Of course, Sacha Baron Cohen’s antics rarely fly under the radar these days, and a report emerged in July that Giuliani had called the police on the comedian after he stormed into the hotel room wearing a wig and pink bikini to stop the interview. But nobody — probably including Giuliani, even after he identified Cohen — knew that hidden camera footage of the incident would wind up in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” streaming Friday on Amazon.
The Giuliani prank is one of many Cohen pulled over the past year while shooting the mockumentary, which follows fictional Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev as he returns to the United States to win over the current presidential administration on behalf of his country. He attempts to present a Trump ally with a bribe — at first, a monkey; after an unfortunate mishap, his teenage daughter Tutar (Maria Bakalova) — and, as one would expect of the inept character, goes about doing so in the most absurd fashion.
Join us as we revisit several unwitting reactions to Cohen’s latest pranks. Many spoilers ahead, of course.
When Vice President Pence spoke to those gathered for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in February — the same event later scrutinized when an attendee tested positive for the coronavirus — he was interrupted by a Trump impersonator. The man, who had a woman thrown over his shoulder, yelled for several minutes as the crowd drowned him out by chanting “four more years."
A spokesperson for the local Maryland police department told ABC News that the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, where CPAC was held, “asked for help to escort the individual from the premises."
We can now identify the man as Borat trying to offer Tutar to “Michael Pennis,” described to him at the film’s start as “America’s most famous ladies’ man.” (The inclusion of Tutar, who aspires to wind up in a so-called wife cage like her idol, “Queen Melania,” welcomes a deeper look at ingrained misogyny.)
Ku Klux Klan garb
To “slip into this conference of Republicans unnoticed,” Borat walks into the convention center in the clothing of a Klansman and says he is Stephen Miller. Though several people in the lobby stare, nobody stops him on his way to the bathroom. A photo of Cohen in the hood was uploaded to social media.
After the failed attempt at CPAC, the plan to bribe a Trump ally pivots to Giuliani. Tutar conducts a fawning interview while posing as a journalist and, just as Giuliani reaches into his trousers, a bikini-clad Borat arrives and exclaims, “She 15. She too old for you. She my daughter, please, take me instead.” (The actress is 24 years old, according to IMDb.)
In July, Giuliani told Page Six that he didn’t immediately recognize the person who barged into the room but later realized it must have been Cohen: “I am a fan of some of his movies, ‘Borat’ in particular, because I’ve been to Kazakhstan,” Giuliani said, then repeating a line from the original film: “ ‘She is my sister. She is number four prostitute in all of Kazakhstan.’ That was pretty funny.”
At one point, Cohen crashes a far-right March for Our Rights rally in Olympia, Wash., where he leads the crowd in a singalong for several minutes. The Washington Post reported on a viral video in June:
Dressed in a cowboy hat and overalls, Cohen sang racist lyrics attacking President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Anthony S. Fauci, as well as CNN and the World Health Organization. He repeatedly mentioned “the Wuhan Flu,” a phrase some lawmakers have used to blame China for the spread of the novel coronavirus, and talked about “chopping them up like the Saudis do.” The crowd cheered and joined in.
After the video circulated online, social media users wondered whether Cohen was filming a second season of his Showtime series “Who Is America?,” which aired two years ago and also featured the comedian in disguise. Toward the start of “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” the character realizes that he can no longer travel the United States without a disguise because the popular mockumentary made him too recognizable.
This post has been updated.