He courts controversy...
Jason Gregory

11:00 8th September 2008

Russell Brand courted controversy while hosting the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles last night by calling President George W Bush a “retarded cowboy”.

Brand's remark, which was one of a number of made during the evening, formed part his opening monologue which called for the US to elect democratic Barack Obama as their next president.

"Some people, I think they're called racists, say America is not ready for a black president," he said.
"But I know America to be a forward-thinking country because otherwise why would you have let that retarded cowboy fella be president for eight years.

"We were very impressed. We thought it was nice of you to let him have a go, because, in England, he wouldn't be trusted with a pair of scissors."

Brand's presenting skills have been greeted with a mixed response by US media, with some outlets praising his liberalism and others airing caution over his jokes.

As previously reported on Gigwise
, one guest who Brand was favourable towards was Britney Spears, who took three awards home.

He told the audience at one point that the 25th anniversary of the awards ceremony marked the "launch of a very new Britney Spears era".

MTV Video Music Awards in Pictures
  • Britney Spears

  • Chris Brown

  • Cee-Lo Brown

  • Tokio Hotel

  • Rihanna

  • Pussycat Dolls

  • Pink

  • Fall Out Boy

  • Katy Perry

  • Christina Aguilera

Grab your copy of the Gigwise print magazine here.

Photo: WENN