Entertainment

Sacha Baron Cohen's Most Outrageous Moments

Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat in Cannes
George Pimentel/WireImage/Getty

No matter how you feel about Sacha Baron Cohen -- and the man tends to elicit strong reactions -- you can't deny that he is fearless. Over the past two decades, the man who gave us Ali G, Borat, and Brüno has made a career out of provoking and unsettling audiences, whether he's getting a Virginia rodeo crowd to sing a butchered version of the national anthem or running around a hotel with his dong flailing. In honor of his new film, Grimsby, take a look back at some of the gonzo comedian's most outlandish on-screen antics. 

Grimsby's elephant scene

If you were worried that Baron Cohen's love of gross bodily functions would wane with time, fear not! He's recently been peddling a particularly salacious excerpt from his new film Grimsby on late-night shows, which apparently involves Baron Cohen getting slapped in the face by an elephant's dong while hiding inside another elephant's vagina. Isn't nature beautiful? The clip itself was deemed too offensive to be aired on Kimmel, but the audience's reaction tells us all we need to know.

The naked fight scene in Borat

Watching Baron Cohen wrestle naked with his corpulent producer Azamat (Ken Davitian) is one of the most graphic and gag-inducing things we've ever seen on screen. Our hearts go out to the poor hotel patrons who had to experience the blubbery brawl firsthand.

Landing on Eminem at the MTV Movie Awards

A surefire way to make Slim Shady stand up? Engineer a wire mishap so that an angel-winged Brüno lands scrotum-first on Em's face at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards. 

Spilling ashes on Ryan Seacrest

While Eminem was in on Baron Cohen's joke at the MTV Movie Awards, Ryan Seacrest was genuinely surprised when the comic, clad in full dictator regalia, dumped an urn of "Kim Jong-il's ashes" on him at the 2012 Oscar red carpet. Certainly gives a whole new meaning to the question, "Who are you wearing?"

His rodeo anthem

How has Sacha Baron Cohen not been beaten to smithereens yet? Baron Cohen sure came close when, filming a scene for Borat, he led the crowd at a Virginia rodeo in his own version of the national anthem, declaring, "I hope you kill every man, woman, and child in Iraq, down to the lizards, and may George W. Bush drink the blood of every man, woman, and child in Iraq." The 4,000-strong crowd freaked out, understandably, and rodeo officials had to rush Baron Cohen out before any serious violence occurred.   

The cage fight make-out in Brüno

Another one for the beatdown-narrowly-averted files: what happens when thousands of drunk Arkansas dudes show up expecting to see a cage fight but end up watching a steamy guy-on-guy make-out session? Nothing good. "There were 2,000 drunk good old boys baying for blood," Baron Cohen told David Letterman later when describing the experience, which resulted in him getting pelted with beers and hustled out by security before the arena full of angry homophobes could get their paws on him.

Ali G's religion round table

Our favorite Ali G Show interviews are the ones where Baron Cohen brings his uniquely insensitive approach to extremely sensitive topics. One such topic? Religion. In this particularly cringeworthy segment, Baron Cohen’s clueless West Staines gangster bombards a group of clergy members with inane questions like, "If God has got all these amazing powers, why doesn't he flex it every day?” and refers to Jesus Christ as "the mack daddy of the Christian thing."

20th Century Fox

Riding in vans with bears

No, this is not a sequel to the 2001 Drew Barrymore movie; this is a very real stunt that Sacha Baron Cohen pulled while filming the movie Borat (resulting in a very real FBI file about a reported "terrorist traveling in an ice cream van"). Kids, we know you want a snow cone, but please: BACK AWAY FROM THE ICE CREAM TRUCK. 

Brüno crashes a runway show

Fashion is serious business. Consequently, neither the fashion police nor the actual police took kindly to a derelict-clad Baron Cohen crashing a Milan Fashion Week runway show while shooting the Brüno movie.

Ali G interviews Donald Trump in 2003

Ali G pitching his drip-free ice cream glove to an unimpressed Donald Trump is pretty brazen -- albeit much less outrageous than almost anything Trump does on a daily basis in 2016.

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Anna Silman is a staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment, innit? Find her on Twitter: @annaesilman.