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Borat's Most Dangerous Stunts Ranked

British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's most famous and infamous character, bumbling Kazakh television journalist Borat Sagdiyev, had modest beginnings. Baron Cohen told the BBC that his character's earliest iteration appeared as a regular presenter on London Weekend Television's youth sketch show "F2F," which aired for less than a year before cancellation. 

In 2000, Baron Cohen garnered international attention following the release of his provocative Channel 4 sketch comedy program "Da Ali G Show," which won BAFTA awards for best comedy series and best comedic performance for its sophomore season. "Da Ali G Show" proved to be the perfect platform for Baron Cohen to resurrect Borat as a dogged correspondent with satirically antiquated and problematic perspectives, who conducted impromptu interviews with unsuspecting subjects.

Fan-favorite Borat made the leap to the big screen in two mokumentary feature films — 2006's "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," and its 2020 sequel, "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm," in which Baron Cohen co-starred opposite Maria Bakalova in her breakthrough, Academy Award-nominated performance as Borat's estranged 15-year-old daughter, Tutar. When Baron Cohen began operating on a larger cinematic canvas, Borat's pranks grew in scale, provocation, and danger — particularly in the latter film, which required him to up the ante so as not to be recognized. Although Baron Cohen may be done with his Borat character for now, here are the wildly inappropriate Kazakh's most dangerous stunts, ranked.

14. Tutar attends a Hillsborough Republican Women's Club meeting

After Tutar has second thoughts about the extensive plastic surgeries her father has scheduled her to undergo, she decides to ditch her appointment and flees to a nearby hotel where she sees a woman headed to a gathering. She follows the woman inside and into a conference room where the local Hillsborough Republican Women's Club is holding a meeting. Tutar engages with the members, quickly realizing that her father and the Kazakh government have wrongfully skewed her conception of women's rights and capabilities. That inspires her to retreat to the public restroom to experiment with one of the cardinal sins in the "Daughter Owner's Manual" — pleasuring herself.

It is an empowering eureka moment for Tutar that she takes into overdrive by returning to the meeting to deliver a rousing speech, graphically recounting her endeavors in the bathroom to the discomfort of the club members. Bakalova's work in this stunt is so delightfully unbridled that it is genuinely shocking that none of the club members discovered they were being duped, or at least tried to determine who this peculiar young woman was.

13. Borat abducts Pamela Anderson

After watching an episode of "Baywatch," Borat falls head over heels in love with Pamela Anderson. He immediately becomes obsessed with the actress and activist, declaring that he will travel to California to meet her and take her back to Kazakhstan, where she will become his wife. Borat weathers countless setbacks and detours on his journey, but finally comes face-to-face with Anderson at her book signing at a Virgin Records store.

After patiently waiting for his turn in line to meet Anderson, Borat proposes to her with a "traditional marriage sack" that he made, to which Anderson replies "No, thanks!" Borat refuses the rejection, pulls the sack over Anderson, then tries to run off with her, but she manages to escape, screaming as she flees the store and charges out into the parking lot. The crowd turns and joins security officers as they try to catch Borat while he chases after Anderson, ultimately leading to Borat being tackled in the parking lot by security. Surreal and hilarious, the attempted kidnapping stunt would have landed much higher on this list if Anderson was not in cahoots with Baron Cohen, who told The Daily Beast that Anderson was in on the joke.

12. Borat takes Tutar to a plastic surgeon

After Borat fails to deliver Tutar as a bride to then-Vice President Mike Pence, he's given two options by the Kazakh government: return to Kazakhstan to suffer unthinkable torture or try to gift Tutar to Donald Trump's next closest ally: Rudy Giuliani. Borat elects the latter. In an attempt to make Tutar more physically appealing to Giuliani, Borat takes her to a plastic surgeon named George Wallace to discuss potential procedures

Borat takes control of the consultation, quipping with Wallace and expressing concern about his daughter's physical appearance. Borat quickly fosters a level of comfort with Wallace, putting him at ease to speak his mind, which leads to Wallace making anti-Semitic remarks and suggesting they give 15-year-old Tutar breast implants. Tutar piles on, asking Wallace if he would have sex with her, to which he admits he would, provided her father was not in the room.

