Baron Cohen retires Borat, Ali G

Actor-comedian will not play characters again

Borat is dead.

Sacha Baron Cohen tells The Daily Telegraph that he’s retiring the clueless Kazakh journalist, as well as his alter ego, aspiring rapper Ali G.

“When I was being Ali G and Borat I was in character sometimes 14 hours a day and I came to love them, so admitting I am never going to play them again is quite a sad thing,” the 36-year-old actor-comedian says in the British newspaper’s Friday edition.

“It is like saying goodbye to a loved one. It is hard, and the problem with success, although it’s fantastic, is that every new person who sees the Borat movie is one less person I `get’ with Borat again, so it’s a kind of self-defeating form, really.”

Baron Cohen brought Borat Sagdiyev — an anti-Semitic buffoon in search of Pamela Anderson — to the masses last year with his smash comedy, “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.” He first introduced the character on “Da Ali G Show,” which was carried in the U.S. on HBO.

“It’s much easier for me to be in character and it’s a lot more fun,” he says. “If I’d done the entire promotional campaign for (the `Borat’ movie) as myself it wouldn’t have developed in the same way.”

Baron Cohen — not Borat — can be seen as a singing barber in Tim Burton’s “Sweeney Todd,” co-starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.

His spokesman, Matt Labov, did not immediately return phone and e-mail messages by The Associated Press seeking comment on the “deaths” of Borat and Ali G.

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