One of the highlights of the 88th Academy Awards saw Sacha Baron Cohen reprise the character of Ali G while he introduced a presentation for Best Picture nominee Room. As soon as the English comedian appeared as Ali G it become plainly obvious that he would mention the diversity issue that had blighted the nominations and build-up to the ceremony. It turns out that the Academy was well aware Cohen might make such a remark, which is why he needed to sneakily apply his Ali G attire in a disabled toilet in order to get pull it off.
The Academy told Sacha Baron Cohen that we wasn’t allowed to make his appearance on stage in character, but the Borat and Bruno actor couldn’t resist the opportunity to bring Ali G back to life. Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain (via The Guardian) Cohen explained:
The truth is we actually had to sneak it in, because the Oscars sat me down before and said they didn't want me to do anything out of order, they wanted me to actually just present it as myself. But luckily my wife put on the Ali G beard in the disabled toilets, and I managed to get away with it.
For those of you that don’t know, Sacha Baron Cohen’s wife just so happens to be the actress and Now You See Me star Isla Fisher. Cohen continued by explaining that they had to lock themselves in a toilet for 40 minutes in order to apply the goatee. Anyone attempting to get into the occupied toilet were told that the comedian had food poisoning.
Sacha Baron Cohen admitted to being a little nervous about his appearance in the face of the Academy’s wishes. But after bumping into Chris Rock on the way to the stage, he revealed his plans and the host instantly approved. And it was a good job that he did too, because Ali G’s introduction for Room was one of the highlights of the night.
Did you miss the 88th Academy Awards and don’t have a clue what Sacha Baron Cohen said as Ali G? Well, luckily, you can read a transcript of his hilarious Oscar performance below:
I know what you was thinking when I walked on, here comes yet another token black presenter. But it ain’t just me brethren that has been overlooked. It is all people of all colors. How come there is no Oscra for dem little yellow people with tiny dongs? You know, the Minions. But I is here representing all dem who has been overlooked. Will Smith, Idris Elbow, and, of course, the amazing black bloke from Star Wars … Darth Vader. This is for you. Now check out a movie about a room full of white people.
You can also click over to Oscars.com to watch a video of Sacha Baron Cohen’s Oscars performance. It’s worth it just to see Olivia Wilde trying her hardest to remain professional. But failing miserably.