Sacha Baron Cohen retires Borat alter ego

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat.

Sacha Baron Cohen, the British actor and comedian known for his characters Borat Sagdiyev and Ali G, told Britain's Daily Telegraph on Friday that he was officially retiring both aforementioned characters. The reason for this, he said, is because of the public becoming too knowledgeable of him and his alter egos.

"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," Cohen stated.

Borat Sagdiyev is a fictional character who is a Kazakhstani journalist with anti-Semitic and misogynist viewpoints, and Ali G is a "gangsta" from the "Staines ghetto".

When posing as Borat or Ali G, Cohen would conduct interviews with unsuspecting people who believed that the interviews and the character were genuine. He would ask questions designed to make the interviewee look foolish or ignorant. He has showcased this method in the television program Da Ali G Show and the faux-documentary Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

Cohen generated much controversy from the nation of Kazakhstan, who claimed that Borat portrayed a negative image of the country's people. He also garnered lawsuits from the unknowing participants of his act.

Cohen's third persona, a gay Austrian reporter named Bruno, is slated to appear in a 2008 film.