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 »

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Nominated for 6 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Ali G travels throughout Britain, interviewing unsuspecting leaders and politicians.

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A straight-to-video release of clips from Da Ali G Show (original, UK series) plus unaired segments from the show, hosted by Ali G himself.

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Kazakh TV talking head Borat is dispatched to the United States to report on the greatest country in the world. With a documentary crew in tow, Borat becomes more interested in locating and marrying Pamela Anderson.

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Series cast summary:
 Ali G / ... (12 episodes, 2003-2004)


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 Cohen--conduct interviews on unsuspecting Americans, who include prominent pundits in the political system and celebrities, that reveal deeply hidden prejudices and challenge social mores within American society. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Talk-Show

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Release Date:

21 February 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ali G in da USAiii  »

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Did You Know?


The first version of the show to feature the "Bruno" character. The original UK series only had Ali G and Borat. See more »


During the opening credits, when Ali G's shoes are flying toward him, the shot from the shoes' point-of-view shows the them coming in backwards and upside down. The other shots showing the flying shoes, however, have them coming in the other way up. See more »


Ali G: Is you on crack or somethin'?
See more »

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User Reviews

An obscenely, screamingly funny cult classic . There just isn't enough of it.
31 December 2006 | by ( – See all my reviews

Network: HBO; Genre: Sketch, Comedy, Improv; Content Rating: TV-MA (for graphic sexual dialog, profanity, scatological humor and graphic nudity); Available: DVD; Perspective: Cult Classic (star range: 1 - 5);

Seasons Reviewed: Complete Series (2 seasons)

A comic performer going out into the real world, interacting with real people and annoying them to the breaking point for our amusement has been a staple of tacky infantile TV for as long as I can remember. Always-in-character British satirist Sacha Baron Cohen is several notches above the hacks you'd normally see in a sub-genre that has been co-opted by MTV and Comedy Central for so long. Under the guise of Ali G wanting to cure America of it's blues in the wake of "the attacks of 7/11", Cohen graces HBO with his presence and delivers a real treat for those like myself who have never seen his trio of characters on the original British incarnation of "Da Ali G Show", but only heard about them in television lore.

Cohen is a chameleon of a comic genius. He doesn't just do voices, he has taken the Phil Hendrie approach and created characters. Having embodied them for years he knows his characters through-and-through and while we don't get any expository background on them he has created such a world for each of them that those paying attention will be rewarded with running gags, quotable catch-phrases and details about their lives.

Our host for this anarchists' talk show is Ali G, a Brit drowning in Tommy Hilfiger and hip hop culture who genuinely believes that he is black. Hilariously, Ali G doesn't know anything about anything, can barely speak the English language through his constant mangled hip-hop slang, is always diverting the interviews to a personal problem of his own and has no appropriateness boundaries whatsoever. He uses a sex educator to try to prove a child isn't his, tries to make a drug deal with Pat Buchanan if he can ever pass the "coni" and drops an anecdote about "me Julie" to anybody. Interviews with James Lipton ("liking acting doesn't make you a queer"), Andy Rooney and Sam Donaldson are priceless. The mind boggles at how Cohen is able to get these. Watch as Ali G asks Buchanan if it is right to go to war "over BLTs" and Buchanan just rolls with it. Watch as he tries to explain political bias to Sam Donaldson. Even better, are the round-table discussions on his own graffiti-sprayed, fenced-off, chalk-outline-on-the-flood set, while "experts" sit around and just take it as Ali G asks the stupidest questions you can't possibly imagine and dodges the slightest reference to homosexuality.

Then, straight from another part of the globe is Kazakstan journalist Borat for the "Borat in U. S. and A" segment. Cohen makes Borat's segments a show within itself complete with subtitles and grainy hand-held 3rd world country video. Borat is a treasure, who crawls into the lives of his interviews because he comes off as such an innocent while at the same time espousing a hatred of Jews, gypsy's and a treatment of women as sex slaves that he supposedly learned in Kazakstan. Cohen has Borat speak with a Polish accent and plays with American's complete lack of knowledge of the country. He uses political correctness as a gun people turn on themselves, knowing that Americans are so afraid of being called racist or xenophobic that they will let Borat do just about anything to them. Borat walks around with a political candidate and, when a woman answers the door, asks if there is a voter in the house. Borat sings his own country song "Throw the Jew down the well" that catches fire in a crowded saloon. Borat goes on speed dating and tells the girl that if she cheats on him, he will "crush her". There is so much to Borat's, his 10 minute segments don't do him justice. The show is best viewed as a companion with Sacha Baron Cohen's blockbuster feature film "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit of Glorious Nation of Kazakstan" to get the full scope of Cohen's vision.

Bruno is the least developed of the 3. A fashion reporter for Australian gay TV, it appears that Cohen loves doing the accent and doing the worm on the catwalk but can't figure out what he is satirizing here. The fashion industry? Who cares? A phony celebrity-obsessed culture? That's more like it. In season 1, Cohen keeps Bruno caged inside fashion show segments. It isn't until season 2 when he lets Bruno out that the character finds itself. When Cohen casts Bruno as a fish-out-of-water interviewing wrestlers at Datona beach or interviewing a man who runs a rehabilitation center for homosexuals (Bruno's funniest interview), the show hits a Phil Hendrie/Doug Danger note that really works for it and Bruno holds up the mirror to repressed homophobia and the contrived nature of reality shows and fashion critique.

My biggest problem with "Da Ali G Show" is that it is just too short. Way to short. 12 episodes left me screaming for more. As heated as some of the interviews get, Cohen's larger joke is usually on his character. His ability to hold up the funhouse mirror and make fun of the potential stupidity of youth hip-hop culture and the potential xenophobia in areas of America not familiar with "Ali G" from the inside out is a beautiful thing. In America, the only comparison we have to it is Mike Judge who has been subversively making teenagers and office drones laugh at themselves for years. Sacha Baron Cohen is even better. He's more on the edge, more into Jonathan Swift satirical territory and "Ali G" is screamingly, obscenely funny cult classic for it.

* * * * / 5

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