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Tuesday, August 24, 2004
"He's chuckin' me out because of the color of me skin!"
I've never been the biggest fan of Ali G. His white homeboy shtick and relentless East European stereotyping would have been considered tired back in the days when Yakov Smirnoff was a household name. His HBO show, Da Ali G Show, debuted on HBO last year. I didn't catch it until after hearing about sketch that was filmed in rural Arizona and a series of separate segments included in the series finale.
If you haven't heard, G interviewed Andy Rooney for the episode. The 60 Minutes commentator became so flustered by the UK comedian's thick British Ebonics that he stormed off set. "Is this because of I'm black," G asked, adding: "You're a racial-ist." Rooney, now in a near tizzy, attempted to correct him leading G to proclaim, "He's chuckin' me out because of the color of me skin!"
Why is this funny? Because Ali G is paler than newfallen snow.
This isn't the first time G has landed an interview with someone who should know better. Previous installments this season have featured sit-downs with Sam Donaldson and Pat Buchanan. Unlike Rooney, each was congenial, played along and even rattled off a few lines of made-up street lingo.
In another segment of Sunday's finale, G pretended to be a fashion correspondent for "Gay Austrian TV" filming spring break segments in Daytona Beach. After arranging a group of drunk frat boys for a "Total Request Live" style street scene, the cameras started rolling as he proudly proclaimed "Wilkommen to Daytona beach, where all we in the USA come to be GAY!!" Upon the utterance of the word "gay," the crowd immediately shot off in different directions.
Still in character, G tracked down a group of Pennsylvania Greeks camping on the beach for an impromptu promo shot. After having them spell out "party" repeatedly, each time demanding enthusiasm, he convinced them to bare their backsides. When the nature of the shoot was finally revealed, the head of one of them looked like it was going to explode.
Perhaps the best moment of the show came when Ali G wandered into a DC pro-choice demonstration. While interviewing two pro-life protestors, he asked them how they could oppose abortion, having never tried it themselves.
"Has you ever had an abortion? Surely you should try something before you say it is bad. Because I was very anti-Burger King, but then I went there and I had the flame grilled, ain’t it, and you know it was, like, amazing."
The line alone more than makes up for millions of hours of tepid US reality television and that lame "Music" video.
Here's to you, Ali G.