I Know "Vanilla Face"!
I saw the trailer for Borat, oh, half a dozen times and never noticed anything odd or vaguely familiar about it. Just thought it looked like a riot. Can't wait to see the movie. (Hey, you know Borat, right? The "journalist" from Kazakhstan who's really Sacha Baron Cohen? The guy who's also Ali G? And Jean Girrard in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby? Cool. Just checking.) All it took was one viewing for the missus to notice something was amiss: "Hey, that's the Adolphus," she said about one minute and 45 seconds into the thing. Nuh-unh. Then it occured to me, yeah, coulda been: Cohen was in town last summer screwing with folks at the Premier Club, hitchhiking local highways and byways and making other troubles for the peoples, yekshamesh.
So we paused the trailer, backed it up and double-checked it was indeed the lobby of the downtown hotel in which we'd been hitched on November 1, 1997 (in case she thinks I forgot, which I never do). Sure enough: There's Cohen as Borat with his pants down past his ass, undies riding high, checking in at the front desk. And that's ubiquitous Adolphus fixture David Davis, the hotel's director of public relations, behind the check-in desk. Davis is on vacation this week and wasn't around to discuss the incident, but surely he was in on the joke: Why else would the hotel's PR man be behind the check-in desk all by his lonesome with at least one cameraman perched nearby? Still, it's a hilarious moment, which you can check out below. But poor Davis. He's now forever known as "Vanilla Face." --Robert Wilonsky