In a segment Wednesday night, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell replayed two infamous clips of comedy staged by Sacha Baron Cohen, in which he interviews both former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) as characters from his former show on HBO.
In the first interview, O’Donnell focused on Cohen’s chat with Gingrich as the character Ali G, an under-educated British hipster who jokingly tried to convince Gingrich that if a woman were elected president, she’d be too in love with Saddam Hussein to actually lead.
The second clip was from the film “Bruno,” in which Cohen played a homosexual Austrian fashion critic on a mission to launch a television show in America. In the process of shooting the film, the comedian somehow got Paul to agree to an interview, but then surprised him by taking off his pants. “Has anyone ever told you that you look like Enrique Englasias?” Cohen asked Paul. “Of course not, you’re much cuter.”
Paul’s apparent personal revulsion at Cohen dropping his pants in the middle of what was supposed to be an interview was quite palpable. “That guy’s queerer than the blazes!” he said. “He took his clothes off. Let’s get going. He’s queer, he’s crazy, he put– he hit on me. He took his clothes off.”
O’Donnell argued that Paul’s unease was “evidence” that he’s otherwise uncomfortable around homosexual people. He also recounted the recent story of a disgruntled former Paul staffer who said that while in the home of some homosexual supporters in San Francisco, the candidate refused to even use their bathroom.
To be fair, O’Donnell characterized his encounter with Bruno as taking place in a hotel room, but Paul later explained that it was filmed inside a movie studio.
Both O’Donnell’s segment and the Gingrich interview follow. The Paul interview was not readily available online, as it copywritten by Universal Pictures.
The video below was broadcast by MSNBC on Dec. 28, 2011.
This video is from HBO’s “The Ali G Show.”