Ali G is a character dreamt up by the perverse imagination of the public schoolboy and Cambridge Christs College graduate, Sacha Baron Cohen. The character started out life as a parody of Tim Westwood, another public school educated white guy, who presents the BBC Radio 1 rap show in a hideously fake American accent who had a habit of referring to all 'da brothers' every other sentence, harping on about how he was shot in Elephant and Castle (with an air pistol, as he often fails to mention) and generally making an arse of himself on national radio
Sacha picked up on his behaviour, and when requested to come up with a new character that sent up youth culture, for the The 11 O'Clock Show, a Channel 4 programme along the lines of shows such as Chris Morris' Brasseye, he invented Alistair Graham, better known as Ali G, a member of the West Staines 'massive' in Berkshire in the UK, where he hangs 'wiv mi Julie' as he calls his girlfriend, in the local KFC. He is never seen without his trademark Tommy Gear beanie hat and is generally draped in all manner of FUBU and Tommy Hilfiger knock-offs.
On his section of the 11 O'clock Show, he toured the UK
and, in the second series, the US
, asking totally inane questions to famous people, in a similar style to Dennis Pennis
, just to get a stupid or embarrassing answer from them. He was a massive success and managed to get a whole host of famous people to look ridiculous, but was subject to complaints from several sources claiming that the show was racist
, an argument which doesn't hang together very well if you consider Sascha's Unversity dissertation was on racism
Ali G's posse sayings became common banter in the UK, with phrases such as:-
Big up, respec'
Is it 'cos I is black (especially ironic if you consider that he isn't black at all)
and the now infamous
HEAR ME NOW ....... RIDE THE PUNANI.....
Sacha eventually ended up with his own show as a result of his popularity which first aired on 31st March, 2000, and he reintroduced Borat, a Khazakstani news journalist who wore dire grey suits the original character that got him the job with Channel 4. This, combined with an appearance in the video for Madonnas' single 'Music' earnt Sacha Baron Cohen two Baftas at the 2001 awards, one for the 'Best Comedy Performance' and the other for 'Best Comedy Programme or Series'.
More success followed and Ali G appeared in on the silver screen in 'Ali G Indahouse' which premiered in 2002, featuring his Julie, and best mates Ricky C and Dave, and is based around Ali getting elected to Parliament.
for more info go to http://www.booyaka.co.uk/alig/