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Last Updated: Friday, 11 April, 2003, 14:02 GMT 15:02 UK
Ali G makes welcome return

by Leigh Mytton
BBC News Online

Ali G as Borat
Familiar characters make an appearance
Ali G returns to the TV screen with a new series on Channel 4, Ali G in da USA.

Sacha Baron Cohen has just about exhausted the shelf life of his creation Ali G in this country.

The spoof rapper's profile has become so high that even the most na´ve public figure is now aware of da Staines Massive.

If Ali G was going to be unleashed on any unsuspecting public, it had to be the Americans.

Despite producing some of the world's greatest comedy shows, the US is often lambasted for its lack of irony.

And they just didn't get Ali.

Slimy Borat from Kazakhstan and Baron Cohen's latest creation, Bruno the "funky" Austrian, were thrown in for good measure.

Now it is our turn to watch the six-part series, which received mixed reviews across the pond.

Bruno the Austrian
Bruno gatecrashes New York fashion week
With film Ali G Indahouse, the Shaggy collaboration and numerous TV appearances, the character almost reached saturation point a while back.

But this show made me realise how much I have missed him.

Ali's visit to the Philadelphia Police Academy was unmissable: "You like the taste of steel?" would-be rookie Ali asked one suspect.

Ali's partner ("Me man Brinkman") desperately tried to rein him in, explaining in the most patient terms that calling someone a honky was an "ethnic slur".

"You can't curse," yelled Brinkman as Ali fired expletives at a suspect over the tannoy. Ali passed this message on to the suspect.

His interview with Buzz Aldrin was equally hilarious.

He called the former astronaut Buzz Lightyear and asked him if he was jealous that "Louis Armstrong" had walked on the moon before him.

The Borat and Bruno sections were amusing (especially when Bruno crashed the New York fashion week catwalk with a spot of body popping) but the characters are nothing compared to Ali.

Yes, he is a one trick pony, but the new setting and audience gave it a fresh perspective.

It cannot go on forever but let's enjoy it while it lasts.

Ali G in da USA is on Channel 4 on Friday at 2200 BST.

Ali G in da USA: Your views
11 Apr 03  |  Entertainment
Ali G's Stateside flop
22 Feb 03  |  Entertainment
Ali G goes Stateside
10 Jan 03  |  Entertainment
Ali G escapes hotel suicide bullet
31 Dec 02  |  Entertainment
Radio 1 rapped for Ali G interview
24 Apr 02  |  Entertainment
'Offensive' Ali G poster banned
26 Mar 02  |  Entertainment

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