Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Russell Brand kept his reputation intact for being the most free-spirited participant in TCA — perhaps ever — this morning, fresh from a renewal for a second crop of episodes of his idiosyncratic FX late-night talker BrandX With Russell Brand. As with his last appearance at TCA in January, Brand was part entertainer, part spiritual leader, ranting and cross-referencing with abandon in a display of barely controlled civility. Waltzing in wearing jeans torn at both knees, shimmering beads and barefoot — and sporting a black armband — Brand spoke about comedians, homophobia, the consumption of chicken (he finds it a terrible thing to do to a chicken) and, reluctantly, the announced creative changes coming to his show in Season 2 (as teased earlier by FX chief John Landgraf). “The show will look a little more like a conventional late-night show,” he said. “We’ll have guests every week. One of the objectives will be to look comprehensively and optimistically at a less cynical approach to current affairs.” And he indicated the show wouldn’t quite go so nuts on the anti-establishment material. Who will he get as guests? Charlie Sheen, for one. “Charlie’s about as far as I’ve gotten. Maybe we’ll have him on every week and feature a different one of his personalities with each show. By the time we got to the seventh one, he’ll think it’s the booking for the first show.”
Finishing his session with a flourish, Brand admitted he’d love to have Sarah Palin as a guest on BrandX. “What would I ask her? Well I’d go straight for the subtext,” he stressed. “She’s popular because people want to fuck her, don’t they? That’s why they tolerate the other stuff….OK, that is a mad thing to say about seeing Russia out your window — but the dick don’t lie.”