"I've never really done any interviews as myself," says Cohen in a video snippet for those without SiriusXM. "This is like the third time in my life I’ve done an interview out of character."
Cohen's appearance in the video clip is startling for its normalcy. The comedian wears a brown T-shirt and a black leather jacket, along with a baseball cap. In contrast to his outrageous characters Ali G, Borat, Bruno and General Aladeen, Cohen is clean-cut and speaks in his native British accent. He sits back in his chair, holding a cup of coffee.
"I'm a huge fan and I've been following your career for 20 years," said Cohen, explaining why he chose Stern's show for the rare interview. "What you were doing inspired me very early on because I thought, 'Alright, this is a guy who's got balls.' The fact that you didn't mind breaking the law or upsetting people -- I followed that role."
Stern pressed the actor on why he is so hesitant to appear in public as himself.
"To me, you're such a more fascinating guy," said Stern. "To interview a character ... I mean, what am I going to ask 'The Dictator?' He's not a real guy. Now that you're accomplished, people do want to speak to the real you. Though I would prefer that you only speak to me as you."
Cohen admitted that it was fun to speak in his own voice.
"I enjoyed it. I never do it," Cohen said, wrapping up the interview. "Maybe that'll be it. It will be an exclusive with 'The Howard Stern Show.'"