Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Ali G and Kazakhstan: Trouble Brewing

The comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, whose show "Ali G" is a piece of genius, has finally gone over the line with his Borat character, who I always found to be a little uncomfortable to watch. For the uninitiated, it goes something like this: Sacha Cohen is British but pretends, for the purposes of his show, to be a street-talking, not-all-there, tracksuit-wearing goofball named Ali G, who interviews public figures who are not in on the joke, thus leading to hilarious moments when they start to wonder what the hell this guy is talking about. (It really demonstrates the tin ear and cultural blindness of the rich and powerful that so many people can be fooled for so long by an act that is wildly popular in Britain and increasingly so in America. The episodes with Pat Buchanan and Newt Gingrich are particularly funny because they never catch on.) He also does a guy named Borat, a supposedly Kazakh reporter who does ridiculous and embarrassing things while pretending to do cultural reportage. I remember one skit in which he goes to a baseball game and shows the elderly people in the crowd a naked picture of his (presumably not real) ugly wife. As the link tells it, the Kazakh government finally had enough when he went on the MTV Europe Music Awards and made an ass of himself. Go read it.


Blogger nolo said...

Oh great-- now I have "Throw the Jew Down The Well" stuck in my head. Thanks.

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

Yes, I think we can all agree that Ali G is the funnier character. For instance, the bits he does with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash are quality. View here: http://www.evanroberts.com/?p=144

11:51 PM  
Anonymous MikeSwanson said...

"In the US he persuaded officials to observe a 10-minute silence in memory of a massacre that never happened." 10 minutes?! This is genius.

12:40 AM  
Blogger Lapp said...

nolo --

I imagine you sitting down to the Internet at about 6:45 p.m., sipping a glass of Scotch in your robe and slippers and gently setting "Nazi Show Tunes" on the LP rack. I have already called the police. You should thank your lucky stars you're an attorney, even if your specialty is rare gemstone law. You are going to court.

1:00 PM  
Blogger nolo said...

lapp-- if you switch a nice Barolo in for the Scotch, you've got the picture about right.

4:11 PM  

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