As a grateful employee of a fine TV station, I simply cannot condone the actions of the gifted yet troubling chameleon Sacha Cohen. But I can talk about it! Posing as Kazakhstan journalist Borat Sagdiyev, Cohen recently commandeered more than three minutes of live air time at a Jackson, Mississippi affiliate. Borat is well known to pay-cable viewers as one of Cohen’s several incarnations featured on his Emmy-award winning Da Ali G Show. Apparently, they don’t get HBO in Jackson.
"We were gotten," said Stuart Kellogg, WAPT's general manager. The interview was recorded by a cameraman working for HBO and will be shown on an upcoming episode of Da Ali G Show.
Posing as Sagdiyev, Cohen has copped interviews with the likes of Vice President Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, newsman Sam Donaldson and more. "Hey, McMullan is in good company," Kellogg said, referring to morning anchor Brad McMullan, who interviewed Cohen live about his travels across America.
At some point in the 3- or 4-minute segment, "Sagdiyev" began talking "nonsense," Kellogg said. "It got out of hand, so Brad was able to wrap it up and go. He handled it extremely well. But it was tough to shut (Cohen) up."
As he was being escorted out of the studio, Cohen/Sagdiyev ambled in front of the camera twice during Ken Johnson's live weather report.
"It seemed plausible that he was who he said he was," Kellogg said. "Who knows what an accent from Kazakhstan sounds like? (Gary Pettus firstname.lastname@example.org)
A cameraman accompanied Cohen to the studio, capturing what sounds like signature Borat, a bumbling, strangely-accented correspondent who says the most awful things to incredibly unsuspecting tight-asses. No doubt the footage will air on Da Ali G Show, hopefully in the fall. I’m still amazed no one recognized him, as this show has legion of fans - especially amid the media-drenched denizens of your average TV station. It’s almost enough to make this aging camera monkey renew his subscription to HBO. Booyakasha!