Supreme leader, Chief Opthamologist, and excellent swimmer, General Aladeen of the People’s Republic of Wadiya, addressed hundreds of journalists from all over the world recently in New York City. General Aladeen is the latest alter ego of Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Brüno), a comedian known for promoting his films with in-character stunt appearances. In his latest film, The Dictator, which opens Wednesday, May 16th, Cohen plays a misogynistic, anti-Semitic dictator of a fictional country in northern Africa, called Wadiya.
Cohen, in character as General Aladeen, arrived in the Empire Ballroom at the Waldorf Astoria fashionably late, surrounded by four female, virgin royal bodyguards which he assured us the authenticity of their virginity by stating, “I know they are virgins at all times because I have their virginity checked every night by the head of my penis.” He was also accompanied by a few dozen supporters chanting “we love Aladeen,” and waving signs that read, “No to Democracy,” and “Give Persecution a Chance”. He stood at the podium with a flag behind it that read, “International Alliance of Constitutional Dictators” as well as framed portraits of the dictator, one showcasing his golden golf clubs, the other depicting him using a cat toy to play with a tiger. A beautiful Wadiyan carpet adorned the stage, and if you looked closely you could see images of figures in all sorts of sexual positions.
General Aladeen then addressed the assembly of journalists: “Welcome devils of the Zionist media and death to the West! Today I wish to highlight the plight of a terribly endangered group, the innocent victims of a global human tragedy: dictators. These brave leaders are suffering daily victimization and brutality for the supposed crime of embezzling money, oppressing their people, and doing a tiny little bit of genocide. In recent years tyrants all over the world have fallen one by one, Saddam, Kim Jong-Il, Gaddafi, and Oprah. Sanctions are crippling us! Ahmadinejad can’t even afford a tie, and because of trade embargoes he’s run out of toilet paper. Last week he had to use one of his own t-shirts. It was his favorite one, his ‘I Hate NY’ shirt. The fact is, we dictators aren’t all bad. While Western countries continue to ravage the planet’s resources we conserve our land by burying thousands of opponents in single mass eco-graves. Thankfully there are still some supporters of dictatorships. On behalf of my dear friend and doubles tennis partner, President Assad of Syria, I want to thank the United Nations for their brave inaction on Syria. Thirteen months and still no Security Council resolution. You guys are amazing! You have done next to nothing for the Syrian people, but remember, you can always do less! Now, please, let’s take some questions! Anyone from the North Korean press? I’m kidding, they don’t have one. Very well, very well, who is first?”
In true dictatorship fashion, questions had to be submitted beforehand, but Cohen’s prepared answers paid off in what was possibly the funniest press conference of all time. He was first asked which presidential candidate he would endorse.
“Ah, the US, well I would say Santorum despite his liberal views but since he’s out of the running I would say the Republicans if they were a little less extreme, I mean there are some real double standards. What people call genocide in my country is called the justice system in Texas but in terms of getting into power in America I would have to support the Democrats. If they can enable a Kenyan to become president then why not a Wadiyan? But if it was money I was giving I would give my full support to Mitchell Romney. He has the makings of a great dictator. He is incredibly wealthy but pays no taxes and it is not that much of leap from firing people to firing squads and from putting pets on top of the car to putting political dissidents on top of them. He taught me how to do that. Next question!”
He was then asked how he deals with all the tragedy he’s had in his life, “Yes my mother died in childbirth of strangulation. My father also died in a tragic hunting accident when he was accidentally hit by 97 stray bullets. He also had a terrible allergy: he was allergic to grenades. And my uncle is dying in a helicopter crash later on today. It will be very sad.”
He then addressed the female journalists in the room: “It is so charming you have these female journalists here. It is like putting a dog on roller skates, it means nothing to them but it is adorable to us.”
He then addressed the difference between Wadiyan film industry, “There are differences between the Wadiyan film industry and Hollywood. People say I am extravagant for using 20 trillion bottles of Fiji water every day to make snow for my ski resort in the middle of the desert, but am I the person who created ‘John Carter’?” When asked what US films he liked, he stated, “I love American films, particularly their fantasy films like ‘Lord of the Rings’ or ‘Schindler’s List’.”
He noted that it’s been a tough year for dictators, ”We have lost a lot of good people and I have lost a lot of good friends – Gaddafi, I miss you. Also, KJ, Kimmy G, K-Jo, K-Man – you know, Kim Jong. And of course you know, Chavez died last month – oh oops, you didn’t hear that from me. Ahmadinejad, he is still around, but he is still an embarrassment. He looks like a snitch on ‘Miami Vice.’ I mean, why does he not wear a tie? Does he think every day in Iran is casual Friday?”
When asked what his favorite shows to watch he replied, “When I am not watching my people, I am glued to the couch watching the satellite television. My favorite shows are Wadiyan. We have our version of ‘Two and a Half Men.’ It used to be called ‘Three Men’ but one of them tried to steal a grapefruit.” He also stated that, “I love the TV show ‘24,’ you have it here, but we play it backwards so it has a happy ending.”
One of the funniest moments in the press conference was when he was asked about Megan Fox, who has a cameo in the film: “Congratulations to [Megan Fox for being pregnant]. There are rumors that I am the father, but this is literally impossible. It would be the first anal conception. If she is pregnant, so is Heidi Klum and also Donald Trump. He does anything for money.”
When asked about his uniform, he explained that it was made by disgraced Christian Dior designer, John Galliano, “I love Galliano. Say what you want about his avant garde style fashion approach, but the guy does hate Jews.”
He then ended the press conference like a true dictator saying, “Okay, alright, thank you and death to the West! Please enjoy yourselves. We have Rolexes here for you, you may enjoy the prostitutes we brought in or the boys if you’d like, if you are from Canada. Enjoy, enjoy! And as long as you all write good reviews your families will be released. Enjoy, and death to the West!”
The Dictator opens in theatres, Wednesday, May 16th.