Russell Brand has been making the rounds this past week to promote his new book Recovery, a book he wrote to help people “pursue goals that are for their benefit and not to the benefit of other people” according to a chat with US Weekly on his past drug addictions, how that manifested into sex addiction, and the way it all weighed on his personal life. As with most of Brand’s more recent pursuits, there’s a madness where he’s torn between being entertaining while also hitting on serious topics.
It has worked a lot better in recent years, though, and it was all on display during his appearance on Real Time on Friday night. While Maher did his typical act throughout the entire show, even taking an odd stance over a proposed sensor in the car to alert that there is a child in the backseat (overbearing regulation according to Maher), he actually looks a bit stiff compared to Brand. That’s not hard to do, but it seems extra difficult for a guy who is used to being in control on his own show.
Brand is almost in overdrive as soon as he arrives on the set, talking circles around Maher and diving into his thoughts on addiction, asking him to rank some drugs and describe the feeling behind them:
“Heroin is very, very relaxing, too relaxing. You let go of your life in the end. LSD is delightful to annihilate concept of self, the construction of self, biochemical tapestries stimulated by a culture, formulated in memory. To see that thing bust apart by hallucinogens is a glory to bold. To experience oneness, to experience connection, to know that in truth we are all one, the glory of the light, the glory of the Lord!”
Brand sticks around for the rest of the show and keeps a grip throughout the Overtime segment posted online. While guest Olivia Nuzzi talks about Trump’s relationship with the folks at Morning Joe — a show Brand has some history with — the comedian asks Maher about his experiences with Trump that lead to a detour involving his “orangutan” lawsuit with the billionaire.
All and all, Brand is an entertaining guest despite being a bit overwhelming. Certainly not for everyone, but welcome over the likes of Roger Stone or whatever Nazi might need attention in the near future.