The mastermind behind controversial characters Ali G, Borat and Bruno knows how to get bang for his buck when it comes to a public appearance. To promote his upcoming film, "The Dictator," (May 16) Sacha Baron Cohen arrived at New York's Waldorf Astoria flanked by four short-skirted "guards" to give a press conference to hundreds of journalists from all over the world.
Questions for the conference were pre-approved, but given the clever answers Baron Cohen concocted for them ahead of time, the lack of spontaneity might've been worth it.
Since in the film Baron Cohen plays Admiral General Aladeen — a misogynistic, racist, anti-semitic ruler of an impoverished African nation of Wadiya — his in-character answers drew gasps and groans. Here are a few of his best zingers:
"We dictators aren't all bad. While Western countries continue to ravage our planet's resources, we preserve our land and conserve it by burying thousands of bones in single mass eco-graves."
"On behalf of my dear friend and doubles tennis partner President Assad of Syria, I want to thank the United Nations for their brave inaction over Syria. Thirteen months and still no security counsel resolution. You guys are amazing. You have done next to nothing for the Syrian people – but remember, you can always do less."
"There are differences between the Wadiyan film industry and Hollywood. People say I am extravagant for using 20 trillion bottles of Fiji water every day to make snow for my ski resort in the middle of the desert, but am I the person who created 'John Carter'?"
"It has been a tough year. We have lost a lot of good people and I have lost a lot of good friends – Gaddafi, I miss you [looks in the air]. Sorry, Gaddafi, I miss you [looks at the ground]. Also, KJ, Kimmy G, K-Jo, K-Man – you know, Kim Jong. And of course you know, Chavez died last month – oh oops. You did not hear that from me."
"Ahmadinejad, he is still around, but he is still an embarrassment. He looks like a snitch on 'Miami Vice.' I mean, why does he not wear a tie? Does he think every day in Iran is casual Friday?"
"When I am not watching my people, I am glued to the couch watching the satellite television. My favorite shows are Wadiyan. We have our version of 'Two and a Half Men.' It used to be called 'Three Men' but one of them tried to steal a grapefruit."
"My mother died in childbirth of strangulation. My father also died in a tragic hunting accident when he was accidentally hit by 97 stray bullets … My uncle is dying in a helicopter crash later on today."
"I have 25 female virgin guards who protect me at all times. I know they are virgins at all times because I have their virginity checked every night by the head of my penis."
"Congratulations to [Megan Fox for being pregnant]. There are rumors that I am the father, but this is literally impossible. It would be the first anal conception. If she is pregnant, so is Heidi Klum and also Donald Trump. He does anything for money."
"I love Galliano. Say what you want about his avant garde style fashion approach, but the guy does hate Jews."