How much is Russell Brand worth?

Net Worth:$20 Million
Profession:Professional Comedian
Date of Birth:June 4, 1975
Country:United Kingdom
Height:
1.85 m

Channeling his inner rock star in comedies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek.

Who Is Russell Brand

Beneath unruly hair that might be home to one or more woodland creatures, fringed scarves, black heeled boots, bushy eyebrows and residual five o’clock shadow there lies a man—Russell Brand. And depending on your taste, Russell is either hilarious or crude and tactless. But either way, he nabbed Katy Perry.  

English comedian Russell Brand has a net worth of $20 million dollars, as of 2020.

English ‘Humour’

Born in Essex, England, Russell got his first taste of the stage lights when he starred in a high school musical. Realizing performing was something he had to do, Russell went on to attend drama schools where, instead of focusing on the stage, he developed an addiction to heroin before he was expelled.  

Get Him To America

With a secure following in the U.K., Russell headed to the U.S. to test the American sense of humor up against his crude English acts. But more than just test American audiences, Russell stole them in his 2008 role in the romantic comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall. The European import made such a mark in the film that he was asked to host the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards.  

The following year, Russell landed his first U.S. Comedy Central special, Russell Brand in New York, as well as releasing his autobiography, My Booky Wook. On the heels of a successful comedy special and book, Russell went on to reprise his Forgetting Sarah Marshall role of Aldous Snow in the 2010 comedy Get Him to the Greek alongside Jonah Hill.

Russell And Katy Sitting In A Tree

But not only was Russell wooing American audiences, he was also wooing a certain American songstress: Katy Perry. After penning a love poem for the ‘I Kissed a Girl’ singer, Katy ditched the ladies and was all about Russell. The two dated for about year before they tied the knot in an intimate Indian ceremony in October of 2010. The couple separated and divorced two years later in 2012, yet the marriage made Russell most welcome in America.

The admitted former heroin and sex addict, bulimic and alcoholic, seems to have made quite the turn around from his substance induced sloppy comedy to raw and funny Romeo.

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Defining Quote “Me and Katy’s children, when they’re born in the distant future, will probably develop gills.”

Brands’ Career

Most folks know Russell Brand as an observational humorist, a rock and roll stand-up comedian, and Katy Perry’s former husband. Few know him as an author, essayist and radio deejay. Even fewer know this latter day Renaissance man as talk show host.

But he is – at least since his new talk show, Brand X, was launched on FX in mid-summer 2012.

A rough childhood

Before the sex, drugs and stand-up comedy, Brand was born Russell Edward Brand on June 5, 1975, in Grays, Essex, England. He barely had a chance to know his parents as a married couple – none, considering Barbara Elizabeth and Ronald Henry Brand where divorced with Brand turned six months old. He grew up with Elizabeth and the two, together, had a bit of a rough go for a while.

Brand felt as if he didn’t fit in with friends and family. And he suffered from several setbacks, including alleged abuse at the hands of a school tutor at age 7 and lived with relatives when he was 8 and 9 while his mother battled both uterine and breast cancer.

His teens brought on more struggles. He struggled through a bout of bulimia nervosa when he was 14. And arguments with his mother’s live-in partner led him to leave home at age 16. The fall-out was a dip into drugs and alcohol abuse.

Brand’s father took on an entirely different role – unstable but fun. According to Brand, in an interview with Piers Morgan, his father’s financial situation was a roller coaster ride. He would drive Brand around in expensive cars and treat him to exotic – and inappropriate – vacations. Then the next, he would be broke and living with Brand’s grandmother.

Bitten by the acting bug

There was a bright spot in Brand’s early years, though: the stage. Brand began acting as a teenager and intended to carry that over into his studies. Instead, he was expelled during his first year of theatre school – a year that was funded on a scholarship and could have been full-ride. He eventually wound up a student at the Drama Centre London, but was once more expelled for wild behavior – this time, a full-on tantrum following a bad review.

He turned all that into a successful stand-up career, however. He competed in the well-known Hackney Empire New Act of the Year in 2000, finishing in fourth place. But he became a stand-up phenomenon after debuting two one-man shows: “Better Now” and “Eroticised Humour.” This self-deprecating, honest style moved audience and helped Brand develop a devoted following. It also secured a spot as a true rock-and-roll comedian.

