The 10 Best Borat Skits of All-Time

Word around the campfire last spring was that Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan had been shelved indefinitely because the studio thought it sucked. With dramatic movies, a retreating release date is a sure sign of a cinematic shit stain, but with comedies it sometimes means that the jokes are so brilliant that they fly over the heads of the studio bosses (see Wet Hot American Summer, Office Space, Idiocracy). And judging from the episodes of Da Ali G Show that take place in LA, Sacha Baron Cohen' sense of humor has the potential to be too smart for certain rooms on the left coast.

So basically, we didn't know what to think. And then the rumors started floating in. First, we heard that at a private screening with Director Larry Charles, Larry David became sick from laughing so hard. Then we heard that it absolutely brought down the house at the Toronto Film Festival. And with the recent rash of genuinely hilarious publicity stunts, we've officially made up our minds. But before he enters the comedy pantheon, we thought we'd take a look back at our favorite Borat sketches from the days of
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Da Ali G Show.



Borat is always at his best in public venues in the South. There are a number of explanations for this. One could argue that Southern hospitality allows him to keep the bit going long enough to make things supremely awkward. After all, if he tried to sing a 30-minute long foreign national anthem at a Brooklyn Cyclones game, he'd have half a Mickey' bottle worth of green glass sticking out of his cabbage by the end of the third verse.
BEST QUOTE: "You have haramph like my friend, may I touch?"
HIGHLIGHT: The wrestling at the end is pretty good, but the Khazak national anthem might be the most awkwardly hilarious thing we've seen at a baseball game since Johnny Damon tried to throw someone out from center field.


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Before he was the big man on HBO' campus (where we like to imagine him beating up on the guys from Sex in the City and the little girl from Lucky Louie) he was just a British squirrel trying to get a nut. And though part of his genius is his ability to make us laugh at ourselves, turns out the British are no less ridiculous. If you can ignore the America' Funniest Home Videos style laugh track, this is a pretty genius little sketch, playing on the hotly contested and patently ridiculous British issue of fox hunting.
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BEST QUOTE: The following exchange...
Borat: "What do you do?"
Cockney accent: "Oym ret'iyad" (read: I'm retired)
Borat: "You're a retard?"
Cockney accent: "Yeah sir."
HIGHLIGHT: When he gets a hunter to do an impromptu puppet show with a dead bird he' just killed.


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Remember that genteel explanation for why Borat is so funny in the South? Well, after seeing this skit, we think a safer argument is that he' good at exposing ignorance, and the American South makes ignorance an art form. Also, it probably helps that he' not on Blue Collar TV, so none of the southern people know who he is. And anytime you think we're being to hard on the South, just go ahead and watch the above sketch again.
BEST QUOTE: Borat: "You must grab him by his horns."
HIGHLIGHT: Probably when Borat sings the above line and they cut to a woman singing along and making little devil horns with her hands like she' at some sort of nursery school sing along.


The etiquette coach may be the ideal target for Borat. To begin with, she' a fucking etiquette coach working with a character whose idea of social grace involves showing people pictures of his wife' muff. The skit cuts back and forth between the advice the etiquette coach gives him and two high society dinners where he puts her advice to use. For instance, because the coach says it' okay to talk about his family, he regales the dinner hosts with stories about his sister, who is a prostitute. Oh, and there are some fart jokes, which is always good.
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BEST QUOTE: "You're in trouble, George."
HIGHLIGHT: The above quote, which comes from an old Southern guy' wife after he gives Borat a congratulatory high-five for having sex the previous night. See? Southern folk aren't always ignorant racists. Sometimes they're endearingly creepy old men, too!


Most comedians who prey on ignorance would probably want to avoid places like Cambridge. Lucky for us, Mr. Cohen knows that people in the academic field are just as full of shit as the rest of us, and he also knows exactly where to strike: the old, misogynistic professor. It doesn't take long before both of them are comparing the possibility of a woman having a brain to a horse having wings. And while the cricket scene may be a few minutes too long, it' worth it only to watch the frustration build in the instructor. Also, after seeing Borat fail so miserably at swinging the bat, you might stop feeling so bad about that time all those years ago that you struck out in tee-ball and your dad spent the whole car ride home debating aloud with himself whether or not it's physically possible to strike out in tee-ball.
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BEST QUOTE: "We say in Kazakhstan, that a woman who goes with book is like a horse with"¦what do you put on the horse?" Which is probably funny in Kazakhstan, but to be honest, we don't understand it.
HIGHLIGHT: When the Cambridge student can't deal with Borat' risqué questions that are actually pretty tame compared to other episodes.


