Sacha Baron Cohen is doing Andy Kaufman’s bit. For those who don’t remember, here’ the big Kaufman picture:
Andy strove to reverse the whole idea of the entertainer entertaining the audience. He turned it all around and made the audience entertain him. He did it by inciting a reaction. He turned the whole world into a show for his personal amusement. We didn’t pay money so he could entertain us. We paid money so that he could do something to make us entertain him. So he sat there and read from a book while we watched. Or he sang along with the Mighty Mouse theme. Or he spoke gibberish for two hours. Until we went crazy and reacted… which entertained him.
The trouble was, most of the time, it was funny to Andy but not to us. Andy’s ultimate mistake was that he locked the rest of us out. But then again, I don’t think he worried about it.
Cohen is doing the same thing, especially in his upcoming movie, Bruno. (And who can forget Borat?) The difference between Cohen and Kaufman is that Cohen has figured out how to perfect Kaufman’s idea, and let us laugh and be entertained too.
Can’t wait for the new movie.
In the meantime, enjoy an old clip of “Bruno” at a Christian rock festival.