The 88th Academy Awards were filled with moments that made our jaws drop, from the surprise appearance of Vice President Joe Biden to the countless racial jokes made by Chris Rock. It was really a fun show to watch that managed to keep us entertained all the way through.
One of the most shocking parts of the night was the surprise appearance of Sacha Baron Cohen's character Ali G. When it came time for Sacha Baron Cohen and Olivia Wilde to present Best Picture nominees Room and Brooklyn, Baron Cohen had surprisingly readopted one of his most famous characters, Ali G - a satirical stereotype of a white man trying to act black.
But, as it turns out, this surprise appearance was actually not supposed to happen. Though Sacha Baron Cohen was planned to be a presenter, Ali G was not. When asked about the appearance by a reporter from Good Morning Britain, Baron Cohen admitted that he was actually told not to appear as any of his characters:
“The Oscars sat me down beforehand and said they didn’t want me to do anything out of order. They actually wanted me to present as myself. But luckily my wife [Isla Fisher] put on the Ali G beard in the disabled toilets, and we managed to get away with it.”
It would make sense that the Oscar producers asked him not to appear as any character after the stunt he pulled on the Red Carpet back in 2012. That year, Baron Cohen dressed as his character from The Dictator during the opening ceremony.
While being interviewed by Ryan Seacrest, Baron Cohen decided to dump the "ashes of Kim Jong-Il." This was also an unplanned gag as Seacrest admitted he had no clue what was going to happen. By the time that Baron Cohen had pulled out the urn, it was already too late.
This year, Baron Cohen's gag was a little more unprecedented as it happened during the award show itself. While the show was going on, Sacha Baron Cohen snuck into the bathroom and changed himself into Ali G., a costume change that took him 40 minutes.
Of course, some people became suspicious of Baron Cohen's abnormal disappearance. His wife, Isla Fisher, had his back in this case and told people that he had food poisoning - a valid and believable excuse as Sacha's plan came into play.
Apparently, like most stars, Sacha Baron Cohen got pre-show jitters shortly before going on stage. He was worried it would go poorly and almost backed out, before Chris Rock gave him some reassurance. Baron Cohen had this to say:
“I actually bumped into Chris Rock on the way on and pitched him the gag. He gave me the thumbs-up, so I went for it.”
Watch the full interview with Sacha Baron Cohen below:
All in all, I am very glad that Baron Cohen went through with it and brought Ali G. on stage. His presentation was both awkward and hilarious. However, when he described himself as another "token black presenter," the character really did tie himself into the rest of the show.
The appearance of the character was a hilarious surprise that I truly enjoyed. It was easily one of the funniest parts of the night. Unfortunately, this may diminish any chances of Sacha Baron Cohen ever presenting at the Oscars again.