"You're saying he's actually Bi?"

By Sean Carroll | April 26, 2006 10:46 pm

Ali G and Noam ChomskyAli G interviews Noam Chomsky. I’m not really sure what there is to add to that, except my admiration that they pulled it off. Check Wikipedia if you’ve never heard of Ali G, or of Noam Chomsky. Via Omni Brain, by way of Mixing Memory.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/clifford/ Clifford

    Oh gosh, that was brilliant., as those always are…!


  • damtp_dweller

    I’m amazed that he’s still getting away with it. Although not as funny as Borat, Ali G is pretty decent too. For the uninitiated, Sascha is a genius, possibly even on a par with Chris Morris’ Brass Eye. The classic Sascha Baron Cohen sketch is, of course, about hydrating Jews.

  • http://motls.blogspot.com/ Lubos Motl

    It was the most stupid interview I saw in my life. Is Ali G actually handicapped, or does he just play it? I have not understood this basic point. For the record, Chomsky’s answers were not exactly insightful either. Well, if the left-wingers define this kind of stuff as a part of their culture, it is not surprising that there is a rather deep chasm in between us.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/mark/ Mark

    Most importantly, this means there will probably be a third series over here soon.

    Thanks Sean.

  • adam

    Lubos aside, some of us fascistic proletariat-oppressing capitalist running-dog-pigs do find Ali G pretty funny.

  • adam

    Or maybe we’re running-pig-dogs.

    It’s always important to get your Political Chimera Insults right.

  • markT

    I dont think that was really one of his funnier interviews. Ali G is not handiccapped. hes a comedian from England, who plays different characters. if you check back on some of his previous seasons he’s interviewed some seriously important people, and some of the interviews have just been super funny. he goes to the UN during one of them. One of my all time favorites, is when he has a DEA guy on his ‘show’. While not someone famous, and I dont even do drugs, it was funny to see him make the DEA guy stumble with names, and references.

    I love Borat. The country that he claims to be from when doing Borat tried to sue him for defamation. Hmmm…Anyways

  • Dan

    Thanks for the link Sean!

    I’m not surpirsed Lubos didn’t liked it. I think he passed through the same after seeing Stephen Colbert interview Brian Greene.

  • The Anti-Lubos

    Well, after watching that, I thought, “Wow, Noam Chomsky has the worst sense of humor in the world.”

    Then I came here and read Lubos’s comment.

  • adam

    The one where he interviewed a guy from the FBI was also quite funny.

    He interviewed Rhodes Boyson (gruff corporal-punishment advocating former Tory MP who had been a Headteacher in his life before politics) once, where he was talking about getting ‘caned in school’ and (of course) Rhodes Boyson was all for it, on account of not realising that Cohen meant by getting caned. It might sound like a one-joke interview, but given how Boyson is, it was actually quite amusing at the time.

  • markT

    i think it was pretty funny when he interviews Boutros Boutros Gahli as well. Or, um….the the ex attorney general. He asks him what legal is, what’s illegal. and then whats barely legal.

  • Cynthia

    Oddly enough, I find myself partially siding with Lubos on this topic. Speaking as an honest liberal, I find this clip rather short on comedy. Perhaps one truly needs to be a “full-blown” Brit to appreciate the humor in this clip. Based on the vast majority of these comments, I find myself in the minority. Nevertheless, I am happy to see most of you enjoying the humor in this clip. Dan – by the way – thanks – the clip on Briane Greene was actually quite amusing: sharp and to the point! Cheers to all!

  • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/ Uncle Al

    The functional apotheosis of vigorous Marxist Noam Chompsky was hirsute Noam Chimpsky (1973 – 2000); Herbert S. Terrace at Columbia University. Noam Chimpsky was a desperate failure of teaching chimps to sign (Cf: Washoe) short of demanding food. One then posits the difference beween Chompsky and Chimpsky was a few years of Project Head Start, valid for conversion in either direction.

  • borat

    wow lubos, if you can’t figure that one out yourself then perhaps someone should be asking similar questions about you..

    for the record, ali g is a master comedian but has recently started getting lazy about the creativity of his humor. this sketch is somewhat of a testament to that…he needs to become less predictable and less reliant on old, now unfunny and overplayed lines.

  • spyder

    The other day a couple of physicists (who may very well be represented in various posts on CV) were posting comments on another blog whereupon they were developing formulas for parody and the paradox of parody. Ali G is “representen” that phenomena all too well of late; all i need do is stand in the local park or wait in line at the cineplex here, and i get that same street-cred-rhetoric that he does so well.

  • http://mixingmemory.blogspot.com Chris

    The best Ali G was the anti-abortion rally. Here’s the clip. You have to go through an interview of John Gray (quack), and another with two pro-choice activists, but then you get great lines like,

    Ali G: “Has you ever had an abortion?”
    Protester: “No, I’ve never had an abortion.”
    Ali G: “Surely you should try something before you say it is bad.”

  • http://omniorthogonal.blogspot.com MTraven

    Isn’t Ali G related to cognitive scientist Simon Baron-Cohen? So it’s all in the family, sort of.

  • damtp_dweller

    “Isn’t Ali G related to cognitive scientist Simon Baron-Cohen? So it’s all in the family, sort of.”

    Yes, they’re related and they’re both products of Cambridge too. I’ve always found it interesting how Cambridge, and specifically the Footlights, has produced great comedic talent, beginning way back when John Cleese and Peter Cook were there. It must be something in the (woefully hard) water around these parts.

  • barcode

    What would FDR think of Ali G? What would Edward R. Murrow think of Ali G? What about Walter Cronkite? What educational purpose does Ali G serve? How does he further the goals of thoughful examination of issues?

  • http://mixingmemory.blogspot.com Chris

    barcode, did you mean that question seriously? I’m not sure Baron-Cohen’s purpose is to make us examine the issues thoughtfully. I’m not sure that’s the purpose of most humor, even when it has a political bent.

  • barcode

    Hmmm. Even Tom Lehrer’s craziest songs have some element of restraint and self-discipline and some sense of self-reflection about them. I leave his CDs feeling smarter. Can’t say the same for Ali.

  • adam

    Man, having seen the conservative blogosphere’s reaction to Colbert’s performance at the WhiteHouse Press Dinner, I am starting to worry that my fellow fascist proletariat-opressing pig/dog constructs have no damn sense of humour.

    Colbert was hilarious. At the Corner, alas, they think that he stank the place up and that Bush, with the old ‘what I speak/what I think’ gimmick, was better. With the deckchairs on the Hindenberg re-arranged, they are clearly keen to get nice and close to the captain.

  • http://www.pieterkok.com/index.html PK

    My personal Ali G favourite is his interview with Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal. At some point he asks about the Big Bang: “So, was da Big Bang louder than all the boom boxes in England?”

    Sorry, can’t find the clip.

  • http://www.mickyjack101.piczo.com Little G

    Yo dat is wicked like jungle ist massiv


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Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .


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