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Sacha Baron Cohen has never quite matched this
on 4 July 2005
When your prime comic thrust is to catch people unawares by acting stupid, being famous is quite a handicap. It's perhaps no surprise then that from a political standpoint this is the best and funniest Ali G work of all. This Cambridge-educated middle-class comic manages to blend in flawlessly and somehow convinces people that he's genuine, and his dumb questions leave them flummoxed. He's also very good at trapping people with questions which are superficially easy to answer, but then lead into a clever line of reasoning to genuinely trap these supposed genuises.
Rhodes Boyson perhaps comes across worst of all, completely missing what Ali meant by 'caned' and 'women who drink from the furry cup' and as such making me glad his role in politics ended many years ago. His method of trapping the famous judge into attempting to define which language is offensive enough to turn murder into manslaughter, and later his justification for why women should not be on juries, is hysterical. Decribing James Ferman as "the guy who writes his name on the films" still provokes a chuckle no matter how many times I see it.
The interview with the army hero is an early one, and the look and lingo aren't especially convincing, but the brilliant question "does it help if you've ALREADY killed someone?" regarding entrance requirements still shines through, as he obliviously goes into a story about 'me mate Dave'. The interview with Sir Teddy Taylor is yet another highlight, especially his astute and improvisational expansion on the concept of 'horse-trading', which he pretends to completely fail to understand - "So the horses vote then?" - and Teddy's reaction to his fear that hardcore Dutch pornography won't be available under a united Europe.
Ali G touches on awkward political issues - Welsh devolution, gays in the military, work-shy single parents and the public's stereotyping of them, Northern Ireland - and manages to provoke some very surprising reactions. Can you imagine Jonathan Dimbleby or even Jeremy Paxman getting the same results? It goes to back up the extent to which hard-looking youths frighten the 'moral majority'.
The guy who suggested that the humour here is racist is completely missing the point. In many areas of Britain, white youths routinely act in the way portrayed in the sketches here, trying to use black slang without ever really hitting the crux of the culture, and certainly not fully understanding it. Furthermore, all too many white people in this country (older ones at least) still believe that the negative attitudes, and fail to appreciate any other element of African/Jamaican cultures. Lest we forget that Cohen is himself Jewish. As for being offended by the masturbation jokes at the beginning, please grow up and appreciate the remark in its context.