Hear me now. Check it out. Da Ali G is my main man. Aye! If you’re a bit thick with this Queen’s English, HBO has a glossary for you on their Da Ali G web site. The new season started this week. Laurel and I laughed for almost the whole thirty minutes. And believe me, Laurel isn’t a big laugh-out-loud fit bitch (fit: attractive, cute, goodlooking, pretty, sexy, blonde; bitch: baby, chick, darling, female, freak, girl, honey, lady, lover, wife; fit bitch: babe).
We saw Sacha Baron Cohen, a.k.a. Ali G, interviewed by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show recently. He looks like a relatively normal British/Jewish sort of guy. But clearly he isn’t. Ali G is his hip-hop journalist persona; Borat is a Kazakhstan TV reporter; Bruno is an Austrian fashion reporter with decidedly swishy qualities.
Obviously a lot of people in this country don’t watch as much (weird) television as we do, because Cohen couldn’t do what he does if his interviewees, or fall guys, knew about him. Almost certainly they don’t. It just isn’t possible for non-actors to appear so believably non-acting. Ali G goes out all tricked-up in his high-style hip-hop outfit and engages both well-knowns and unknowns in wonderfully entertaining interviews.
This week’s Sam Donaldson piece was a classic, as was his visit to an ATF training facility for drug-sniffing dogs. “Insteads of canines, why don’ts you use dogs?,” he asks a trainer with an absolutely straight face. “I hears they has really good noses.” The ATF guy tries to explain that in this country “canines” and “dogs” are synonymous terms. Ali G smoothly ignores him and opens a new line of inquiry. “Why don’ts you use someones smarter for sniffin’, like dolphins?” The guy sincerely labors to convey how difficult it would be to put a dolphin in a tank and wheel it around while Ali G takes notes. Great stuff.
We also loved Bruno’s interview with a fundamentalist Christian minister who tries to de-homosexualize gays. Bruno asks him, “So, whatz it mean if I do the shag wif a really hot Brazilian guy, and rights after we’s dones, I wants to do it again? Does dis mean I’s a homosexual?” [note: all quotes are from memory; watch the show if you want absolute veracity—and a big smile on your face].
The interview goes on in this vein, until Bruno asks the minister if he would be turned on by a Bruno lap dance. The minister says that would be against God’s Word, quoting Bible verse such and such. Bruno then jumps up and says, “OK, lez see, I’ll dos a lap dance for yous.” Just priceless, the minister’s reaction.
Check out Ali G’s 2004 Harvard University Commencement speech. I couldn’t stop laughing as I read it. Of course, having watched the TV show I have the accent down, and can picture the hand gestures. But even if you can’t follow everything wot Ali G is banging on about in the speech, I think you’ll still enjoy it. The front page of the newspaper makes you want to cry. We all need a good compensating laugh.