Russell Brand makes BBC interviewer look "trivial"

The comedian articulated why our political system is flawed, but Jeremy Paxman refused to take him seriously

By Prachi Gupta

Published October 24, 2013 4:21PM (EDT)

"Russell Brand, who are you to edit a political magazine?"

So began an incredible, antagonistic interview between "BBC Newsnight's" Jeremy Paxman and fiery comedian Russell Brand, whose subsequent eloquence proved exactly why he's the perfect man to guest-edit an edition of political magazine, "The New Statesman." Paxman, who, among other things, couldn't wrap his around the concept that a comedian and actor might also have serious thoughts on non-entertainment subjects, repeatedly challenged Brand's "authority to write about politics" based on the fact that Brand does not vote.

"I don't get my authority from this preexisting paradigm which is quite narrow and only serves a few people," Russell explained. "I look elsewhere for alternatives that might be of service to humanity."

When Paxman wouldn't drop the subject, Brand launched into a missive: "You don't have to listen to my political point of view," he said. "But it's not that I'm not voting out of apathy. I'm not voting out of absolute indifference and weariness and exhaustion from the lies, treachery, deceit of the political class that's been going on for generations now and which has now reached fever pitch where we have a disenfranchised, disillusioned, despondent underclass that are not being represented by that political system, so voting for it is tacit complicity with that system."

"Why don't you change it, then?" asked Paxman.

"That's what I'm trying to do!" cried Brand.

Paxman eventually dropped all pretenses of professionalism, calling Brand "a very trivial man."

“Jeremy, you've spent your whole career berating and haranguing politicians,” Brand said, “and when someone like me says, 'They're all worthless, and what's the point in engaging with them?' you have a go at me for not being poor any more."

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

MORE FROM Prachi GuptaFOLLOW prachiguLIKE Prachi Gupta

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Bbc Class Inequity Comedy Political Systems Russell Brand Video