Show's star stays true to character at premiere
Rudeboys and fly girls congregated Monday night to show respect for English import “Da Ali G” show.HBO hosted a special unspooling of its new series at lounge Lot 61, temporarily transformed into a screening room. With eight plasma screens set up for the bow and an audience ready to call out “booyakasha,” it was, quite possibly, Ralph Nader’s nightmare. (According to the London papers, Nader is said to be upset with his depiction on the show and is considering a lawsuit.) “Me don’t mind telling you making this program was a fucking hassle,” said renegade interviewer Ali G (Sacha Baron Cohen) as he introduced his show in his trademark patois. Cohen also spoke out against war, “so bad it should be a four-lettered word,” and then peppered his argument with some real four-letter ones. The lesson learned that night: get Cohen in character — or not at all. Cohen only fields interviews in the guise of Ali G, so it was up to his partners in crime to speak up for him. “He’s a mensch,” summed up HBO programming exec Nancy Geller. Producer and Cambridge schoolmate Dan Mazer explained that they are two completely different beings — Sacha is an erudite and well-cultured young man.” But Mazer wouldn’t reveal how the kamikaze interviews with major political figures were obtained: “It’s like David Copperfield telling you how he had sex with Claudia Schiffer.” Afterwards, the crowd which included David Blaine, Salman Rushdie, Karen Duffy, Alan Cumming, Pras and Candace Bushnell, kept it real by noshing on homespun fare, including fried chicken, mac and cheese and burgers. In a true show of Gotham acculturation, Cohen and others proceeded on to the after-after party at Bungalow 8.