Monday, April 14, 2008

Crank It Up, Sacha!

I think Sacha Baron Cohen is one of the funniest and most talented people who ever lived. He's an unparalleled comedic genius. If I was asked to pick my five favorite comedians of all time, he would be on the short list with Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Harold Lloyd. He's THAT good. Keaton, Chaplin, and Lloyd would simply adore him. Somewhere, I'm sure they're watching and laughing.

Of course, when I speak of Sacha Baron Cohen's talent, I'm talking about his work on Da Ali G Show and how he's expanded upon the indelible personas that he created on it. If you're not familiar with the show, you should be. Why aren't you?? Go watch! Now! The show surrounds Cohen's three alter egos: vulgar, sex-obsessed, ignorant British thug with a Jamaican flavor Ali G, Kazakhstanian anti-Semitic, misogynistic, homo-curious (or is it just his culture?) journalist Borat, and flaming gay Austrian fashionista Brüno. When I first watched the show, I couldn't believe that they were all played by the same person. He's a total chameleon. Each character has his merits, so it's impossible to choose the best. No matter who it is, though, the targets are always Americans. No one has ever exposed American ignorance like Sacha Baron Cohen.

Ali G manages to talk to politicians and professionals and all sorts of famous intellectuals by pretending he's reaching out to a younger audience with the issues. His "show" is like MTV on crack. Borat makes men uncomfortable with his eastern European kissing and groping and says the most offensive things possible about sex or just whatever. I believe Brüno has the most comic possibilities. He's the biggest threat to conservative Christian-Americans (aka the South). He hits on every guy he sees and spends a lot of time talking to people in the fashion industry and exposing their shallow, idiotic pretensions. Cohen is always 100% committed to the role. Until they see it on TV, these people have no idea it's a ruse. They think they're doing it for some cable show in [insert country here]. It's all improvised, and I've only seen him almost sort of crack a couple times, but it's barely noticeable. Otherwise, he's a man of steel. He's following very closely in the tradition of the Great Stone Face, Buster Keaton.

Borat has become a household name since the movie came out. I love the movie and all the attention it received, but honestly, the show is better. The complete series of Da Ali G Show is only two short seasons. Unfortunately, once you're exposed, it's hard to play anymore. It can only last so long. The series is perhaps the most hilarious achievement I've ever witnessed, which is really high praise. I laugh to the point of tears during every skit. It doesn't ever get old, and it never ceases to amaze me that it's REAL. It's astounding. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I was a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen before he was popular. I was a fan of the show pre-Borat. I'm not merely jumping on the bandwagon, even though it's a worthy bandwagon to jump on. I just want to go on record that I liked him and the show before it was the cool thing to do. So...there.

I'm especially staking my claim to Brüno and Cohen now because I know how big they're both going to get (yes, both - the character AND the man; for being the same person, they really are like separate entities, which is a testament to his brilliance) with the upcoming Brüno movie, which I'm insanely excited about. I don't know what could be better than letting flamboyantly gay Brüno loose upon the South. I hear he even pays a visit to the church of Fred Phelps. That's a showdown I can't wait to see. I hope he actually gets to talk to Satan, I mean Phelps, himself. It's going to be magic. If anyone can put Phelps in his place, it's Cohen. This movie will be brutally scathing and epically hilarious.

If you've never seen Brüno in action, I'm including three of his best segments from the show. All of his bits are phenomenal, but these just might be the cream of the crop. If you've already seen them, I'm sure you won't mind watching them again.

Okay, I'll come clean. I had an ulterior motive all along. I was mainly inspired to write this post because I received a heads-up on the full title of the Brüno movie. Naturally, I wanted to sing Sacha Baron Cohen's praises, but the title was my primary motivation. It's better than I could have ever dreamed. I just hope I've built it up sufficiently, because it deserves it. Are you ready for this?

Here it is:

Brüno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt

That. Is. AWESOME. I think that really says it all.

No comments: