Sacha Baron Cohen Trolls Robert Mugabe

The Dictator — Sacha Baron Cohen’s “eccentric totalitarian leaders of history”–mashup satire — is in theaters next week. Which means that, just as with SBC’s Borat and Brüno before it, it’s time for the elaborate in-character media blitz. You may recall Admiral General Aladeen spilling Kim Jong-Il’s ashes on Ryan Seacrest during the Oscars (apparently, though, they were originally destined for George Clooney). You might have caught Admiral General Aladeen on SNL this weekend, torturing Martin Scorsese. And you possibly read up about Admiral General Aladeen’s press conference in New York yesterday, in which he warmly welcomed the “devils of the Zionist media.” And for his next trick — well, now he’s messing with Robert Mugabe.

Earlier today, AP reporter Brett Zongker tweeted that he’d “Just received invitation from Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe for a premiere of ‘The Dictator’ at the presidential residence.” Check it out below:

Mugabe invitation

Looks pretty legit, right? So had Baron Cohen pulled off a massive stunt, and actually convinced someone at the Zimbabwe presidential palace to host a Dictator screening, possibly by skirting around any description of its content and/or its title and just vaguely declaring it a top Hollywood blockbuster?! Sadly, no. The Washington Post followed up, and found out that no one at the embassy or the ministry knew of the event. Still, though — pretty bold move, messing with a renowned real-life dictator like that! Sure, Baron Cohen is probably safe from the man’s clutches, seeing as he isn’t currently in Zimbabwe or anything, and therefore can’t be thrown into any sort of deep bunker torture chamber. Personally, though, I sleep better at night knowing I’m not on any infamously oppressive world leader’s radar.

Here’s a question: How come Baron Cohen went with Mugabe to troll? Is Kim Jong-un not experienced enough? Is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad not powerful enough? Is Alexander Lukashenko too obscure? Would love to see the short list on this one.

Filed Under: Sacha Baron Cohen, The Dictator

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Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ AmosBarshad