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4.6 out of 5 stars
Ali G, Innit [DVD] [1999]
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2006
I remember it well. I even sat in the audience one night. Ian Lee and Daisy Donavan presented the Eleven O'Clock show. An irreverant current affairs show about that weeks news. The show was funny enough, but it more importantly revealed Sasha Baron Cohen's character Ali G. I think even Ricky Gervais first appeared on the show.

Anyway this was the original Ali G. The spoof interviewer was sent to represent yooff (youth!) and many people fell for it. Interviews with Tony Benn, Judge Pickles, art experts, welsh teachers, Orange Order me.... I cannot put into words how funny these are, and while the films and the tv series that followed are good these are the best.

The other highlight (or lowlight) is for anyone who has ever been to staines, middlesex (or berkshire as Ali seems to say), there are clips of the town spotted in the DVD. The now demolished ABC Cinema, The Crooked Billet before it was burnt down. Surely seeing these images is worth the price alone!

Enjoy
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 7 October 2003
Sacha baron cohen aka Ali G is a genius, he uses his intelligence to word questions to his interviewee's in such a way that they give answers that make them look totally stupid.
Ali G: "should kids be cained in school?"
Sir Rhodes Boyson (Tory education expert): "Yes"
The best thing in my opinion about this video (or dvd) is that the interviews were taken before the mass attention sprung upon Staines favourite son, thereby the people getting interviewed are unaware of Ali's personality and thus dont know what they are in for.
Ali tackles such questions as 'is art more about drawing or colouring in?', 'is tony hart the greatest artist ever?' and the classic (to the police present at a tree protest) 'do you think this protest is gonna come to iraq?'!
Pre all the hype, pre the film, pre borat etc this video is pure Ali G at his best; interviewing. A must for anyone who has liked future releases 'bling bling' and 'aiight', for anyone unaware of Ali's material will like it if prepared for his sharp tongue and colourful language, supposably representative of living in 'the hood'!
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on 21 April 2013
Bought the DVD as an update from my video copy. Enjoyable, and still makes me laugh after all this time. I prefer Sacha Baron Cohen in his Ali G character, above his later creations, but that's just a personal choice. A good buy.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2000
Ali G has simply got to be one of the funniest modern comics today..cohen who plays ali shows how white people try to be rastafarian...this is without doubt the funniset thing ive seen in ages...and he gets the former education minister to admit taking drugs while being at school. However i feel that this is british comedy that non brits just arent going to appreciate! BRILLIANT!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2000
I don't think I have ever laughed as hard as I did when I watched this video. It is completely worth paying the money for because it is one of those things you can watch again and again and again and never tire of the jokes, inuuendo and humour that make the amazing Ali G! Buy it now!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 17 May 2000
I hugely enjoyed the video and his programmes. Ali G is the most original comedian in years! My thirteen year old got involved: I was first shocked, then hooked, followed by the rest of the family. The suggestion, by many of your reviewers, that Ali-G is just for the younger gereation doesn't wear. I am a senior citizen and find him hilarious. I particularly enjoy seeing him prick the bubble of self-important VIPs and also-ran politicians. Borak is brilliant and endearing. I could do without a lot of the dancing which can be boringly repetitive like the brazilian lady who kept on recurring on Late Night Clive (James).
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 May 2000
Ali G is the funniest and wittiest man on this earth! the video is so funny and clever that it will have you rolling around on the floor in floods of laughter no matter who you are! i watched it with my mum and she thinks it is brilliant! this is the ultimate video to cheer you up when you're down and have a laugh to with your mates. anyone who takes it seriously obviously doesn't understand his humour and shouldn't be watching it in the first place!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2000
The best parts of Ali G's famous 11 O'clock Show. This video will make you laugh the whole way through as long as you do not take any offence to the many many people Ali G cusses. His ability to interview people and make them look like idiots without them knowing is another reason to keep on laughing. My person favourite is "Ali G in the country side, Ali G in the country side"
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2000
I got this video from by Bruv in the UK and we had a UK night in watching the vid with some Americans and Brits. Everyone laughed so much that it hurt.
A great idea, great scripts, dumb interviewees; all in all a hoot; British comedy at it's best (or worse depending on your point of view).
I can't wait for the next one :)
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