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Movies editor Dawn Burkes and critic Chris Vognar offer views, news and nuggets on all things movies.
The e-mails began circulating last Wednesday. An invitation was being sent to anyone who wished to join the audience of a new TV talk show being taped in the Dallas area that night. The precise address was on International Parkway in Carrollton, near Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. Anyone who agreed to participate would get $40. So, I told my 23-year-old son about it. Ted recently moved to Dallas and is looking for a job. Soon after he got there, he thought he recognized the host, who, in his words, was trying hard to provoke people. My son now believes the so-called talk show host was none other than Sacha Baron Cohen, who must have been filming a new movie. (Please click below to read more!)
Photo: Sacha Baron Cohen during his Borat period
Before entering, my son and other guests were asked to fill out a questionairre. One question, he said, asked if they had ever seen Da Ali G Show on HBO (its star, of course, was Sacha Baron Cohen). When taping began, Ted said the "host" wore a tight shirt with a tie painted on it and tight leather jeans. He had blond hair and no facial hair. "He kept saying weird things," Ted said. The host described himself as a gay fashion model. (One of Mr. Cohen's characters is Bruno, a blond gay fashionista from Europe. The Web site imdb.com says Mr. Cohen is currently filming a new movie with Bruno as the central character.) At one point, the offensive talk show host with a thick Austrian accent brought out a baby and said he was hoping to raise the baby as a homosexual from the earliest age possible. People in the audience got mad at that and two hours' worth of equally provocative comments, Ted said, prompting one guest to say accusingly, "Have you ever heard of Smith and Wesson?" We have since tried to call the people who extended this on-line invitation to confirm that it was in fact Sacha Baron Cohen, but, they are not calling us back. He has, however, been in Dallas before. As my colleague Alan Peppard wrote back in 2005, Mr. Cohen showed up here just before filming his Borat movie. He came to a boxing class at the Premier Club led by fitness director Terri Arends. As Alan wrote: "Premier Club general manager Paul Schoenberg was told that film crew wanted to check out the boxing class. 'They were shooting a documentary of a sheltered guy from Belarus who was touring the U.S. to learn about our country,' says Ms. Arends. 'I bought this story hook, line and sinker.' " Ted said there were plenty of people on International Parkway willing to take the bait as well. No one, he said, appeared to be figuring out that this was Sacha Baron Cohen. Instead, several people got so mad, they up and left.
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