Ali G

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Ali G (born Alistair Leslie Graham) is a satirical fictional character invented and performed by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. Originally appearing on Channel 4's Eleven O'Clock show, Ali G is the title character of Channel 4's Da Ali G Show, original episodes of which aired in 2000 and on HBO in 2003–2004, and is the title character of the film Ali G Indahouse.

Sacha Baron Cohen's character Ali G, along with Borat, have been retired.[1]

Contents

Development of the character

The character of Ali G plays on the stereotype of a white suburban male who revels in a mixture of American gangsta rap and British Jamaican culture, particularly through hip hop, reggae, and Grime music. Baron Cohen stated that BBC Radio 1 DJ Tim Westwood was an influence on the development of the Ali G character – Westwood hosts Radio 1's Rap Show and speaks in a faux Multicultural London English and Hip-Hop dialect. Ali G's middle class credentials mirror Westwood's: the latter was brought up in Lowestoft, Suffolk as a bishop's son.[2]

Prior to Ali G's appearance on The Eleven O'Clock Show, Baron Cohen had portrayed a similar character named MC Jocelyn Cheadle-Hume on a satellite channel called Talk TV (owned by Granada Television). While chatting to a group of skateboarders, in character, Baron Cohen realised that people could actually be led to believe the character was real, and filmed a number of segments which were ordered off air by London Weekend Television.[2]

History

Ali G first came to prominence on Channel 4's The Eleven O'Clock Show as the "voice of da yoof" in 1998.[3] He interviewed various public figures in the United Kingdom. Ali G is a boorish, uneducated, faux-streetwise poseur with a deeply stereotypical view of the world, who either embarrasses his interviewee by displaying a mixture of uninformed political incorrectness, or gets the interview 'victim' to agree to some breathtaking inaccuracy or insult. His key saying is "boyakasha".

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