On my commute to work every day, I listen to a lot of podcasts. On my motorbike, I listen to podcasts in one ear–it’s not like music which drowns out the other sounds and it doesn’t require a lot of my attention. I listen to a lot of technical podcasts like DotNetRocks, Hanselminutes, and Sparkling Client which help me keep abreast of what’s going on in technology.
But once a week, I look forward to listening to the Russell Brand podcast, which is usually an hour long and takes all the non-music excerpts from the two-hour Saturday night radio show. I’ve become addicted to it over the past year. There have been times I’ve laughed so hard while listening on the train that I had tears coming down my face and struggle to keep my composure so the person sitting next to me doesn’t think I’m having a fit.
I listened to the broadcast with Jonathan Ross (which caused Brand to resign) last week and thought it was very funny. It was definitely over the top, but it was hysterical. You can’t get a sense of how funny it was reading the transcripts on the news sites. I don’t think you could even find it funny if you listed to it now and knew the whole furore that would ensue. I felt bad for Andrew Sachs but figured they would smooth it over later on. It was a lot like some of the really good Howard Stern stuff in the 90s– you knew you shouldn’t laugh but couldn’t help it.
Yes, I would be appalled if it had happened to me. People are right to be upset to a degree. Andrew Sachs and his granddaughter (the Satanic Sluts member who was also mentioned on the show two weeks earlier when David Baddiel was guest co-hosting) should be upset. I would not be able to forgive anyone who embarrassed me in public like that. But I don’t like the way everyone lining up to be righteously indignant— most of who probably never listened to the broadcast to begin with. It wasn’t right, but I’ve heard worse.
So no more Russell Brand radio show. This is what upsets me.