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7 of Sacha Baron Cohen’s most outrageous pranks

Sacha Baron Cohen is an absolute madman. Watching any of his shows or movies, the only thing you can really think about is “how on earth did he pull this off?”

Somehow, he has managed to organise interviews with a number of high-ranking government officials and celebrities, only to humiliate them on camera, costing a number of them their careers. It always makes for entertaining viewing, so we’ve rounded up seven of the most outrageous pranks from Cohen’s outrageous career.

Sacha Baron Cohen has made a career out of making other people look stupid. Here are 7 of our favourite of his iconic pranks.

Dick Cheney

In 2018, when Sacha Baron Cohen first announced Who Is America?, he released a promo video featuring former vice president Dick Cheney signing a waterboard. “That’s a first,” Cheney responded enthusiastically. “It’s the first time I’ve ever signed a waterboard.”

Of course, Cheney has long been accused of institutionalizing torture in American government, so this prank hits pretty hard. How Cohen pulled it off, we’ll never know.

Right-Wing Festival

Last month, news broke that Sacha Baron Cohen infiltrated a right-wing American event, posing as a racist bluegrass singer. He took to the stage dressed in ridiculous overalls and a straw hat to sing about injecting Obama and Fauci with “the Wuhan flu”. Eventually, the crowd would join him in song.

Just to rub salt in the wound, Cohen would return to the event later that day in a different disguise to interview his victims. Seriously, the guy just can’t be stopped.

New York Fashion Week

Attending New York Fashion week probably seems like a safe bet for a character like Bruno. A lot safer than the American deep south, at least. However, it’s here, where Bruno most easily fits in, that he reveals some of the darker thoughts lingering in the minds of the high fashion world. Most of these thoughts target poor and ugly people.

Donald Trump

Ali G pitching ice cream gloves to Donald Trump is one of the all-time great television segments. At the beginning of the interview, Cohen asks Trump what the most popular thing in the world. Trump incorrectly answers “music”. The answer, of course, is ice cream.

What’s the biggest issue with ice cream? It drips. What’s the solution to this? Ice cream gloves. Shortly after hearing the pitch, Trump leaves the room, missing his chance to invest in one hell of a new product.

NBA

When Da Ali G Show first popped up, many were shocked at how relentless Cohen was in targetting his victims. Not only that, but his victims were some of the biggest stars on the planet.

His interviews with NBA superstars Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Dwyane Wade, and Richard Jefferson will go down as some of his best. A particularly brilliant moment comes when he asks Bryant how many springs are in a basketball.

Paula Abdul

One of the highlights of Bruno comes when Cohen interviews Paula Abdul about her humanitarian work. All throughout this interview, however, they seated atop a pair of “Mexican chair people”.

Abdul even delivers the line “helping other people is so vital to my life” while sitting on top of another human being. It’s only when she’s offered sushi off a naked man’s body that she finally pulls the pin.

Corinne Olympios

Following a misconduct scandal in 2017, Corinne Olympios came into 2018 with a fair bit of bad press. That was only ever going to get worse after encountering Sacha Baron Cohen.

As part of his Who Is America? show, Cohen duped Olympios into claiming that she, somehow, cured ebola and saved 6,000 people in Africa. Vanity Fair put together a big breakdown of how Cohen pulled this one off.

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July 21, 2020