Robert Tanitch reviews 4 DVDs by Ali G
ALI G INNIT (Talk Back. Channel 4). Nothing is easier than hoaxing people and making laugh-out-loud fools of them. Sasha Baron Cohen does it in an hilariously boorish fashion, fooling judges, miners, clergy, soldiers, mayors, art experts, etc.etc., who all find themselves fielding his vulgar, embarrassing, ridiculously ignorant questions. They treat him with the respect he doesn’t deserve, because he is black.
ALI G IN DA USAiii (Talk Back. Channel 4). High spots include talking about the moon landing with a former astronaut and discussing the metric system with an education minister, a clever mix of the real and the absurd. He visits a dating agency, presenting himself as the most unsuitable client imaginable. Baron Cohen is also seen in his role as a gay fashion reporter. It is difficult to believe it is the same person.
ALI G BLING BLING (Talk Back. Channel 4). His victims here include an expert on ghosts and a former CIA officer. He asks a zoologist if DNA is worst than AIDS, and he asks a criminal if joining his gang is like joining the boy scouts? He is hilariously outrageous in an interview he does for Comic Relief with Posh and Beckham, who are good sports and take his crude remarks with good grace.
ALI G, Aiii (Talk Back. Channel 4). It’s more of the same. The rehearsed sketches are the least successful. Best are the hoax interviews with a drug specialist, the FBI, fox hunters, a policeman and a Church minister. The questions are as ignorant and as crude as ever. Borat, the Kazakh TV journalist, another of Baron Cohen’s inventions, is at his most amusing, finding about the English, especially when he goes to Henley and manages to kiss a whole line of male rowers to their obvious discomfort.
Ali G can be brilliant; but he is an acquired taste and some readers may find him just that bit too tasteless for them.