British actor-comedian Russell Brand comes to Atlantic City fresh from one of the most serious performances of his career.
The former heroin addict and tabloid favorite testified in late April before a British parliamentary committee about reclassifying addiction as a disease that should be addressed medically instead of through the criminal justice system, according to an account in The Guardian.
Brand, who has been arrested a dozen times for possessing drugs, said it would be "a brilliant idea" if the budget for "nicking people for possession" would be applied to treatment and educational initiatives.
However, if Brand's appearance at a winter meeting of TV critics is any indication, his stand-up performances on Friday and Saturday, May 4 and 5, at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, are more likely to focus on political battles - specifically the U.S. Presidential race - than the war on drugs.
Brand, who was previewing material from his forthcoming FX series - "Brand X," which debuts June 28 - skewered the presidential campaign, Mitt Romney's rich guy status and former Sen. Rick Santorum, who was still in the race, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
About the campaign: "We know it's meaningless who the president is. Don't we? So I'm not going to be part of the meaningless spectacle. It's like describing individual termites. The only legitimate distinction in global politics, I think, is: Are you rich or poor?"
About Romney's money: "Other billionaires must seem like Dickensian street urchins eating gruel with fingerless gloves."
About Santorum: "(His) surname rhymes with sanitarium."
The soon-to-be-ex-husband of singer Katy Perry further explains his take on the larger world and the world of stand-up comedy.
Of the former, he says, "I consider contemporary culture to be a pink pony trotting through the world sh---ing glitter. They're filling our minds with s--t glitter!"
On comedy, the star of movies, such as "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and the forthcoming "Rock of Ages," says, "I don't see myself or my role as a malevolent jester attacking people who are already disenfranchised.
"All I want is to make people feel better than they do now. All I want is to make people laugh. My goal is to acknowledge that within each of us is a divine and beautiful light."
At the same time, Brand, who typically mines his own antics for material for his act, makes it clear he doesn't want his life to be held up as an example for anyone to follow.
"Who cares about bloody celebrities? Their role is insignificant," according to The Guardian.