We still don’t know the identity of the cigar-chomping guy with a mustache whose face launched a thousand Photoshop spoofs after he was spotted incongruously watching Tiger Woods whack a golf ball into a camera at the Ryder Cup. A new photo taken from a different angle (above) shows that his supposed ‘turban’ is actually a red ponytail wig, though, (h/t Urlesque) which some see as furthering the theory that Cigar Guy is in costume to honor/poke fun at Spanish golfer Miguel Angel Jimenez.
But now, there’s a new theory kicking around about Cigar Guy’s identity: He’s actually comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, of Ali G/Borat fame, hard at work on a new, sports-obsessed character named Afzal, a “muslim pansexual transvestite sports professional.”
In August 2010, Empire magazine leaked an interview with Sacha Baron Cohen about an upcoming film by accidentally posting the interview 2 months early. Sacha described his new role as a “muslim pansexual transvestite sports professional” named Afzal. It was later decided he would be a professional golfer, after previously having wanted his role to be an upcoming Premier League football star, it was decided by Cohen’s lawyers that this was potentially too dangerous due to backlash from fans. Cohen also noted that it would be necessary to use facial prosthetics due to him now being so recognisable worldwide and aimed to make his character “of middle eastern descent and slightly chubby; basically not your archetypal sports star.” Cohen discussed how his new character is aimed to bring about dialogue about the closeted nature of homosexuality in the sports industry and reveal some of the shocking views held by some within it. No release date or title for the film has yet been announced.
Solomon is rightly suspicious, and notes that the web address format for the supposedly deleted Empire article doesn’t match others: He surmises that this could be “yet another phase of the viral marketing – a ‘plan fiendishly clever in its intricacies.’” Or it could just be some kids messing around with Wikipedia. Also, while Hollywood wizardry knows no bounds, dude looks a good deal chubbier than Baron Cohen. Plus, there’s the accidental nature of the fame of the picture itself: Cigar Guy wouldn’t be a worldwide sensation if photographer Mark Pain hadn’t snapped the remarkable photo of Tiger Woods’ golf ball rocketing towards his camera, a photo in which Cigar Guy is just one (especially memorable) face in the crowd. At that, this is our new favorite Internet conspiracy theory, in that it’s far-fetched, but would be fiendishly clever if it was somehow true.