“Very nice!” British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen first introduced the world to his fictional character Borat Sagdiyev in a series of sketches before making the native of Kazakhstan a key character in his successful series, Da Ali G Show. Borat is a journalist oblivious to the customs and perspectives of Americans. Through this basic setup, he gets his subjects to expose their prejudices and biases they normally keep to themselves – especially when it comes to antisemitism and misogyny.
While the underlining motivations behind Cohen’s use of the Borat character are very serious, Borat’s skits and two feature films are roll-around-on-the-floor hilarious. Yes, the movies are controversial, but Cohen’s brand of humor provides endless insight into how Americans, in particular, view their status in the world.
10 2006 To 2020
Borat first hit the big screen in 2006’s Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Mired in scandal, thanks to its over-the-top antics, the first Borat film follows its title character as he travels around America, interviewing real people in off-scripted scenarios.
Fast forward 14 years and Borat has finally returned for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. His fans may be a bit (or a lot) older, but they are just as impressed by how much relevant commentary on American culture the sequel contains.
9 One Ticket For Borat 2
Borat fans have waited so long for a sequel. So long, in fact, they’re like Amy Adams in Arrival spending what feels like a lifetime trying to communicate with an alien race visiting Earth.
Thanks to Covid-19, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm was released solely on Amazon Prime in October. While a ticket isn’t technically required, the sentiment in the meme above remains the same.
8 Just One More Thing
One of Borat’s most enduring characteristics is his endless enthusiasm. Mr. Sagdiyev is all smiles, even when his life is being threatened by a person who realizes the joke is on them.
Always ready for hugs and handshakes, Borat is eager to meet as many Americans as possible. He’s also very eager to find love, even if he has a wife back home in Kazakhstan.
7 When Borat Says, “My Wife!”
Borat’s accent and take on Kazakh culture have been criticized by some, while others view it as Cohen’s interpretation of how Americans view foreigners. Case in point: Borat’s views about women.
Borat makes it clear he grew up believing women are subservient to men, and he goes out of his way to objectify all the women he meets along the way. He also goes out of his way to demean his wife whenever he can – resulting in cringe-inducing laughs that often through all logic out the window.
6 Society In 2006
When the first Borat movie debuted in 2006, it took the world by storm. For those who hadn’t seen Cohen’s Da Ali G Show before, the lines between reality and fantasy were completely blurred.
In much of the film, Borat travels across the American South, where he dives deep into the pervasive racism that unfortunately dominates much of the region. He eventually makes it to California, where he hopes to land his dream girl: actor Pamela Anderson.
5 Got ‘Em
Borat is full of jokes and comebacks, some more juvenile than others. A prime example: his tendency to express a sentiment and then completely negate it by screaming, “NOT!”
When Borat finally meets (and tries to kidnap) Pamela Anderson, he lays one of his NOT! jokes out thick. “Pamela, I am not attracted to you anymore … NOT!”
4 Me After Two Months Of Quarantine
2020 has been a rough year, and most people are probably feeling as disconnected from their natural world as Borat acts in his sketches. Who can blame anyone for forgetting tortoises exist when much of the world remains locked up at home waiting for a vaccine?
It’s easy to feel confused after two months in quarantine. Is there really much of a difference between a dog and a tortoise anyway?
3 I’ll Be Getting A Divorce
Borat’s iconic voice may be a major source of derision between couples, especially if one partner doesn’t appreciate Baron Cohen’s unique brand of humor. Fortunately, most therapists are available for help with Borat-induced romantic strife.
Whether he’s singing his national anthem or getting excited about a new American custom, Borat’s lexical drawl is the source of much controversy. Imitators beware: no one can do it quite like Sacha Baron Cohen.
2 How I Actually Look In Front Of My Crush
There’s no denying Sacha Baron Cohen looks very different than Borat in real life. He also looks different than his other popular characters, Ali G and Bruno.
Now that’s he’s world-famous, the handsome Baron Cohen needs his disguises in order for his pranks to work. In Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, he enlists the help of Maria Bakalova, who plays his teenage daughter, Tutar.
1 Borat Across Social Media
A Renaissance man of sorts, Borat has a cool look for any climate, event, or social media platform. On LinkedIn and Facebook, he dons his classic grey suit and tan tie.
On Instagram, he lets loose a bit in red shorts while posing in front of the Eiffel Tower. But nothing comes close to his Tinder look: the classic lime green bathing suit that leaves nothing to the imagination.