As with all of Baron Cohen’s surprising, semi-improvisational comedy characters, Ali G ended up at the center of some wild news stories in his heyday, giving a commencement address at Harvard, starring in a Madonna video, and interviewing Buzz Aldrin and an early “The Apprentice”-era Donald Trump, among others. His time in the pop cultural zeitgeist was certainly not without controversy, though, as other comedians were declaring the Ali G character racist as early as the year 2000, noting that much of the humor of the character came from the idea of a non-Black comedian performing Black stereotypes.
Baron Cohen’s last major public appearance as Ali G came at the 2015 Oscars, where he surprised the Academy by popping up in the Ali G costume that his wife Isla Fisher helped him secretly put on in the bathroom (per THR). While Baron Cohen’s polarizing persona may be even more controversial now, he’s certainly had success bringing one of them back in recent years. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” took over watercooler discussions in 2020, earning two Oscar nominations and picking up several other accolades for then-newcomer Maria Bakalova’s turn as Borat’s daughter Tutar.
Ali G’s return is not currently attached to any announced project, but Variety reports that he’ll likely appear in Baron Cohen’s next stand-up tour.