker posted a quote from the book, noting that it reminded him of actor Phil Daniels’ narration from Blur’s 1994 hit single “Parklife” (shown below). In the first 48 hours, the tweet gained over 8,100 retweets and 5,700 favorites.
Shortly after, other Twitter users began tweeting the song title at Brand, which gathered more than 10,000 mentions on the microblogging site in two days.
On November 4th, Viner Alan White posted several clips of Brand’s BBC interview edited with parts of the “Parklife” music video (shown below). Within 24 hours, the Vines received over 200,000 plays. In the coming days, several news sites reported on the “Parklife” tweets, including BuzzFeed, The Independent, Express, Metro and Reason.
Brand was born on June 4th, 1975 in Grays, Essex, England. At the age of 16, Brand began experimenting with illegal drugs and later checked into a drug rehabilitation program as an adult. Since 2003, Brand has purportedly abstained from all drug use. According to The Observer, Brand has been arrested a total of 11 times. In the September 2009, Brand began dating pop star Katy Perry and the two married on October 23rd, 2010. The pair were divorced 14 months later on December 30th, 2011. Brand has described his personal fashion aesthetic as an “S&M Willy Wonka.”