When Borat is informed by Wallace's receptionist that all of Tutar's procedures will cost him almost $22,000, he pitches cost-cutting strategies such as using potatoes instead of saline in the breast implants and allowing "perverts" to come observe the surgery. The receptionist explains the impossibility of these requests and Borat accepts the steep bill, giving her a small duffle-bag of dollar bills that ends up being $72 short. The sheer gall of Baron Cohen and Bakalova in this stunt is impressive, and it is something of a miracle they were not escorted from the premises by the police.

11. Borat wreaks havoc on the subway

Upon arriving in New York City, Borat decides to take a subway, where chaos ensues. After his arduous travel, Borat is thrilled to be in the United States and tries to greet nearly every fellow passenger he encounters. He even tries to kiss several of them on the cheek, but his pushy gregariousness is consistently met with hostility. When he cheerfully asks one subway rider his name, the man responds with a terse "My name is mind your own f****** business!" Things spiral when Borat's suitcase opens and a live chicken escapes, flying around the subway train's close quarters, landing on passengers and pecking at them.

Although the subways of New York City have surely witnessed far more disturbing activities — and this is relatively straightforward as far as pranks go — Borat's subway stunt is actually rather audacious given the charged climate. It is important to remember that this claustrophobic prank took place only a few short years after the September 11th terrorist attacks, when New Yorkers were especially on guard and vigilant during the "see something, say something" era. Suspicious behavior was treated with the highest level of scrutiny. Luckily, Borat is able to return the chicken to his suitcase before anyone was harmed and exit unscathed before things get out of hand.

10. Borat takes Tutar to an anti-choice clinic

When Borat takes Tutar to the Texas State Fair to observe and learn how young American women behave, she goads him into treating her to a cupcake at a local bakery. This a violation in the Kazakhstan Ministry of Agriculture and Wildlife-issued "Daughter Owner's Manual," as daughters are forbidden from eating cake, so Borat insists Tutar eat the cupcake in an alleyway behind the bakery by a dumpster. An overjoyed Tutar inhales the cupcake, accidentally swallowing the tiny plastic baby toy decoration on top.

When Tutar starts to feel ill, Borat takes her to a crisis pregnancy center where they inform the owner, Pastor Jonathan Bright, that there is a baby inside Tutar that must be removed. Sacha Baron Cohen and Maria Bakalova expertly detail Tutar's ingestion of the toy in a manner that suggests Borat "treated" his daughter by impregnating her and they now wish to abort the result of their incest. It is risky, bold comedic genius and Bright accepts each absurd allusion with sincerity and humble piousness, refusing to help them remove the baby. Borat and Tutar's testament would be enough to have Baron Cohen arrested for not only having sexual relations with a minor, but also his biological daughter.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

9. Borat peruses pornography

Upon arrival in Dallas, Texas, Borat is immediately recognized on the street by bystanders. He is forced to dress in costume when he goes to a local electronics store, "Computer Guys of Dallas," to procure a phone. There he meets Brian, a helpful sales employee, who gives technologically-inexperienced Borat a screen-shared demonstration of how to operate a smartphone on a large computer screen situated directly in the center of the store.

Borat hijacks the demonstration and takes the phone from Brian, looking for nearby dessert options online by Googling "spit roast creampie." The search results lead Borat to click on a link to PornHub, which plays an unsavory video on the large screen. Borat announces that he will be taking the phone with him as he retreats to the bathroom, only to peruse more pornography that plays out on the screen in the middle of the store as Brian watches, helpless. The stunt may seem simplistic and straightforward, but it could have had strong legal consequences if Brian had elected to call the police on Borat or if other customers — especially minors — had entered the store mid-prank.

8. The debutante ball

Tutar is obsessed with a Kazakh cartoon about Donald and Melania Trump's fictional courtship, which inspires her dream to become a princess. Borat's dream, however, is to gift Tutar to Mike Pence as a bride, after she derails his initial plan to present Pence with Johnny the Monkey by eating the ape. Borat finds an opportunity to indulge Tutar's Melania Princess aspirations, while preparing her for Pence, by signing her up to participate in at the Macon Debutante Ball in Georgia.

After Borat gives Tutar a makeover, taking her on a whirlwind day of salon appointments and gown shopping, they attend the ball. There they pose as American father and daughter Sandra Jessica Parker Drummond and Phillip Drummond III, in front of over 100 other debutantes, suitors, and parents. When Borat and Tutar are asked to perform a father-daughter dance, they agree to perform the Kazakh traditional fertility dance, enchanting everyone at the ball — until Tutar, who is experiencing her period at the time, horrifies the crowd by lifting her dress to display the menstruation stains on her underwear. Considering the large scale of the crowd and its prudish sensibilities, it is remarkable that Baron Cohen and Bakalova's night didn't end in handcuffs.

