update deskArts & Entertainment

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen to revive comedic persona Ali G

The Jewish comedian is reportedly planning a stand-up tour featuring the hip-hop character.

Sacha Baron Cohen as Ali G speaking to the Harvard class of 2004 in front of Memorial Church in Harvard Yard in Cambridge, Mass. June 9, 2004. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

As the Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s character would say: “Booyakasha!” 

The dim-witted, “hip-hop journalist” Ali G, who duped celebrities and politicians alike decades ago with nonsensical interview questions, will headline a new stand-up tour, Variety reported. (Someone close to Cohen “strenuously” denied to Variety that he was working on a movie while Hollywood writers are striking.)

Cohen, an Oscar-nominated actor and comedian, performed the character as a wannabe rapper who adopted an exaggerated hip-hop vernacular to perplex real-life public figures (who largely seemed unaware that they were speaking to a fictional character, and as such, were often made to look ridiculous). Viewers, meanwhile, were in on the joke from the start.

Other over-the-top characters that Cohen created included Bruno, a gay fashion “reporter,” and Borat, an antisemitic Kazakh “correspondent.” The latter—the main character of two feature films of the same name—at one point infamously convinced a bar full of patrons to sing “Throw the Jew down the well.”

In 2022, Cohen appeared at the Kennedy Center as Borat to roast Ye (Kanye West), who had made antisemitic comments. The actor also was the keynote speaker at a 2019 Anti-Defamation League summit.

Cohen was nominated for a Golden Globe for playing Mossad operative Eli Cohen in the Netflix miniseries “The Spy.”

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