Brilliance beneath a grungy exterior
Russell Brand – I am a Walrus
TSB Bank Arena, Wellington, December 13
Reviewed by Daven Parsons-Piwari
If you were walking down the street and saw Russell Brand mingling with a group of homeless people you'd be none the wiser.
Take one look at his ripped jeans, old boots and scruffy beard and you'd never guess he'd been in various movies, television shows and a marriage with Katy Perry.
Russell himself admits that he's no good at acting as anyone else except himself with a hat on, which sums up the fact that a large part of what he does both in life and in his comedy performance would be nothing without his reputation as a dirty, immature, womanising whack job.
Although his reputation is what makes women in the audience shriek with delight as he simply takes his jacket off, you could say it makes him nothing more than an embodiment of arrogance, and while it kind of does sometimes as he struts about the stage, it also lets him get away with more and really push some boundaries that other comedians couldn't touch, and that's where his brilliance lies.
On the surface, Brand seems to be nothing more than a comedian who swings from sheer absurdity, to telling some jokes and then preaching a bit about world issues.
Which is fine for the people who come along just to point and laugh at a silly British man on stage doing silly things because he's silly.
Reading a little deeper into things, I found that his cleverness lies in the contrast.
Brand has a knack for talking about political issues, such as how large corporations are using slogans to force consumerism upon us, and then comparing it to something ludicrous, in a way that's so strangely accurate, you can't help but laugh and be ashamed at the state of our world at the same time.
The fact that his comedy worked on so many levels with such clever use of contrast means that Brand is a man that anyone can find funny, and although I can't stand his arrogance, I can't deny his genius either.
The Dominion Post