“Ali G” Risks Riot At US Rodeo

“Ali G” Risks Riot At US Rodeo (XTRAMSN News)

Comedian Sasha Baron Cohen has escaped a near-riot at an American rodeo while filming his satirical Da Ali G Show. According to a report in the Roanoke (Virginia) Times, a man who was introduced as Boraq Sagdiyev from Kazakhstan – in reality a Cohen character named Borat – appeared at the rodeo over the weekend after organisers agreed to have him sing the national anthem. After telling the crowd he supported America’s war on terrorism, he said, “I hope you kill every man, woman and child in Iraq, down to the lizards … And may George W Bush drink the blood of every man, woman and child in Iraq.” He then sang a garbled version of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The Roanoke Times reported that the crowd turned “downright nasty.” One observer said “If he had been out there a minute longer, I think somebody would have shot him.” Cohen and his film crew were escorted out of the Salem Civic Center and told to leave the premises. “Had we not gotten them out of there, there would have been a riot,” rodeo producer Bobby Rowe told the paper. “They loaded up the van and they screeched out of there.”

It is not the first time Cohen has wooed controversy with his show, which airs on Channel 4 in the UK and on HBO in the United States. In one episode last year, Borat sang an anti-Semitic song called “Throw the Jew Down the Well” at a US country music bar, prompting protests from the US-based Anti-Defamation League.

Bizarre. One wonders why anyone would book a “Boraq Sagdiyev from Kazakhstan” to sing the National Anthem at a rodeo, anyway.

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture, Terrorism, , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Mark says:

    Maybe the Dixie Chicks were unavailable? heh.

  2. Zed says:

    I’m not sure if that is more direct than wearing a Nazi uniform or not but it has the same premise.

  3. Jim says:

    Yeah, somebody else had to be in on this, Boraq Sagdiyev singing at a rodeo? They can’t be that hard up for entertainment.

  4. Crerar says:

    I remember Boraq singing the Kazakhstan national Anthem at a minor league baseball game – it must have lasted 10 minutes.
    I think he had a major brain cramp on this bit though.

  5. McGehee says:

    I had formed an opinion of Roanoke based on their local paper’s Deaniacal presidential endorsements (I’m serious — everything but the “Yeeeaaaggghhhh!!!”), but apparently I wasn’t being fair.