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Posted at 2:08 PM ET, 06/ 2/2010

Your take on Russell Brand

By Jen Chaney

Russell Brand (with Kristen Bell) in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." (Universal)

Russell Brand: comic genius or non-funny sleazoid undeserving of our attention? That's the question I'm asking you to answer today. But before you do, consider a bit of Brand's backstory.

Although he emerged as a comedic force in Great Britain in the early '00s, most Americans didn't know who he was until he hilariously slithered his way onto the big screen in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," in the role of pompous, preening rock god Aldous Snow.

The guy -- who happens to house a bird's nest and, possibly, a few other zoo animals in the crown of his frizzed-out hairdo -- pretty much stole the movie. Yanks started to think he was cool. Then some weird stuff started to happen.

A few months after "Sarah Marshall's" release, Brand hosted the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, where he compared Britney Spears to Jesus, referred to then-President George W. Bush as a "retarded cowboy fella" and busted on the Jonas Brothers for their commitment to purity. Reviews of his performance were more than a little mixed, but the VMA ratings went way up.

That same year, Brand also stepped down from his role as a BBC radio host after he and Jonathan Ross prank-called former "Fawlty Towers" star Andrew Sachs and made inappropriate references to his granddaughter.

Then earlier this year, the man who has "won" the Shagger of the Year award so many times by British tabloid The Sun that they've actually renamed the award in his honor, announced his engagement to pop star Katy Perry, a coupling that seemed unexpected to some, and downright gag-worthy to others.

Now, after all that, Brand is slipping back into the leather pants of Aldous Snow, reprising the character that first earned him attention in America, in the comedy "Get Him to the Greek." And guess what? He's getting very positive reviews so far. "Brand seems comfortable and confident throughout, and the stand-up comic shows he's capable of more than just earning laughs," writes the Christy Lemire of the Associated Press. "'Get Him to the Greek,' is a mess, but an amiable and occasionally uproarious one due mostly to Russell Brand’s reprising of his role as Aldous Snow," adds Robert Wilonsky of the Village Voice. (The Post's review will appear later this week.)

So back to that question, fellow Celebritologists: What do you make of Russell Brand? Is the guy a talented author, actor and stand-up artist, or just, well, kinda gross at this point? (Me? I'm veering toward talented, with the admission that he may have some gross tendencies.) You tell us in the comments.

By Jen Chaney  | June 2, 2010; 2:08 PM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Movies, Pop Culture  | Tags:  Celebrities, Movies  
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Comments

Sorry Jen, I know you're asking some kind of question about Russell Brand, but I'm too busy focusing on Kristen Bell's abs to really form any kind of coherent thought.

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | June 2, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I like him - he's refreshingly bizarre and straightforwardly wacky. Not Dennis Rodman-crazy, but certainly very proudly weird and pretty funny. And I'd see his new movie if I didn't hate whiny little Jonah Hill so much.....

Posted by: undercover_hon | June 2, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

He's basically the British Dane Cook. I wish Katy Perry had better taste.

Posted by: vypergts | June 2, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Kristen Bell has abs? Are you sure that second letter is a "b"?

Posted by: reddragon1 | June 2, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Based on that picture alone, I'm going to have to go with sleazoid. Next!

Posted by: Bawlmer51 | June 2, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I do not at all understand the appeal of this guy. That may be partly due to the fact that one of two thoughts pops up every time I see him: "Dude, button your shirt" or (in the case of this photo) "Dude, pull up your pants."

That said, I agree with the "retarded cowboy fella" joke. LOL.

Posted by: Californian11 | June 2, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Based on the pictures and some press I've seen on this movie, I'd say he's a candidate for Liz Kelly's famous "Hot Dirtbags" top-10 list.

Posted by: northgs | June 2, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

OK, so he can play one role - egotistical rockstar. He's also scrawny and has a lot of hair.

Posted by: kbockl | June 2, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

*shrug* If I want to watch a male British stand-up comic with non-traditional sexuality, I'll just continue to watch Eddie Izzard. Smarter and significantly better sense of comic timing.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | June 2, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Russell Brand is hilarious, talented, articulate and surprisingly smart. His book, "My Booky Wook," has sold very well. Robert Webb and David Mitchell passed on him for the role of Super Hans in Peep Show, and they probably still regret it.

Posted by: lolyla | June 2, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Russell was on Craig Ferguson's show about two years ago. It was one of the most hilarious shows Craig has ever done (and that's saying something -- I think he is quite brilliant also.) Both of them were truly wonderful, it was a non-stop slug-fest of the best kind -- you really didn't want it to end!

Find it somewhere if you can, you will not be disappointed!

Posted by: zmar2 | June 3, 2010 4:09 AM | Report abuse

He's mad articulate and very funny.

Posted by: ronjaboy | June 3, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Hilarious with occasional moments of "UGH". Anyone who can intersperse references to literature (Camus, Kerouac, etc) with sex jokes must be fairly intelligent as well.

Posted by: kawilson69 | June 3, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I think he looks like someone who doesn't bathe enough. Like Matthew Mconaughy (geez, how on earth do you spell his name?).

Anyway - anything else he might have going for him is negated by the fact that he looks like he smells.

Posted by: Roxie1 | June 3, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I've seen his act (outside of Forgetting Sarah Marshall where he and the Dracula puppets stole the show) and he's absolutely hysterical.

Posted by: stella117 | June 3, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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