TCA: British Comedian Russell Brand Calls U.S. Presidential Election 'A Meaningless Spectacle'
“I don’t see myself as a malevolent jester attacking people who are already disenfranchised," said Brand. "All I want is to make people feel better than they do now."
Russell Brand closed winter TCA with a side-splitting, blasphemous and deliciously crude question-and-answer session to promote his new late-night program, Strangely Uplifting. Set to bow in April on FX, details on the format are still a little vague – it will be part standup, part topical humor with an element of audience participation. FX has ordered an initial six installments of the program. But if Brand’s TCA session is any indication, it has the potential to be a barnburner.
Following are highlights from Brand’s session:
U.S. politics provided copious fodder for the British brand. Asked if his show would examine the 2012 president election, Brand allowed that the current crop of GOP contenders are “an interesting bunch. I don’t know much about them. But that could be a good thing.”
On Mitt Romney’s vast wealth: “Other billionaires must seem like Dickensian street urchins eating gruel with fingerless gloves.”
On the presidential race in general: “We know it’s meaningless who the president is. Don’t we? So I’m not going to be part of the meaningless spectacle. It’s like describing individual termites. The only legitimate distinction in global politics, I think, is: are you rich or poor?”
On former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum’s name: “[His] surname rhymes with sanitarium.”
On former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s name: “ludicrous, amphibious, bizarre.”
On U.S. Marines videotaped urinating on Afghan corpses: "It's bad to wee on a dead body, but it's worse to kill someone! A lot of people consider the old golden shower elitist.”
On Gingrich’s TV spot skewering Romney for speaking French: “Like that makes him elitist and a bit of a whoopsy. It’s so extraordinary that someone would be criticized for [speaking another language].”
On whether his show will traffic in the gossip of the moment, even if it involves him: “At the risk of plunging myself into a post-modern, self-referential vortex, I could analyze myself. If I’d done something actually newsworthy, then I’d cover it.”
On his goals as a comedian: “I don’t see myself or my role as a malevolent jester attacking people who are already disenfranchised. All I want is to make people feel better than they do now. All I want is to make people laugh. My goal is to acknowledge that within each of us is a divine and beautiful light.”
On the culture at large: “I consider contemporary culture to be a pink pony trotting through the world shitting glitter. They're filling our minds with shit glitter!"