20th Century Fox's World Premiere of Moviefilm 'Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan'

Sacha Baron Cohen at His Most Outrageous

From Ali G to Borat to Brüno, the characters who've made a scene.

Somewhere on the spectrum between impish and offensive lives the career of Sacha Baron Cohen, the British-born comedian who, through his various TV sketch shows and movies, has gleefully pressed political and cultural hot buttons for nearly 20 years now. As his controversial new Showtime series "Who Is America?" continues to generate chatter (and headaches) for the public figures duped into appearing on it (Sarah Palin and Dick Cheney among them), here's a look back at Cohen's characters/caricatures.

AS ALI G Dave Hogan/Getty Images AS ALI G His breakout character in the U.K. was a slang-slinging music star, ladies' man, and — yes — marijuana proponent. Ali G crossed over stateside via an appearance in the Madonna video "Music" (2000). Ali G advertising certain services at the MTV Europe Awards, 2001. Anthony Harvey - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images Ali G advertising certain services at the MTV Europe Awards, 2001.

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Hanging with Rastafarians, circa 2000. Dave Hogan/Getty Images Hanging with Rastafarians, circa 2000. AS MICHAEL JACKSON Patrick Fraser/Corbis via Getty Images AS MICHAEL JACKSON Spoofing the moment the King of Pop dangled his infant son off a balcony. AS NOBBY Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic AS NOBBY At the L.A. premiere of "The Brothers Grimsby," in which he played an alcoholic soccer hooligan (and apparent Donald Trump supporter), 2016. Taking over the cameras on Univision&#39;s &quot;Despierta America,&quot; 2016. Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images Taking over the cameras on Univision's "Despierta America," 2016. AS GENERAL ALADEEN Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images AS GENERAL ALADEEN Toting around an urn with the face of Kim Jong-il at the Oscars, February 2012. (Kim had just died the previous December.) AS BRÜNO AFP/AFP/Getty Images AS BRÜNO Cohen's over-the-top, gay Austrian fashion reporter was actually among the first in his stable of characters, but didn't get his own movie until 2009. Pictured: Brüno arriving at an Amsterdam premiere in outrageous fashion. Riding a blinged-out tank at the L.A. premiere of &quot;Brüno.&quot; Kevin Winter/Getty Images Riding a blinged-out tank at the L.A. premiere of "Brüno." Missing trousers at the London premiere... Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images Missing trousers at the London premiere... ...and playing a bull in Madrid. JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images ...and playing a bull in Madrid. As Brüno at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, Cohen flew over the crowd and seemed to offend one VIP... Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic As Brüno at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, Cohen flew over the crowd and seemed to offend one VIP... Brüno&#39;s crotch memorably &quot;landed&quot; right in Eminem&#39;s face. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic Brüno's crotch memorably "landed" right in Eminem's face. Though he appeared unamused on the telecast, Eminem (seen walking away at bottom left) was <a href="https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/movie-news/eminem-laughed-for-three-hours-after-staged-bruno-stunt-114715" target="_blank">in on the joke</a>. &quot;I’m thrilled that we pulled this off better than we rehearsed it,&quot; the superstar rapper later said. &quot;It had so many people going &#39;nuts,&#39; so to speak. Everyone was blowing me up about it.&quot; Kevin Winter/Getty Images Though he appeared unamused on the telecast, Eminem (seen walking away at bottom left) was in on the joke. "I’m thrilled that we pulled this off better than we rehearsed it," the superstar rapper later said. "It had so many people going 'nuts,' so to speak. Everyone was blowing me up about it." In 2008, Brüno crashed a show by <a href="https://foto.gettyimages.com/celebrity/fashion/designer-agatha-ruiz-de-la-prada-runway-photos" target="_blank">designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada</a> during fashion week in Milan. It wasn&#39;t the only time he was <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/3087536/Sacha-Baron-Cohens-Bruno-storms-Milan-fashion-week-runway.html" target="_blank">a thorn in the side of security guards</a>. FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images In 2008, Brüno crashed a show by designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada during fashion week in Milan. It wasn't the only time he was a thorn in the side of security guards. AS BORAT TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images AS BORAT Perhaps Cohen's most popular character is the bumbling Kazakh journalist, who has caused scenes all over the world (including in Sydney, above, at the premiere of "Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan"). The role won Cohen a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy in 2006, and the movie was nominated at the Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay. Shocking Martha Stewart as Borat on &quot;The Tonight Show,&quot; 2006. NBC/NBC via Getty Images Shocking Martha Stewart as Borat on "The Tonight Show," 2006. With actors dressed up as poor Kazakh children at the London premiere of &quot;Borat&quot;... MJ Kim/Getty Images With actors dressed up as poor Kazakh children at the London premiere of "Borat"... ...and with women pulling him down the red carpet at the movie&#39;s Toronto premiere. John Shearer/WireImage for 20th Century Fox Studios ...and with women pulling him down the red carpet at the movie's Toronto premiere. Borat kicking up a scene in Cannes, 2006. The man he&#39;s sitting on isn&#39;t the only person Cohen has irritated -- after duping Sarah Palin into appearing on &quot;Who Is America?&quot; by posing as a disabled veteran, <a href="http://www.vulture.com/2018/07/all-the-people-sacha-baron-cohen-has-duped-so-far.html" target="_blank">she blogged</a> that his comedy was &quot;another example of the sick nature that is media-slash-entertainment today.&quot; George Pimentel/WireImage Borat kicking up a scene in Cannes, 2006. The man he's sitting on isn't the only person Cohen has irritated -- after duping Sarah Palin into appearing on "Who Is America?" by posing as a disabled veteran, she blogged that his comedy was "another example of the sick nature that is media-slash-entertainment today."



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