The Many Faces of Sacha Baron Cohen

Archie H (Year 12), Chief Contributor

Sacha Baron Cohen is an English-born actor, comedian, producer, and screenwriter best known for his elaborate roles in films. His characters have won him many awards, becoming cult classic icons in the world of both British and international entertainment, with his top three faces being discussed below. 


Ali G:  

Alistair (Ali) G is a fictional satirical character of Cohens who is a British Chav with a Jamaican accent. He is the leader of the gang, “Da West Staines Massive” based in west London. Ali has a very straightforward and stereotypical view of the world, knowing little aside from his ‘rude boy’ attitude influenced by rap, clothing, and the accepted gang culture.  

Ali first rose to fame in 2000 when he starred in his very own show, “Da Ali G Show”. In the show, Ali would interview significant individuals of celebrity status in a joking and satirical manner. The interviews would consist of individuals talking about their issues, experiences, or knowledge, with Ali occasionally chiming in with ludicrous statements to spark laughs from the audience.  

Ali later appeared in the 2002 film, “Ali G Indahouse”. The film follows the heartbreak Ali and his gang experienced as they discover the fated knockdown of the Stains Youth Centre. In an attempt to protect the centre, Ali complains to the British parliament where he unknowingly gets caught up in a plot to have the Prime Minister overthrown. Unlike “Da Ali G Show”, “Indahouse” is entirely fictional with no interviewee or real-life elements that gave the show its unique charm. As such, the movie is universally disliked by audiences and critics alike.  

Despite the movie’s failure, Ali G was Cohen’s first big break into the world of entertainment and set the forecourt for his next creation… 


Borat Sagdiyev or Борат Сагдиев is another of Cohen’s characters who originally appeared in “Da Ali G Show” for occasional interviews.  

Borat is a television journalist and stereotypical Kazakhstani citizen. His interpretation of life surrounds ideas that everyone is stupid, poor, racist, misogynistic, or antisemitic, lacking common social and ethical standards in comparison to westerners.  

In comparison to Cohen’s other creations, Borat is the most well-known due to the 2008 film, “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”. The story follows Borat as he travels to the US to learn about American values and culture to benefit his country. Despite his poor attempts, Borat seems to constantly find himself in trouble in the foreign country. He mistakes an elevator for his hotel room, goes to a rodeo where he unknowingly encourages people to cheer in support of killing children in Afghanistan, and even goes to “the hood” where he learns how to dress and speak properly.  


Cohen’s final character, Bruno Gehard, is a stereotypical, flamboyant, and gay Austrian model (who also first appeared on “Da Ali G Show”). Bruno thrives in a world of beauty, celebrities, and fashion. He is egotistical and obsessive, and he regularly disregards individuals around him unless they are famous or “good-looking”.  

Bruno got his chance to own the spotlight in the 2009 film, “Bruno”. In the film, Bruno gets fired from his own interview show, “Funkyzeit Mit Brüno”, leading him to travel to the US in hopes of becoming Uber famous. Much like Borat, Bruno is portrayed as an idiot and self-centered jerk who will do anything to get famous such as cage boxing, interviews with famous people, or even attempting to make out with famous US politicians.  

However, the absolute pinnacle of Bruno’s actions is his attempt to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Travelling to Israel, Bruno attempts to get a former Senior Mossad Officer and Palestinian University Lecturer to agree to make up despite a long-standing civil feud. Bruno suggests ludicrous statements such as the Palestinians giving the pyramids back to the Israelis, calling Palestinians Hindus, and telling the Palestinians and Israelis to work their strange ordeal over Hummus and not Hamas.  

Despite Bruno not going as viral as Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen still created a character just as funny. 


Sacha Baron Cohen’s creations have stood the test of time through the satirical and relatable quirk of his characters. His characters are well known through many generations, and despite the release of his films and series in the 2000s, his faces are still funny as ever.