7. Borat buys Tutar a cage

Unbeknownst to Borat at the start of "Subsequent Movefilm," Tutar hatches a plan to follow him to America by sneaking into the travel crate occupied by social media mogul and Kazakh Minister of Culture, Johnny the Monkey. When Johnny's crate finally arrives in Texas after a long, arduous trip across the Atlantic, Borat is horrified to find that Tutar has eaten the monkey and he is now forced to accommodate his wayward daughter's presence on his journey.

Borat follows the orders of the "Daughter Owner's Manual" that arrives with Tutar and sets out to buy her a cage to sleep in, which leads him to Bill's Country Farm and Feed supply store. At Bill's, Borat explains his objective to a store associate, who — without a second thought — takes Borat and Tutar on a tour of cages designed for livestock. Borat solicits advice from the store associate about how many other young women he can fit into Tutar's cage and how much propane it would take to "gas Gypsies," horrendous questions that the associate answers in complete earnest. Baron Cohen was lucky he did not encounter a more discerning employee or customer while executing this prank, considering Borat's expressed intent to possibly commit human trafficking, murder, and other illegal activities.

6. Borat quarantines with QAnon followers

The start of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the production of "Borat Subsequent Movefilm" (via The Wrap), but Baron Cohen wisely pivoted and allowed the pandemic to influence the rest of the film. As COVID-19 lockdowns begin in spring 2020, Tutar, galvanized by her experience with the Hillsborough Republican Women's Club and betrayed by her father's lies, flees Borat to pursue her new career ambitions. Borat is left alone and forced to seek shelter by himself, until he meets complete stranger Jerry outside of a liquor store and asks if he can stay with him. Jerry agrees and takes Borat home to quarantine with him and his friend Jim, who both passionately begin expressing their QAnon beliefs.

Borat relishes in their colorful conspiracy theories about the government and the Democratic Party, eventually collaborating with them on a song called "The Wuhan Flu." While scouring the internet for new QAnon theories, the three come across an article that shows Tutar has become a successful journalist for a far right news outlet, which leads Borat to his most dangerous stunt (detailed below). Although Borat and his new pals quarantine in surprising harmony, shacking up with two increasingly paranoid — and potentially armed — QAnon conspiracy theorists in the remote, rural Pacific Northwest during the height of the pandemic was a high-wire stunt that could have jeopardized Baron Cohen's safety at any moment.

5. Borat sings at a rodeo in Virginia

For the largest-scale stunt in the first movie, Borat found himself at the Salem Civic Center in Virginia for the Salem rodeo. Baron Cohen and his producers convinced rodeo organizers (via Rolling Stone) to allow him to perform the national anthem prior to the start of the event. As Borat enters the rodeo circle for his musical performance, he introduces himself to the large crowd as hailing from Kazakhstan, adding, "We support your war of terror." The audience, initially wary of Borat, responds with glee, cheering him on.

Things quickly go off the rails when Borat deviates from the plan and begins performing the Kazakh national anthem to the tune of America's "Star Spangled Banner," belting out: "Kazakhstan is the greatest country in the world/All other countries are run by little girls." Borat immediately loses the suddenly hostile crowd as his terrible, cracking vocals only worsen the sting of hearing the national anthem mocked. Cohen and his crew are promptly told to leave the premises immediately, with one witness at the rodeo telling The Roanoke Times that if Baron Cohen hadn't left when he did, "I think somebody would have shot him."

4. Borat crashes Mike Pence's CPAC speech

When Borat believes that Tutar is finally prepared to be given to then-Vice President Mike Pence as a bride, he decides to deliver her at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where Pence is scheduled to speak. Borat fears he will be noticed at the conference, so he dresses in a disguise he believes will secure him admission: a white cloak and matching pointed hat. The Ku Klux Klan outfit draws a couple of perplexed looks from CPAC attendees, but Borat makes it inside with no questions asked. Borat then goes to the bathroom and changes into a fat suit and Donald Trump mask, which he believes will render him more approachable to Pence. Baron Cohen told Vanity Fair that it took five hours for the film's make-up team to construct the mask on his face — and the hard work paid off.

