You already know Borat. You're about to know Brüno. Some of us already know Brüno, perhaps a little too well in Eminem's case. Did you know that there's another famous Sacha Baron Cohen character lurking in the depths of pop culture's murky waters? In his own words, I be talkin' 'bout me main man, Ali G.
As portrayed by Cohen, the British "journalist" called Ali G is a lewd, disrespectful and typically unintelligent personality, showing up for interviews in his trademark attire: baggy clothes, skull cap, yellow sunglasses and various rings and chains. Still, the Cohen character managed to land one-on-ones with several high profile personalities in the entertainment industry, politics and other areas of life.
After some of those tense encounters, it's truly no surprise that Cohen has had to retire the Ali G persona for good. Luckily, these moments live eternally in our hearts and minds... and on the Internet, of course. Without further ado, my five favorite Ali G interviews!
Noam Chomsky: While he's not exactly well known by Hollywood standards, Noam Chomsky is nonetheless a brilliant and accomplished linguist who has held a position at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology for over 50 years. Imagine his surprise when the laid back Ali G feigned disgust at the concept of bilingualism and multilingualism, mistaking such words for something decidedly sexier.
Money Quote: "How would you like it if I called you bilingual?"
Buzz Aldrin: Another figure whose face might not be instantly familiar to the movie-going crowd. There's no question that Buzz Aldrin's contributions to the field of space exploration qualify him for an Ali G interview at the very least. As one of the first men to walk the surface of the Moon, Mr. Aldrin certainly has some expertise on extraterrestrial matters. So when he advises Ali G not to try and walk on the surface of the sun, you know he means business.
Money Quote: "The sun is too hot. It is not a good place to go to."
James Lipton: The "Inside the Actors Studio" host is one of many icons to fall victim to Ali G's hard-hitting journalism tactics, but previous lampooning by comedian Will Ferrell and others likely thickened James Lipton's skin in advance. Mr. Lipton holds his own against the reporter, going so far as to encourage Ali G to broaden his movie tastes beyond the likes of "Analyze This" and "Analyze That."
Donald Trump: How Ali G ever got direct access to one of the world's most powerful and filthy-rich individuals I will truly never understand. Nevertheless, Donald Trump entertained Ali G's musings long enough for the hip hop enthusiast to explain his one-of-a-kind business ambition: to create, market and mass-produce the ice cream glove.
Andy Rooney: It's hard to believe that, despite his various offensive interviews, Ali G has only managed to enrage a select few to the point of walking out in the middle of the conversation. One such interviewee was television personality and humorist Andy Rooney, whose feelings toward Ali G were anything but humorous by his standards -- but absolutely hilarious by mine!
What's your favorite Ali G interview?