Is there a funnier comedian around than Sacha Baron Cohen? No. I’m partial to Kat Williams, sure. But after that, things go blurry: living overseas, without regular cable access, your frame of reference diminishes. But there’s Sacha Baron Cohen–again–with that wordly appeal and impressive ability to channel a variety of subjects. He impersonated a white rapper (Ali G.), Bruno the gay fashionista, and a certain Kazakhi citizen named Borat Sagdiyev. And now, three years after springing “Bruno” (Universal) onto unsuspecting Americans here comes “The Dictator” (Four by Two Films), which stars Cohen as General Aladeen, a character he likely based on Muammar Kaddafi and Osama Bin Laden.
“The Dictator” will be in theatres on May 16th. Hard to say how it will play, with British humor it’s anyone’s guess. But how not to be won over by such a terrific imitator as Sacha Baron Cohen? Because there’s doing impressions, and then there’s doing impressions while hitting the nail on the head like Baron Cohen does. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of international mores would agree that Borat Sagdiyev was spot on. Cohen’s general Aladeen character is more outsized than his colorful predecessors but still very entertaining. Watch this Saturday Night Live clip which ran last night (and if you missed it, watch again General Aladeen’s arrival at the last Academy Awards).
[JUST ADDED: Aladeen congratulates newly-elected French president “François Hollandaise”]