Russell Brand seemed to have pulled a prank on his Twitter followers. On Saturday, October 1, the British comedian tweeted that his stand-up comedy show, scheduled to take place that night at Casino Rama in Orillia, Ontario has to be postponed because he was denied entry to Canada. The venue and border officials, however, sang a different tune.
"OK all, let's be clear @rustyrockets [Russell's Twitter name] is still in Cali," read a tweet in Casino Rama's Twitter account, "he never left, he has no immigration or border issue, it was a tech issue with plane!" Spokeswoman Jenna Hunter elaborated, "They had technical issues with their plane in California and he wasn't able to get another plane and get here in time."
To The Canadian Press, Jenna further commented, "I think what he's saying is there is no international airport up here...and therefore you can't clear customs in Orillia." She added, "I think he's trying to be witty about the whole thing, but it really was just a plane issue, it wasn't a customs issue at all."
A spokesman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews also denied that Russell was refused entry to the country. In an email to CBC News, Michael Patton wrote, "Apparently he had aircraft problems and was making a joke."
Russell first generated the Canada banned buzz with a tweet that read, "HELP! I'm gonna be late for Casino Rama show unless someone can force Canadian customs officials to let us land in Orillia!" He followed it with another posting, "How do you manipulate customs officials? Wasn't Hitler's father a customs officer? I'm pretty sure he was."
The husband of Katy Perry later tweeted, "Let me in! I must perform at Casino Rama, Orillia tonight at 9 for 5000 Canadians!" In the end, he wrote, "Tonight's Casino Rama show postponed. I'm sorry. I can't enter Canada. We must abolish the borders between our nations AND our minds."
Russell made the denied entry joke less than six months after he was deported out of Japan because of a decade-old criminal record. Despite the incident, the "Arthur" actor was still able to post funny messages over his situation. "Planning escape from Japanese custody. It's bloody hard to dig a tunnel with a chopstick," he wrote in one tweet.