Flashback: Sacha Baron Cohen Interviews Donald Trump as Ali G
The new Borat movie hasn’t even officially come out yet, but it’s already making major waves in the political world due to a scene in which Rudy Giuliani lays down on a bed in a hotel room and appears to put his hand in his pants after interacting with an actress playing Borat’s daughter. The former New York City Mayor calls the video “a complete fabrication” and notes that he was merely adjusting his microphone, an explanation not everyone is buying.
Giuliani is the latest in a long line of prominent political figures that Cohen has tricked over the years, including Bernie Sanders, Dick Cheney, Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, former Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore, former Secretary or State James Baker, former U.S. National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
In 2003, Cohen even managed to sit down with Donald Trump himself while playing his Ali G character. As you can see in this video, Trump had very little patience for the bit that involved Ali G pitching him an idea for special gloves that prevent ice cream from melting on your hands. Trump lasts just about a minute before walking away from the interview altogether.
At the time of the interview, nobody could have imagined that Cohen was talking to a future president. It was a low point in Trump’s career, when his business empire was struggling financially and his name recognition was slowly dwindling. The next year, British television producer Mark Burnett would revive his career with The Apprentice. The NBC reality show portrayed Trump as a ruthless, brilliant businessman and it made Trump an estimated $200 million across 14 seasons. Without that show, it’s hard to imagine that Trump would have won the presidency in 2016.
The new Borat movie — titled Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, a.k.a. Borat 2 to others — was timed to come out just before the 2020 election and paints a devastating portrait of America in the time of Trump. He didn’t manage to trick Trump himself this time around, but there is also a controversial scene involving Mike Pence in which Cohen is dressed in a fat suit and a Trump mask. It probably involves a little more than trying to sell him on an idea for ice cream gloves, but we’ll have to wait until Friday to stream, when it debuts on Amazon Prime Video.
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