When Pence takes the stage to deliver his speech, Borat — now bearing an eerie resemblance to Trump — barges into the enormous conference hall with a glammed-up Tutar on his shoulder, interrupting Pence to announce that he brought a girl for him. Borat and Tutar are immediately booed by the audience and apprehended by security officers, who remove them from the venue. This stunt was easily one of Baron Cohen's riskiest, as he managed to get shockingly close to Pence, and the incident even made national news without revealing his or Bakalova's identity until after the film's release.

3. Borat and Azamat fight naked

Most of Baron Cohen's stunts as Borat can easily be found online, save for perhaps his most infamous, and definitely his most revealing: Borat and his sidekick Azamat's naked duel. Due to graphic nudity, the clip is impossible to track down online, but the prank is permanently seared in the minds of anyone who has ever seen the movie.

Morale is low between Borat and Azamat, as they have struggled to cultivate the documentary about American society that they are shooting for the Kazakh Ministry of Information. Borat has misled Azamat to believe that they will find what they are looking for in California, but, really, his objective is to find Pamela Anderson and propose. Tensions between Borat and Azamat hit a breaking point when they spend the night at a San Diego hotel hosting a mortgage convention.

Borat is incensed when he returns from a bath to find Azamat naked on the bed with photos of Pamela Anderson. This prompts a nude physical fight that seems to go on for eternity. The confrontation begins in their hotel room, then spills out into the hallway, onto an elevator packed with other hotel guests, downstairs into the lobby, and finally into a crowded conference hall hosting the Mortgage Brokers Annual Banquet, where the two are finally dragged away by security. From a legal perspective, the extensive public nudity make this easily one of Baron Cohen's diciest pranks — and easily his most grotesque.

2. Rudy Giuliani interview

Tutar's interview with disgraced former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani is the most courageous political prank Baron Cohen has conceived in his entire career. It also attained international coverage and notoriety from the media prior to the film's release. Giuliani arrives in the hotel suite prepared to be interviewed by nervous, green journalist Tutar (for a completely fake right-wing outlet), and the meeting quickly spins out of control as he banters about China intentionally spreading COVID-19 throughout the world. Then Giuliani becomes flirtatious with Tutar, getting handsy and offering her liquor to ease her anxiety.

Once the interview is complete, Tutar and Giuliani take their drinks to the suite's bedroom area where he starts massaging her shoulders and touching her lower back, telling her to give him her phone number and address. After Tutar helps him remove his microphone, Guiliani lies back on the bed, adjusting his shirt in his unbuttoned pants. His hands linger, seemingly gravitating to do something more sexual ... until Borat bursts in and prevents the situation from going any further, telling Giuliani that Tutar is a minor and offering his body in tribute instead. Following the incident, Giuliani downplayed the incident in a tweet that minimized his questionable behavior. This hyper-tense, perfectly executed stunt could have unraveled at any minute and posed grave danger to Sacha Baron Cohen — and especially Maria Bakalova.

1. Borat performs at March For Our Rights 3

While Tutar's interview with Rudy Giuliani certainly garnered more attention in the media, Borat's most dangerous stunt is undoubtedly his musical performance at March For Our Rights 3, a rally organized by North American far-right/anti-government militia group the Three Percenters. Baron Cohen infiltrates the gun rights event disguised as a stereotypical hillbilly named "Country Steve." He performs "The Wuhan Flu," the song he penned with his QAnon quarantine buddies, for an audience of Donald Trump supporters, many of whom are heavily armed with semiautomatic rifles.

"Country Steve" charms the giddy crowd with the song's violent rhetoric, calling for former president Barack Obama, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the World Health Organization, and journalists at large to be injected with the "Wuhan Flu," then "chopped up like the Saudis do." Although Baron Cohen achieves a truly profound level of comedy with this wild stunt, inciting nauseatingly xenophobic behavior from the audience, the most dangerous elements of the scene did not make the final cut of the film. 

Baron Cohen told Time Magazine that he wore a bulletproof vest under his costume and when the audience caught on to his true identity, they turned on him and tried to prevent his escape from the event: "When someone ripped open the [car] door to drag me out, I used my entire body weight to pull the door back shut until our vehicle maneuvered free." It is chilling to think what could have happened if the outraged and armed members of the crowd caught on sooner.