An ignorant, wannabe-Jamaican British b-boy; an anti-Semitic, misogynistic but friendly Kazakhstani television reporter; and a homosexual Austrian fashonista--all played by Sacha Baron ... See full summary »
Hipster Ali G. interviews a variety of guests from the world of crime prevention, drug enforcement and the judiciary to discuss the issues of crime and drugs in Britain and America. Ali G, ... See full summary »
Sacha Baron Cohen,
Satire, satire, satire...A very funny send up of the dreaded ubiquitous chat show. Actor Steve Coogan plays show business blight, Alan Partridge, a thoroughly unlikeable character who hosts an odd assortment of meaningless guests on his ridiculous chat show that is ridiculously titled, Knowing Me, Knowing You. The title of course is taken from the ABBA song of the same name, and Partridge himself mysteriously uses the A-Ha refrain from the song as his personal catch phrase. Completely idiotic but completely funny and eerily cogent. Alan Partridge the man likewise is as completely idiotic as he is pompous, condescending, moronic, cruel, vindictive and completely out of touch with reality. He also just happens to be 24 karat comic gold. In Alan Partridge, Coogan has created the perfect embodiment of an entertainment show-biz phony, cardboard jackass. An all too familiar character that sadly we as viewers now accept as normal. His pathetic C minus guest list parades one low-level pseudo-personality whacko after another. Said guests are all so excellently portrayed, that not being English, I initially was unable to tell if the people were actual Britsh celebs or not. Though Coogan is definitely top banana, the show in actuality is more troupe sketch format a la Monty Python then a solo tour de force. We see the same 4 or 5 actors switch disguises to portray each and every guest, with only a few exceptions sprinkled in now and again. They all deserve equal credit for the show's success. Knowing Me, Knowing You is the Sammy Maudlin bit from SCTV taken on as an entire show. Personally, I never got enough of Sammy Maudlin.
In terms of this type of fare, there is no American counterpart. Forget that satire itself has very little in the way of broadcast outlets, American entertainment simply does not or will not go after its own a la the Brits. That might well be because producers think American wont laugh at show business parody, but somehow cynicism makes me seriously doubt that. Even the terrific Larry Sanders show, ostensibly a similar type satire of the chat show genre, though hilarious, never once made Larry Sanders himself look professionally incompetent. To be fair, Knowing Me, Knowing You, is a fictional chat show of the type we don't really have in America, as its a hybrid of a Letterman format with a Regis daytime format. They may not have them in England either. Evening chat shows are likely in America to be very stiff, formal and almost nerve wracking as the hosts do their very best to keep celebrities ill at ease, in further glorification of the said host. I wont argue with success. So though the satire might be hard to relate to, the comedy makes that fact immaterial. I will say that if you have an aversion to British comedy in general, you will not change your opinion after watching this show. Yet the converse is definitely true. British comedy fans, this is what you live for!
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