Sacha Baron Cohen confirms Ali G revival – 14 years after 'retiring' character

·3-min read
CAMBRIDGE - JUNE 9: Sacha Baron Cohen, a.k.a., Ali G, is the keynote speaker at Harvard's Class Day in Harvard Yard. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Sacha Baron Cohen, a.k.a., Ali G (The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Sacha Baron Cohen has confirmed he’s toying with reviving iconic character Ali G for a new project, after playing the character on stage recently.

The character first appeared on our screens in the late 1990s, and became famed for his disinterested interview technique when chatting with the world’s elite, including politicians, government officials and celebrities.

Officially retiring the character in 2007, Ali G has only returned for a handful of cameos since.

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However, after bringing Ali G out for a live show in Sydney, Australia, back in June, it seems that Cohen has been thinking about bringing the ‘Boyakasha’ finger-clicking, Staines massiv lad out for some more fun.

"I just wanted to get on stage and muck around and see what Ali G would be like with a crowd. It was really good fun," Cohen told GQ.

LONDON, ENGLAND: David Beckham and Victoria Beckham show off the nose of Red Nose Day 2001 while filming for their interview with Ali G (Sacha Baron Cohen) that was shown on the Night of TV Broadcast. (Photo by Comic Relief/Comic Relief via Getty Images)
David Beckham and Victoria Beckham show off the nose of Red Nose Day 2001. (Comic Relief via Getty Images)

"I think I would [bring him back],” he continued. “The reason I became a comedian was that I loved people laughing at my jokes.

"To actually hear laughter is a rare thing for me. When I do the movies, I have to wait three months to hear an audience laugh."

The creation of Ali G started as a segment on The 11 O’Clock Show, a satirical news series based around sketches and commentary on current world events.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 26: Sacha Baron Cohen attends a screening of the Oscars on April 26, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Rick Rycroft-Pool/Getty Images)
Sacha Baron Cohen (Getty Images)

Cohen’s segment became so successful that he was later given his own spin-off The Ali G Show in 2000, a chat show where the guests rarely knew the character was a gag.

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Major moments included grilling David and Victoria Beckham about their love life and getting Harrods multi-millionaire Mohamed Al Fayed to rap.

The character later spawned his own movie Ali G Inda House, and a US version of the chat show to focus on new celebrities who didn’t know him.

LONDON - FEBRUARY 20: British comedian Sacha Baron-Cohen AKA
Sacha Baron-Cohen as Ali G at the 2002 Brit Awards (Getty Images)

Since retiring Ali G, Cohen has continued to focus on similar work, using his characters to shine a light on the prejudice and double standards of the rich and famous, aiming to uncover corruption of the elite.

Most notably, in 2020, Borat 2 caught on camera Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani apparently placing his hands down his trousers and lying on a hotel bed when left with a young interviewer.

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Giuliani maintains that he was simply fixing his shirt.

In series Who Is America?, Cohen — dressed as an ‘anti-terrorism expert’ — successfully convinced gun lobbyist to endorse a gun ownership scheme for three-year-olds.

Watch: Sacha Baron Cohen reprises Ali G, Borat, and Bruno for MTV Awards

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