Borat may have met his match in Serengetti Ranch owner Gene Gordon. The outspoken, anti-Semitic, animal hater effortlessly tops all of our host' most outlandish beliefs. With Gordon speaking his mind, it' almost as if Borat doesn't have to say anything. They're at their darkest when fondly recalling when Germany slaughtered its Jewish population: "Kill 'em all," says Gordon.
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BEST QUOTE: Borat in his underwear, calling for the axis deer: "Bhet. Bhet. Bhet."
HIGHLIGHT: The ranch owner telling Borat that you can't hunt Jews in the same casual, understanding tone a father may use to teach his son the infield fly rule.


Normally, Borat handles the job of making Southerners look ignorant while Cohen' gay character, Bruno, takes the piss out of the pretentious artistic types. In this sketch, however, Borat immerses himself in the acting community in New York City, testing actors' patience while showing the absurdity of what they do. First, there is the acting lesson where he tries to bed the woman he' sharing a scene with because he's unable to differentiate between the scene and real life. Then, there' one of the strangest auditions that has ever taken place in the city of New York, which is saying something.
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BEST QUOTE: "You do not like me but you touched me before?" The point at which you start to feel a little nervous for the girl who is acting opposite of Borat.
HIGHLIGHT: Funnier than any of Drama' zany antics on Entourage, Borat' blown audition consists of him going up and playing cops and robbers in slow motion, except instead of a cop he keeps insisting he' someone called "The Lotus" and instead of robbers he' shooting at Jews.


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Let' say you're a guy who dresses up like he' from the 1700s every day of your life because you got way too into drama club in high school and your acting career never went anywhere. Now imagine that a man who seems to have the intellect of a five-year-old comes by and asks you why you do what you do and you don't have a good answer for him other than: "This is a time machine!" Borat is great at bringing out the absurd in whatever is around him and there' really nothing more absurd than historical re-enactors (that' museum educators to you, pal).
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BEST QUOTE: The fat guy at the end of the clip freely admits, "I hit a goat one time."
HIGHLIGHT: When the dude asks for assistance in explaining to Borat the concept behind their job, the equally frustrated woman says, "I'm trying hard, because he keeps telling me about buying a slave." Having her say it rather than showing the questions is, for some reason, about 10 times funnier than it should have been.


James Broadwater, the conservative Republican Borat follows on the campaign trail, is a sorry, sorry man. Why, in the name of God, would a politician voluntarily let a Kazakh TV host go door-to-door to constituents' houses? You'd think he would cancel the rest of the campaigning after Borat cracks up at the thought of women being equal with men in front of a prospective voter. Also, the fact that Cohen corners an American politician into claiming that all Jews are going to hell is quite a feat. On second thought, scratch that. This is James Broadwater we're talking about.
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BEST QUOTE: "Is possible make a shit in your house immediately, very urgent, I have problem, please?"
HIGHLIGHT: The Kazakh hierarchy of what matters: God, man, horse, dog, woman, rat, small bug that scuttles.


Borat heads to Mississippi to get a lesson in wine tasting from a couple of older southern gents. Of course, instead of sipping the wine Borat slams it back like a Jaeger shot, leading to Cohen performing the second half of the skit visibly drunk. In fact, he' so sauced that he almost laughs before delivering what is quite possibly the funniest thing he' ever said"¦
BEST QUOTE: "My mother, she don't love me. (Stifled chuckle) She said she wish she was raped by somebody else."
HIGHLIGHT: The above line is pretty brilliant and the part where he shows the gentlemen a penetration shot involving him and his sister is hilarious as well. But the finest moment has to be when the men are trying to show him how to hold a wineglass and he pretends as though he simply can't figure out what they're telling him to do. He' had many moments of inspired physical comedy, but this might be Borat' finest.

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