When MTV announced that British comedian Russell Brand would be hosting this year's Video Music Awards, the first response was mostly "Huh?" But then everybody remembered his hilarious performance as rock star Aldous Snow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and the stories of his exploits in the UK started to circulate: his dressing as Osama Bin Laden, his drug use and his tendency to smoke crack in public. "When I was making RE: BRAND, a TV show that was inspired by Jackass, I was doing all these insane things," Brand told Rolling Stone's Melissa Maerz, "like having a bath with a homeless man whose ulcerated legs were weeping into the water. And I smoked crack with a prostitute and her family." To prepare for the VMAs, Brand — who describes his own style as "superhero S&M scarecrow" — collected some advice from Chris Rock. "He said, 'Go in hard — no one cares about anything except you have to have a good beginning.' So I might take my shirt off and have lipstick on my nipples." But despite all these wild stories, Brand says you can't believe everything. "Once there was a story saying, 'Russell Brand was arrested for rampaging through the London underground witha sword.' I thought, 'Well, this is ridiculous! What on earth would I be doing on the underground? Once you can afford taxis, you can swing the sword out the window.'"
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