Russell Brand Slams ‘Morning Joe’ Co-Hosts, Production Staff

Russell Brand (Photo: Getty Images)

Comedian Russell Brand blasted the co-hosts and production staff at MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” referring to three of the co-hosts as “a typical trident of blonde, brunette and affable chump.”

The “trident” apparently does not include regular co-host Joe Scarborough, who had the day off when Brand was a guest on the MSNBC morning show last month. On hand that morning was regular co-host Mika Brzezinski (the “blonde”), along with Brian Shactman (the “affable chump,” presumably) and Katty Kay (not a “brunette” at all, but a blonde whose hair is a darker shade than Mika’s).

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Brand’s guest shot on the show drew various reactions afterwards because he seemed to have “hijacked” the show about midway through his segment. It was then that he seemed to grow agitated with the demeanor of the show’s three co-hosts and then began, seemingly, to lecture them on good manners and then ignore them as he forged ahead with the promotion of his summer performance tour, titled “The Messiah Complex.”

Now, though, Brand is explaining what happened in an op-ed piece he wrote that was published in The Guardian (of London) last Friday. In the piece, he makes the “typical trident” reference, and also complains about the way he was treated behind-the-scenes at the MSNBC morning show.

Watch Russell Brand on “Morning Joe” last month:

“More from acute awareness of Instant Karma’s immediate sting than morality, I have learned to treat people apparently lacking power with cordiality,” wrote Brand in the Guardian piece, which you can read in its entirety here.

“This means that when I arrived at the New York studios of ‘Morning Joe,’ the gleaming, informal mid-morning MSNBC news analysis show, I was polite to everyone there.”

But, he added, “I was surprised by the soundman’s impatient intrusiveness and yet more surprised as I stood just off set, beside the faux-newsroom near the pseudo-researchers who appear on camera as pulsating set dressing, when the soundman yapped me to heel with the curt entitlement of Idi Amin’s PA.”

“Often when you encounter rudeness from the crew, it is an indication that the show is not running smoothly, perhaps that day, or maybe in general,” Brand observed — accurately, in our view. “When I landed in my chair, on camera, and was introduced to the show’s hosts – a typical trident of blonde, brunette and affable chump – it became clear that, in spite of the show’s stated left-leaning inclination, the frequency they were actually broadcasting was the shrill, white noise of dumb current affairs.”

Our take: First of all, read the whole piece Brand wrote, if you have the time. Based on our own experience in and around the TV biz, his observations have the ring of authenticity.

Secondly, if you have even more time, watch the whole segment — above — in which Brand appeared. When you watch the clip, you might then understand why Brand acted in the way he did. To be blunt, he was reacting to the hosts’ seemingly complete lack of preparation for the interview, the non sequiturs they shared with one another and, specifically, co-host Brzezinski’s bald admission at the outset of the segment that she knew nothing about Brand and, even worse, seemed as if she’d never heard of him at all and appeared to brag about it to his face.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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