Turning to the screen – both big and small

While his stand-up career was blooming, Brand was also making appearance on television, first as a video journalist on MTV in Europe and then as a host of several music and variety programs. Other gigs included hosting several spin-offs of the European version of Big Brother. He stuck with the program – an after-show interview show – for three years, considering it one of the best jobs of his career.

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He was also doing a fair amount of acting at this time, appearing as a guest on shows like “Cruise of the Gods” and “Blessed,” among a number of other UK programs.

American audiences would come to know him for his role in the comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He played Aldous Snow, the boyfriend of the main character. He received rave reviews for his performance. He reprised the role in another comedy, Get Him to the Greek. Brand reprised the Dudley Moore role of Arthur in a remake of that film, and is set to star in another remake, Drop Dead Fred, in the near future.

Talk show fever

Brand’s first talk show – or chat show for our U.K. readers – was the 2006 MTV program 1 Leicester Square. On the show, Brand interviewed celebrity guests like Tom Cruise and Uma Thurman. The show was later renamed The Russell Brand Show.

Then, in summer 2012, Brand unleashed Brand X on U.S. audiences. On the program Brand begins each show with a monologue on recent news and hot topics, which is both the style of comedy Brand is most comfortable with and the type of stand-up Brand has plied since his early years on stage.

This segment eases into a little more commentary, as sidekick Matthew Stoller joins Brand. Stoller acts as Brand’s “political analyst,” but more than anything, he’s a bit of a straight man to Brand, setting up lines and feeding him material. Good stuff, but nothing new.

Brand then invites a celebrity guest to join him and the two convene in a conventional talk show interview format. A second segment with the celebrity guest allows for interaction with the audience – Brand and the guest try to solve a problem for the two – before the show is over.

Brand X with Russell Brand (2012-2013)

Brand X with Russell Brand premiered in the early summer of 2012 to little fan fare. It was billed as a different kind of late night talk show. But like so many other talk shows in recent years that have been branded as a “different kind of late night talk show,” it combines aspects of familiar talk shows to create a hybrid of the tried and true.

The show stars British comedian Russell Brand, who is known more by American audiences as a movie actor, appearing in films like Get Him to the Greek and the remake of Arthur.

The then 37-year-old Brand was better known to British audience, who discovered the lanky comedian, who looks more rock star than stand-up, when he hosted the reality program Big Brother’s Big Mouth, a spin-off of the very popular Big Brother. He’s also known for being eccentric, a rule breaker and falling into bouts of drug use and alcoholism. All of which Brand has used in his stand up act.

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Getting to know American audiences

After Brand X debuted, it was speculated by several critics that the weekly talk show was less about talk and more about introducing Brand and his brand of comedy to a wider U.S. audience.

The critiques come because of the show’s format. Brand begins each show with a monologue on recent news and hot topics, which is both the style of comedy Brand is most comfortable with and the type of stand-up Brand has plied since his early years on stage.

This segment eases into a little more commentary, as sidekick Matthew Stoller joins Brand. Stoller acts as Brand’s “political analyst,” but more than anything, he’s a bit of a straight man to Brand, setting up lines and feeding him material. Good stuff, but nothing new.

Brand then invites a celebrity guest to join him and the two convene in a conventional talk show interview format. A second segment with the celebrity guest allows for interaction with the audience – Brand and the guest try to solve a problem for the two – before the show is over.

Critics are lukewarm on Brand’s brand

Since its debut, Brand X has received lukewarm reception from critics, who overall don’t find the show to be bold, refreshing or all that different from other shows dotting the talk show landscape. It mixes monologue and political commentary, ala Letterman or Leno with a dash of Jon Stewart. And the celebrity interaction with the audience can be found on any number of daytime talk shows, like Rachael Ray and especially Ellen DeGeneres.

The biggest challenge for Brand, it seems, is both the format and the show’s length – 22 minutes when you remove commercial breaks. It doesn’t seem to give Brand enough time to whip the audience into a frenzy or properly display his notable comedic strengths. It may also be that the talk show format is not the format for Brand, and introducing him wide to an American audience might be better suited for a slow play sit-com similar to comedian Louis CK’s Louie. But time will tell.

Russell Brand Podcast

He now hosts the Russell Brand Podcast.

Fun Facts

  • Brand was a sports columnist for The Guardian from 2006 to 2009, providing commentary on the professional soccer club West Ham United.
  • Published his autobiography, My Booky Wooky in 2007.
  • Sung “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory during the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games.
  • Was married to singer Katy Perry.
  • Studies Transcendental mediation.
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