Events — 08 May 2012
Sacha Baron Cohen’s “The Dictator” Takes NYC Press Conference By Force

Blog: The Dictator Press Conference

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In the midst of a full on media blitz for his new film “The Dictator” (R; opens May 16th), actor Sacha Baron Cohen made his way to New York City on Monday afternoon for a jam packed promotional press conference. Dozens of media personalities from the worlds of print, television, and (ahem) internet media filled the elaborate space of the Empire Ballroom at the chic Waldorf-Astoria hotel in midtown Manhattan, awaiting the arrival of Cohen, who in true to form fashion, rolled into the press conference in full regalia and character, as the leader of The Republic of Wadiya, Admiral General Aladeen.

The near hour long press conference led off with two groups of Aladeen supporters waiving picket signs depicting the Admiral’s likeness. Headed by several buxom security guards wielding machine guns, Aladeen would follow, pausing briefly amongst a sea of flash bulbs and recorded video all around him. Taking his place at the podium, the talented actor began to extol his own virtues as a tyrant and leader, mocking conceivably every race and gender to which any rational person under normal circumstances would take offense. He immediately embraced the in-house press with “Welcome devils of the Zionist media and death to the west.” But comedy knows no boundaries, and actually, Cohen is perhaps the only character skilled enough to get away with this brand of controversial excoriating.

Following his opening remarks placed in front of a flag reading “IACD” or the “International Alliance of Constitutional Dictatorships,” the leader then turned the briefing over to members of the New York and international media for questioning. Among some of his pointed answers, Aladeen’s favorite American fantasy movies consist of “Lord of the Rings” and “Schindler’s List,” he enjoys watching FOX’s “24” backwards so that it has a ‘happy ending,’ and of the number of female reporters asking questions, The Dictator responded “it’s so charming that you have these female journalists. It’s like putting a dog on roller skates. It means nothing to them, but it’s adorable for us.” Perhaps the funniest moment of the entire conference occurred when an Israeli journalist stepped up to ask Aladeen a question, and The Dictator demanded the reporter prove he was Jewish by displaying his circumcised manhood.

Although each of the questions were pre-approved, the session was often funny and at times downright hilarious. Some jokes hit, while others missed, but Cohen managed to create a publicity for his clever new film, which will be the subject of a full LocalBozo.com review later on this week. Until then, peruse through our incredible photos from the press conference and make sure to grab your advance tickets to see “The Dictator” (R) right now at Fandango and in the mean time, check out the brand new restricted trailer here.

- Jane Van Arsdale

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