Russell Brand received death threats from America's religious right-wing groups after poking fun at Jesus Christ and the Jonas Brothers during his first stint as host of the MTV Video Music Awards.
The outrageous Brit signed up to present the 2008 event and admits he was "naive" to think his edgy comedy wouldn't spark a backlash from Christians. He admits that likening Britney Spears to Christ and poking fun at the Jonas Brothers' purity vows made him a target among ultra-conservatives.
Brand tells RollingStone.com, "(I was) green and naive. I thought this should be a laugh... From what I understood of it, what I know now, my definition of edgy and MTV's definition of edgy are different. I got the death threats to prove it. I learned you don't make jokes about humourless people because they might kill you."
He accepts he may have gone too far with some of his gags about then-U.S. President George W. Bush and the Jonas Brothers, who he personally apologized to at the end of the show, but the complaints about his Spears/Christ joke were a surprise. He adds, "I didn't even notice that one, I thought that was just clearly a joke."
But the threats didn't stop Brand from returning to host the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.