Russell Brand in New York City

There are hundreds of genuinely funny people that positively suck at stand-up comedy, which is why the DVD for “Russell Brand Live in New York” sat unopened on this writer’s desk for a couple weeks. Mind you, I found Brand quite funny in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” and he pretty much stole “Bedtime Stories” from Adam Sandler. But is he stand-up funny? As it turns out, yes, he is. His approach is extremely British, in both language and timing, but his routine, which originally aired on Comedy Central in March, is wisely focused on all things America, beginning with his disastrous stint as the host of the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards (the opening monologue from the VMAs is included in the bonus features). He even shares the death threats he received afterwards, one of which declares that his monologue proves that he’s a Muslim-loving terrorist (“Bit of a leap,” Brand replies). One of the funniest bits in his routine is relegated to the bonus features, where he has some fun with an overly excited admirer, but soon loses his patience when she won’t keep her mouth shut. A genuinely amusing routine overall, but a quick note to Comedy Central: lose the grainy hand-held camera shots. They’re annoying.

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