Is our beloved Borat a thief? That’s the question that a lot of news sites are now asking following the complaints of a Turkish comedian whose shtick is eerily familiar to the Kazakhstan goofball played by Brit comedian Sascha Baron Cohen. Mahir Cagri says that he is completely sure that he was the inspiration for Borat, that he’s hoofing it to London to…well, try and get some money our of it. Ah capitalism.
But there is some rather intriguing evidence to back up his claim. To wit: back in 1999, before anyone had heard of Borat, let alone Ali G, Cagri became celebrity online after posting “unintentionally” amusing photos of himself playing ping pong, the accordion and sunbathing in a skimpy bathing suit. Not the stretchy day-glow nut-hugger suit that Borat wears, but then again, perhaps that suit has not been invented yet. He was also known for his broken, albeit charming approach to women: “Who is want to come TURKEY I can invitate … She can stay my home.” You have to admit, it sounds a lot like our little Borat.
But, of course, if anyone who thinks they’re being somehow imitated can get money for that is another question entirely. I don’t know the details exactly, but I do know that the guy upon whom the Kramer character is based in Seinfeld tried to get some compensation for that fact….and didn’t….although I think he’s leading tours in the city or something. So perhaps if all else fails the “real” Borat can maybe buy himself a bus.