As The Dictator is finally out… err… dictating (read our review of it here), I thought that now would be a good time to compile a list of the most controversial moments in the career of a comedian who has offended just as many as he has made laugh.
5. Kim Jong-Il's Ashes
Although nowhere near as ballsy as some of his previous exploits, Cohen pouring ‘Kim Jong-Il’s ashes’ over Ryan Seacrest (think a less dignified Dermot O’Leary) on the Oscars red carpet managed to generate a lot of controversy because… well… it’s the Oscars – the one time of the year when you’re almost required by law to sit in your house and fawn over how attractive rich people are.
My favourite part of the video is not Cohen, dress in his ‘The Dictator’ garb, but Kelly Osbourne, who proclaims that Seacrest is the “Chosen One” whilst what can only be described as a human/horse hybrid stands beside her, smiling.
4. Ali G Compares Abortion To Burger King
“Surely you should try something before you say it is bad? I was very anti-Burger King but then me went there and me tried the Flame-Grilled Whopper and it was amazing” – Ali G to two anti-abortion protesters.
Sacha Baron Cohen’s first popular comic creation, the dim-witted yet often unintentionally insightful Ali G, often got a rise out of his interview subjects through his ill-informed questions, with his stupid questions often leading to similarly stupid answers. In this clip Ali G takes on the subject of abortion, invites a Reverend to bump his fist and laughs and leads the protest by shouting “free Nelson Mandela” over a megaphone.
3. Bruno Talks To Neo-Nazi's About Homosexuality
If you ever find yourself in a room with a group of drunk, neo-Nazi punks, a quick route to spending the night in a hospital is you politely inform them that you are gay. Likewise, if the guy to your right has spent the majority of your conversation raising his arm in a Hitler-esque salute, then you probably won’t make any new friends by asking him if he has ever masturbated on stage and then ejaculated over his audience.
The fact that Sacha Baron Cohen, under the guise of gay Austrian reporter ‘Bruno’, managed to escape from this interview unscathed is a huge miracle – almost as huge as the miracles dangling below his scrotum that give him the courage to do these kinds of things.
2. Borat Sings The National Anthem
“We support your war of terror”, says Borat whilst standing in the middle of a rodeo arena, before telling the cheering crowd that his home country of Kazakhstan hopes George Bush “drinks the blood of every man, woman and child of Iraq.” Again, more cheers.
The cheering stops, however, when Borat sings his own rendition of the US national anthem that claims all other countries are inferior to Kazakhstan, the world’s number one supplier of potassium.
1. Bruno Kisses A Man… During A Cage Fight
Cohen addressed the latent homoeroticism of cage fighting by hosting a cage fighting tournament entitled “Straight Dave’s Man Slammin’ Maxout” and then, just after the crowd have cheered his anti-“faggot” speech, invites a man into the cage, strips to his underwear and proceeds to kiss him. Inevitably, the crowd disapproves.