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Ali G: Yes, that’s me

Yes, I was on the Ali G show. 

People ask the story all the time (almost every day), so here it is.

 

I get a call from a producer for the BBC. They said that they were doing a documentary about an entrepreneur.  They wanted to know if I would watch his pitch (on camera) and give my opinion.

Sure!

They show up and do the hour-long interview.  Ali G was the entrepreneur.  I had no idea because the show hadn’t yet aired in the US.

He was absurd, but that wasn’t all that unusual in the dot com days.  I’ve seen my share of nut cases with bizarrely bad ideas. 

The interview was an hour long. Nobody ever broke character – producers, camera crew, assistants – even off-camera.  He hung around, we chatted. I never had a clue.  When I said that I didn’t like his idea, he actually started talking about how worried he was that the BBC would cancel the show and send him home.

I went to the BBC web site after the shoot … and he was all over the home page.  I called the producer and left a message that I was in on the joke.

I think this is why they made me look good.  I think I’m one of the few people to be on that show and not look like a total fool.  I was very very lucky, and I’m grateful to them for it.

Thinking about it later, there really weren’t any clues or hints that it was fake, except that they had me sign a release and gave me a token payment of $100.  No real new crew would have ever paid for the interview.

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Comments

  1. Paul Jones December 18, 2007 at 11:08 am #

    Hey Andy:
    I was at your speech in Salt Lake City last night. Dynamite stuff. I’ll blog about it today.
    One question: ‘Remarkable’ is value neutral. Can’t something be remarkable and yet also bad for word of mouth?

  2. Letitia January 7, 2008 at 3:19 pm #

    Andy,
    This is classic (glad you put this up). And you’re right, you did look good compared to the other foo.. – I mean entrepreneurs :)

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