Proto-Borat

Back in the late 80s, when I was just getting interested in video production, I shot some stuff at the County Line Mall in Indianapolis with my friend, Butt. (Yes, yes, that’s his real name, his last name. I will refrain from telling his first name in order to spare him potential Google embarrassment.) He’s from Pakistan, and he was one of the first people I met at Indiana University.

We thought it would be funny to go to the shopping mall and interview people as if Butt was a journalist from Pakistan. We hoped we might draw out some unintentionally hilarious comments from American mall-goers. The results were disappointing. For one thing, we could barely figure out how to operate the camera. For another, people were a bit nicer than we expected and we ended up feeling like assholes.

Warning: The following video clip is neither funny nor particularly interesting, and is provided for the sole purpose of making a point.

(This video ended up being featured in Milk ‘Em All, which was one of the first videos I ever edited, using my parents’ VCR.)

I’m posting this mall Butt video only because the movie Borat (in theaters now) seemed vaguely familiar to me, and I finally realized why. Foreign pseudo-journalist attempting to make fools of Middle Americans? Yes, we did it first, almost twenty years earlier. Sascha Baron Whatshisname ripped us off!

Update: It should be further noted that I haven’t actually seen Borat and thus don’t know what I’m talking about and might reasonably be classified as an idiot.

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