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Russell Brand Criticizes George Bush at the MTV Video Music Awards

VMA Host Calls Bush a "Retarded Cowboy" — Over the Line?

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?


siguros siguros 8 years
Personally, the word retarded offends me but so do a lot of words that they let on television.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
I am a little unsure about how I feel about this, but calling out the Jonas brothers, when they were in the audience (right?) and mocking them for their choices is just really ridiculous, they're still kids! Teenagers should NOT be ridiculed for the choices they make regarding sex on tv! (I'm looking at you too Jordin "you're all sluts" Sparks). I did have to laugh at the, "we wouldn't trust Bush with a pair of scissors!" comment, but, eh, is political commentary really necessary during election time at the VMAs from a Brit? Not that it wasn't a funny joke (tho I don't know if I like the 'retard' cowboy part!) but maybe it wasn't the right forum. That being said...I guess he did have to crack jokes about something. And I personally find promise rings a little funny, I did have one too, and I was so mad when I really figured out what it meant! But, to mock someone else for it nationally...that's unreal.
hills hills 9 years
i am just so embarrased that he even comes from the same species as me, so sorry he got bestowed on you, he is a complete idiot and no body, i was surprised he even got to host the vmas?!?! He went way over the line
Kalliefornia Kalliefornia 9 years
Well, being that he IS a retarded cowboy, I think his remarks were dead on, they were extreme enough to get your attention and still get the point across. Come on, Bush is obviously not going to be a member of MENSA anytime soon, and everybody, other countries included, know that.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
I may not have liked some of Brand's humor however I agree with his statement, 100%. I wouldn't give President Bush scissors and yet he was given a country. I also loved Brand's jokes about either you wear a condom or you get sent to RNC; I think that might stop some wild kids,lol.
lexichloe lexichloe 9 years
I don't know enough about Russell Brand to determine if this was comedy. I think that is why many Americans have a problem w/ it. He wasn't popular enough to host the VMAs.
kastarte2 kastarte2 9 years
Didn't they have Andrew Dice Clay on in the 80s? I seem to remember that caused quite a stir. It's MTV. This is just what they do.
ceej ceej 9 years
plenty of comedians have a go at the royal family, from all nationalities. They are fair game as is anyone in the public eye. Especially politicians.
grumpy704 grumpy704 9 years
I think that the best point made is that this moron is not a citizen of our country and doesn't have the right to slander our leaders....if we went over there and started running our mouths about the Queen and Her family i,m sure they wouldn't appreciate it.
ceej ceej 9 years
I thought it was very funny. It's not Russell Brands fault. This is the type of material he does. They should have hired someone else if they wanted to play it safe. And someone suggested Eddie Izzard, google some of his material, you mightn't find it to your liking. British awards shows are a lot less watered down than American ones. Funny that Rock and Roll is so saccharine and safe these days.
HeatherStJoeMI HeatherStJoeMI 9 years
MTV isn't what it used to be. But to call the President a Retarded Cowboy ???? That's not something I would even do on a bad day.
Vespa Vespa 9 years
Cheers, hypno. You are spot on: it's a choice that should have no more value than the color of your socks. I also don't use the r-word, just like I don't insult people by calling them gay, and it makes me cringe to hear others use it. Though I have all the tolerance in the world for words censored by the FCC, those are words you will not ever hear me say. And speaking of the FCC and the ratings for MTV programming, I think it should be abolished. It's a parent's job to monitor what a child watches, not the government's.
livvylove livvylove 9 years
Like a filthy rich celebrity with private jets, nannies, and so forth can relate to the average American on any level? Yes, YY! John McCain! except I would throw in, "too many houses to count" as well. ;)
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
i know laurel - thats how i feel about the mccains! just sayin'!!!!
laurelm laurelm 9 years
When I hear celebs talk politics, I typically change the channel or do not listen, it is their right to say whatever they want and mine to ignore it. Like a filthy rich celebrity with private jets, nannies, and so forth can relate to the average American on any level?
kastarte2 kastarte2 9 years
Good for you for standing up for what you believe in GS. I think they picked Brand on purpose to be controversial. They love controversial VMAs. Remember Madonna and Britney kissing? Diana Ross fondling little Kim? Madonna writhing around on the ground during Like a Virgin? Not only do they love this kind of behavior, they encourage it by running it over and over again in clip shows and ads. They must have known they were putting a guy on stage who dresses like Osama Bin Laden when he does stand up. They wanted us all to be talking about it the next day and they succeeded.
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 9 years
I know that there was some flack given to the movie "Tropic Thunder" for the use of the word "Retarded" and I can see someone getting upset over that. But in general can say what they want about the President as long as it is not threatening and is not an act of treason...and calling him "retarded" isn't either one. My question is...and maybe we should put this in another "sugar" area why in the heck was this guy hosting, and this had to be the worst VMA's in the history of VMA's!
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
MTV's parent company, Viacom has MTV listed as "for viewers 12 to 34." Knowing this they still put Russell Brand as the host. Even the first six minutes of his intro are inappropriate for a significant portion of that age range. I am all for free speech, but I am also for my freedom to react to that free speech. If you, like I was, are offended by this and the fact that MTV aired this here are some actions you can take. Call Sponsors and tell them of your disgust of them sponsoring this: Pepsi - 800-433-2652 Verizon - 908-559-3500 The FCC: Some portions of the broadcast, referring to the Jonas bros. bachelor party etc. should be reviewed. The FCC can be reached at htm It takes two minutes to fill out the form. Contact the parent company. Viacom International has already set-up a message line for the VMAs. Viacom's # is 212-258-6000. Tell them you want to lodge a compliant regarding the VMAs.
TinkerbellSF TinkerbellSF 9 years
So...was Jordan Sparks inferring that Bristol Palin is a slut?
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
I thought the comment was hilarious, but that it was a poor choice of forum. The people that watched the show did so for the awards and the performances, not for political reasons.
chancleta chancleta 9 years
idiot :oy: alas consider the source
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Way. It is insulting to cowboys. ;) KIDDING! I have never seen/heard of this guy in my life. I guess I am out of touch.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I prefer the word touched as in touched in the head.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I use the R word all the time, and get flagged on here for it. Had to curb my use.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 9 years
He shouldn't have used the R word. That's completely insulting to people with disabilities.
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