YO – check this out.
Jet-setting climate change denier Lord Christopher Monckton has been revealed on Australian television as a fictional character created by comedy genius Sasha Baron Cohen, who also gave the world Borat, Ali G and Bruno.
Actually, that’s not quite true.
But Australia’s leading TV satire show has screened an interview with Lord Monckton where his interrogator, comedian Craig Reucassel, continually hinted that he thought the British hereditary peer was an alter-ego of Baron Cohen’s.
In the segment, broadcast on Wednesday evening and watched by more than 800,000 people, viewers were told straight-faced that Lord Monckton was actually Baron Cohen’s latest creation (just to be absolutely clear here folks, he isn’t!).
Presenter Reucassel told viewers
Thousands have been taken in hook, line and sinker. Top scientists have engaged in debate with him, believing him to be real… Monckton has managed to trick everyone from the US Senate
to Australian politicians and media personalities, none of them aware that it’s all just one big joke.
In further fake commentary, another well-known Australian comedian Shaun Micallef said the Monckton “character” was “clearly intended to be ironic” and that his constant references to Hitler
were a “great set-up of that simplistic conservative thinking”.
Then came the actual interview with Monckton, which the audience heard had been granted on the condition that “Baron Cohen” be allowed to “stay in character”.
Reucassel told DeSmogBlog the interview, filmed in Lord Monckton’s hotel room, was surprisingly easy to secure.
We literally just asked him for an interview. I had realised from watching him before that he is incredibly keen to talk to people – he’ll do the most pissant interviews with basically anyone. He didn’t want to know any background about us. We just told him that it was for a production company and that it might be shown on the ABC. We didn’t mislead him in any way.
Reucassel continually hinted during the on-screen interview that he was under the impression the Lord (who can use the title despite not being an actual member of the House of Lords, according to the House of Lords
) was “in character”.
“You say that you’ve been peer-reviewed,” Reucassel told Monckton. “There’s a bit of wordplay in there because clearly you are a peer… they don’t seem to get that that’s a gag there.” He then asked if Lord Monckton found it hard if audiences were not sure “where you are going with the character?”
Painfully, Lord Monckton still appeared not to be actually listening to the questions he was being asked. Reucassel explained
The interview was going for quite a while but when I hinted that he might be a comedian, he ignored it. As the interview went on I tried to make it more and more about that – but he just wasn’t twigging.
In the end, Reucassel is seen pleading with Lord Monckton to indulge viewers with some of Baron Cohen’s old catchphrases. Finally, the penny drops. After quoting some Latin, a bemused Lord Monckton says: “It’s not a question of being in the Lord Monckton character – as it happens I am Lord Monckton.”
Mercifully, Monckton finally calls the interview off, asking Reucassel and his camera crew to take their equipment and “get out”.
The segment is sure to add to Lord Monckton’s disdain for what he perceived to be harsh treatment at the hands of Australia’s national broadcaster. At one point during his July tour, Lord Monckton threatened to sue the ABC
and called its chairman, Maurice Newman, a “shrimp-like wet little individual
But 18 hours after the broadcast Reucassel said he hadn’t heard from the peer.
I presume we’ll hear from him. He threatens to sue everyone but doesn’t necessarily follow through. His understanding of the law seems to be close to his understanding of the science.