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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Thoughts on Borat

I posted recently about Borat's impact on the Kazakhstan brand (which incited some debate), but it seems that potenital impact has no effect on America's affinity for his antics. I have to say, I saw the move last weekend and I was laughing damn near the whole time. Some parts were a departure from the Ali G show-- particularly in that the movie went for straight raunch humor (at times) for laughs instead of sticking solely to the commentary/interview format-- but it was still some funny shit.

But I digress: CNN reports that Borat managed to hold it down at the number 1 box office spot for the second week in a row, bringing in $29 mil and raising the 10 day total for the movie to $67.8 mil.

In thinking about this in a separate context, I wonder how the suceess of Borat may affect the central Ali G character? Might this be a case of a side character over-taking the popularity of the main draw? As a fan of the show, I personally find myself a much bigger fan of Borat than of Ali G himself (though, I won't lie, Ali G cracks me up).

Made me think of a totally unrelated issue in regards to "secondary characters" out-shining the star. Some of you may not be too familiar with hip-hop, so some background for you. The Game was an underground rapper not too long ago, arguably the new voice of the West Coast since Dr. Dre/Snoop, trying to bring the sound back to the masses. Game managed to sign with none other than 50 Cent, and Game released a classic album w/ 50's influence that gained instant industry cred. But...

Not too long ago, The Game was publicly dismissed from 50 Cent-run G-Unit records (and actually, he was happy to go, and has since released another classic album sans 50). Whether or not you like or care about the hip-hop industry and the music, the interesting thing to me was the idea of a side character out-shining the master.

The beef between the two, and the ensuing ousting of The Game from G-Unit, said to me that 50 was uncomfortable having an emcee in his crew more talented than him (and anyone who appreciates hip hop knows 50 can't hold a candle to Game's skills).

My point in drawing this comparison is, with Ali G being the star, does the great success of Borat take away from Ali G's draw as the "main event"? Does it matter that, at least for the moment, one of his side characters is enjoying much more spotlight than the "star" of the show? I realize that it is a much different situation: we're talking about two different people vs two characters played by the same actor. BUT, since it is the ALI G show, would you be happy that your main character is being over shadowed by a side personality? Or... would you care?

1 comment:

andrewtheplanner said...

Interesting way to look at the Borat phenom. Even though I have no idea what it is like being in Sasha Cohen's position, I don't think I would mind one character overshadowing another. I've done theatre and improv in the past. You're lucky to find one character or sketch that really pleases the masses-especially international masses. Having two is pretty amazing.

Also, don't you think that the success of Borat would bring even more attention to the Ali G Show? People who didn't watch him in the past may be more likely to tune in after seeing Borat and Borat's tv interviews and other shenanigans (depantsing during Tonight Show interview with Martha Stuart...hilarious).