The 30-minute premiere kicks off with Brand complaining about media coverage that suggested he boasted about his sex life in front of the Dalai Lama.
"I did not boast about my sex life with the Dalai Lama primarily because he's a celibate monk," Brand said. "It's like, I wouldn't go up to Prof. Stephen Hawking and say, 'Hey, wanna see me moonwalk?'"
This might seem like a thin topic -- and at times it sure feels that way, particularly when Brand goes on a tear complaining about media reports that include celebrities' ages. But the Dalai Lama talk continues unabated for a full six minutes, culminating in Brand polling the live audience at the taping to see if they'd like to meet the Dalai Lama and then mocking one guy who said he would not because it would be "too much rigmarole."
After a commercial break, Brand returns to ask Matt why there's no U.S. Dalai Lama, which turns into a consideration of who might be the spiritual equivalent in the U.S., from politicians to athletes to business executives to Charlie Sheen (FX synergy!) to Tim Tebow to the Kardashians.
Brand says if given the choice between time spent in a room alone with the Dalai Lama or Kim Kardashian, he might pick Kardashian.
"The thing is, spiritual enlightenment takes time," Brand says. "[Oral sex] can be very brief."
So, yeah, Brand does bring his bad boy image with him to "Brand X."
Brand's interactions with Matt sometimes seem like a set-up for Brand's humor, particularly when Brand asks when he worked on Capitol Hill and Matt replies, "During the financial crisis," which allows Brand to say, "Good work, there." But really, who would ID their time by the financial crisis rather than a year?
After a detour into the topic of circumcision and the prospect of a Muslim holy war, Brand ends the episode declaring that we must only rely on ourselves.
"Divinity is within all of us," he says. "We can never make ourselves happy by consuming or purchasing products. Now please watch this commercial break and buy the products advertised because they paid for this show."
"Brand X" is one weird show that might be funnier to those who watch in an innebriated state.