NEW YORK – Borat is dead.
Sacha Baron Cohen tells The Daily Telegraph that he's retiring the clueless Kazakh journalist, as well as his alter ego, aspiring rapper Ali G.
"When I was being Ali G and Borat I was in character sometimes 14 hours a day and I came to love them, so admitting I am never going to play them again is quite a sad thing," the 36-year-old actor-comedian says in the British newspaper's Friday edition.
"It is like saying goodbye to a loved one. It is hard, and the problem with success, although it's fantastic, is that every new person who sees the Borat movie is one less person I `get' with Borat again, so it's a kind of self-defeating form, really."
Baron Cohen brought Borat Sagdiyev -- an anti-Semitic buffoon in search of Pamela Anderson -- to the masses last year with his smash comedy, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan." He first introduced the character on "Da Ali G Show," which was carried in the U.S. on HBO.
"It's much easier for me to be in character and it's a lot more fun," he says. "If I'd done the entire promotional campaign for (the `Borat' movie) as myself it wouldn't have developed in the same way."
Baron Cohen -- not Borat -- can be seen as a singing barber in Tim Burton's "Sweeney Todd," co-starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.
His spokesman, Matt Labov, did not immediately return phone and e-mail messages by The Associated Press seeking comment on the "deaths" of Borat and Ali G.