Is Donald Trump, as he claims, “the only person who immediately walked out” of an interview with Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Ali G” persona? If you’ve been paying attention for the last year and a half, you can probably guess the answer: nope.
But in fairness, we’ll concede Trump did bail fairly fast, even if he still had enough time to answer a few questions first.
Trump first made the claim on Twitter in 2012, as evidence he’s not the kind of person who falls for scams. And based on footage from the interview, filmed in 2003 for the second season of his HBO series “Da Ali G Show,” he at least figured out fairly quick that the situation wasn’t on the level.
Baron Cohen, in-character as the the show’s namesake fake-wannabe rapper fake-chat show host, chats with Trump about the history of business. Trump explains that business started eons ago, when people “were trading in rocks and stones and things.” Then Ali G pitches Trump a new business idea: ice cream gloves to prevent drippy ice cream from making people’s hands sticky.
Trump engages this seriously for a few seconds — he assumed Ali G’s idea was going to be “drip proof ice cream” — then gets exasperated, ends the interview and walks out (after giving a crisp goodbye to the audience).
The whole clip is only around a minute and a half, which isn’t “immediate” like Trump insists, but not bad compared to plenty of people who have fallen for Cohen’s pranks. Or is it? Baron Cohen disputes Trump’s version of events, tellingo James Corden in 2016 that the interview actually went on for about seven minutes before Trump walked out, and was edited down.
But until Baron Cohen releases the footage we’ll never know. Who knows, though, maybe it’ll happen during “Who is America?, his new Showtime series. We know the show, which premieres this weekend, is gonna have something to do with Trump, because existence of the show was made known when Baron Cohen posted a July 4 video that, among other things, featured footage from 2012 in which Trump talked about the earlier interview.
“I only wish that he would have been punched in the face so many times, right now he’d be in a hospital,” Trump said in the footage. “It was disgraceful.”
But if we don’t see the whole clip, we can at least tide ourselves over with the other public figures who apparently get punked hard in the new series. Including Sarah Palin, Alabama politician Roy Moore, conservative radio host Joe Walsh, and former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.