Russell Brand MTVifies Shakespeare For Us

Can we say I called this one? Back in August, on the subject of Taymor’s Tempest, I wrote in the comments: “I’m even more excited by that one, and hope that Russell Brand does not end up getting top billing. No matter how popular he may be with the MTV crowd, it is not the Trinculo show.”

So, here’s a link where Russell Brand tells us that Shakespeare is like Eminem, or Li’l Wayne, because he’s got “good flow”:

In the movie, directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Julie Taymor, Russell plays the jester Trinculo. “I love the humour, there are some funny bits in this movie I think,” he told reporters.

It’s the “I think” at the end that pains me the most, really. I know he’s just using it as verbal punctuation, like a “do you know what I’m saying?” sort of thing. But it’s funnier to read it my way where he pauses after “movie”. “There are some funny bits in this movie…..I think.”

For the morbidly curious, here’s a bit of the ol’ Slim Shady that Brand might be comparing our beloved Bard to:

“Slim Shady, I’m sick of him
Look at him, walkin around grabbin his you-know-what
Flippin the you-know-who,” “Yeah, but he’s so cute though!”
Yeah, I probably got a couple of screws up in my head loose
But no worse, than what’s goin on in your parents’ bedrooms
Sometimes, I wanna get on TV and just let loose, but can’t
but it’s cool for Tom Green to hump a dead moose…

I’ll give him points for “hump a dead moose,” I’m sure that Shakespeare was just kicking himself that he didn’t think of that first. Although what Othello says to Brabantio about his daughter (“you’ll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse; you’ll have your nephews neigh to you;”) is pretty close.

Don’t get me wrong, I happen to like Eminem in general, and have several of his songs in my regular playlist. He does indeed have “good flow”. But there comes a point where you’re basically comparing anybody that’s good at rhyming to Shakespeare, and it doesn’t always work. It’s like knowing how to bust out 5-7-5 patterns and saying you’re a haiku master. There’s more to it than that, damnit.

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