Sacha Baron Cohen appeared as his character Borat at the Kennedy Center Honors, where he roasted Kanye West, Donald Trump and U2.
The Irish band were honoured for their contributions to performing arts at the event, which took place on December 4 but was broadcast on TV last night (December 28) in the US.
When Cohen’s Borat first appeared on stage, he commented: “I am told the president of US and A is here – where are you, Mr Trump?” The camera panned to President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden in the crowd, with Borat continuing: “Ah, you don’t look so good! Where has your glorious big belly gone? And your pretty orange skin has become pale.”
On the subject of the rise of antisemitism in America and Kanye West, Borat said it was “not fair” because “Kazakhstan is number one Jew-crushing nation”. “Stop stealing our hobby,” he told the crowd. “Your Kanye, he tried to move to Kazakhstan and even change his name to Kazakhstan-Ye West. But we said no. He too antisemitic even for us.”
Borat then moved on to the real reason he was present at the Kennedy Center Honors – “to make congratulation to Irish rocking roll band by the name of Me Too”. As Bono and The Edge laughed on in the audience, Borat said: “I have a message for you from my Premiere, it is hot off the fax.”
After reading a message in the Kazakh language, he explained: “It translate to mean, ‘Please remove your wretched album from my new iPhone 6’.”
He continued: “Your band fight oppression around the world – stop it! Do not come to Kazakhstan with your goody two shoes meddling or you will be placed on our new stretching machines and your bodies will move in mysterious ways.”
Borat then launched into a version of U2’s ‘With Or Without You’, describing it as being about “the difficult choice facing our beautiful planet”, before picking up a keytar to perform an instrumental. Watch Borat’s appearance at the event in full above.
Speaking last year, Cohen said he believed that the character of Borat would never return to screens in a full-length project following Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. “I brought Borat out because of Trump,” he said in an interview with Variety.
“There was a purpose to this movie, and I don’t really see the purpose to doing it again. So yeah, he’s locked away in the cupboard.”