British bear hits the beach

The British have given us so much in the way of comedy; from Monty Python to The Office to the newly ubiquitous Russell Brand, funny is their best export. What else would you expect from a country so often bereft of sunshine? Now comes a delightful series of short videos from the BBC starring the hard-drinking, hapless Misery Bear, an English (but Made in China) stuffed teddy bear who never seems to catch a break. In the latest installment, Misery Bear goes on a seaside holiday to Brighton, England. Sad but familiar hilarity ensues as dodges seagulls, gets sick after riding a roller coaster, and tries to free some of his fellow bears from a claw vending machine. All that’s missing is a rotund man chasing after some scantily-clad women.This isn’t M. Bear’s first trip out, previous episodes have sent him to London and South Africa for the World Cup.

Russell Brand’s account of not being allowed in the U.S.

Admittedly, Russell Brand, the British comedian and actor, probably best known in the U.S. for his role as Aldous Snow, a rock star in the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall, can go a bit over the top with his humor.

Because he will be hosting the MTV Video Music Awards tonight, he is on U.S. entertainment radar again. However, it’s an earlier appearance on David Letterman in May that caught my attention.

This account of why he missed his first scheduled appearance on David Letterman pokes a bit of fun at U.S. immigration without being anti-American. According to him, Brand wasn’t allowed back in the U.S. after a trip to Britain to promote the movie because of his past record. Although he doesn’t specifically state his past problems, they have to do with drug issues for which he has had treatment.

Basically, Brand’s hilarious style of story-telling captures an interesting cast of players and circumstances at U.S. immigration. I do think he’s embellishing, but it’s funny. For example, he describes a Gambian man wearing an American flag tie under going questioning and hones in on the stereotypes of people who look suspicious.

Brand never does say how he cleared his record to be allowed back into the U.S. after being sent back to Great Britain.

When Brand was in the U.S. filming Forgetting Sarah Marshall, he probably had a work visa which would be different from the type of visa he would have to make talk show appearances. That’s my assumption.

It just seems odd he would have been granted a visa for one circumstance and denied entry for another. However, Brand is not that well known–yet, so perhaps the immigration officers didn’t believe him. That’s also what Brand conjectured. Since he is a comedian, who can be sure of the truth and what makes for good entertainment?

There is a funny part at the end of the interview when he talks about what it was like to be in Hawaii during the filming of Sarah Marshall. Being in paradise too long is like “being hit over the head with a rainbow.”