British comedian Russell Brand hosted the MTV Video Music Awards last night and proved in the current climate, not even handing out trophies for music videos is immune from a healthy dose of politicization. Brand's assessment of President George Bush was more than pointed. He said:
Some people, I think they're called racists, say America is not ready for a black president. But I know America to be a forward thinking country because otherwise why would you have let that retard and cowboy fella be president for eight years? We were very impressed. We thought it was nice of you to let him have a go, because, in England, he wouldn't be trusted with a pair of scissors.
Shots of the audience, including Britney Spears and not-of-voting-age-yet Miley Cyrus, looked stricken by the riff. Brand went on to appeal “on behalf of the world," that people vote for Barack Obama.
Reviews of the performance have been mixed, with the LA Times saying, "The 2008 VMAs were poised to mark the return of Britney Spears. Instead, they will go down in history as the night when that English guy from Forgetting Sarah Marshall almost made the Jonas Brothers cry." One MTV fan said, "Russell WHO? I didn't realize this show was an Osama [sic] campaign rally. This British nobody looks like he was pulled from the ranks of the homeless — with his unshaved look, rats' nest hair-do and foul mouth." The New York Times was more appreciative of the "manic, intelligent English comedian." Were you?