Although Sacha Baron Cohen has never been known for his gentle approach to comedy, there have got to be times when he himself must have looked back over footage and winced. If not then hats off to him but here are just a few of our most cringe worthy moments:
1. The Rise of Ali G.
Spurned from a stereotype of the average white suburban British male, Cohen’s character Ali G (or Alistair Leslie Graham as he was otherwise known) has never stopped pushing the boundaries of what it’s ok to say in general society, since his introduction on The 11 O’Clock Show back in 1998.
Image source: telegraph.co.uk
2. Ali G’s Lecture at Harvard University.
It doesn’t take a genius (as I’m sure some of them are at Harvard) to see that inviting Ali G to do an inauguration speech was going to be a bad idea. But no, it seems that the spectacle of seeing a celebrity was to prevail and in 2004 Ali G gave the graduating class a lecture on ‘erbology’.
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3. Borat’s ‘Mankini’.
If ever there was a picture to speak for itself it is this. Offending the eyes of many a person across the world, including myself, Cohen paved the way for the affronting nature of Borat by releasing this picture before the movie.
Image source: igizmohk.com
4. Borat at the Rodeo.
Goodness knows how Cohen persuaded the organisers to let him do a speech as Borat at an American rodeo but this did actually happen. Consequently he went on to cause a riot when he said that George W. Bush should “drink the blood over every man, woman and child in Iraq”.
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5. Attempting to kidnap Pamela Anderson.
I still to this day have no idea whether Pamela Anderson was given the heads up that a crazed fan was going to attack her with a fabric bag but the sight of it still make us cringe.
Image source: cloudfront.net
6. Poking fun at Madonna’s adoption.
It would seem that offending a vast majority of the world with 2006 film Borat wasn’t enough for Cohen. Henceforth he set about creating his next outrageous character, Brüno (for whom the movie was released in 2009). And outrage people he did, especially Madonna who was currently undertaking an adoption at the time.
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7. Landing on Eminem’s face whilst presenting at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards.
Anytime Cohen goes near an awards ceremony there is bound to be trouble and this was definitely the case at the MTV Movie Awards in 2009 when, as Brüno, he landed crotch-first on rapper Eminem’s face.
Image source: mannythemovieguy.com
8. Spilling a certain someone’s ashes on the red carpet as ‘The Dictator’.
Not satisfied enough with the spectacle at the MTV Awards, Sacha Baron Cohen preceded to arrive at the O2012 scars as his newest character ‘The Dictator’, carrying what he claimed to be Kim Jong Il’s ashes and sprinkling them on the red carpet (and a little bit on Ryan Seacrest!).
Image source: cloudfront.net
9. The Brothers Grimsby (2016).
Despite the attempt to be as shocking as possible in his most recent film The Brothers Grimsby, it turns out the most shocking thing about this film is how badly it has been received by the public, with many people not even finding it funny, despite a rumoured disturbing scene involving a camel…
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10. King Julien.
I like to think of this as my favourite Sacha Baron Cohen shocking moment: that he could actually play a lovably cute – albeit eye-wateringly funny – lemur in 2005’s animated movie Madagascar.
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