Sacha Baron Cohen Made a Spot-on Kanye Joke at the Kennedy Center Honors

Borat made an appearance in D.C. to comment on Kanye, Trump, and Kazakh cultural appropriation
Sacha Baron Cohen Made a Spot-on Kanye Joke at the Kennedy Center Honors

Last night, Borat appeared in a tribute event for U2 at the Kennedy Center where he cracked jokes about Adolf Hitler admirer Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, as well as former president Donald Trump. Imagine reading that sentence in 2006.

Sacha Baron Cohen attended the 45th annual Kennedy Center Honors as one of the speakers chosen to recognize the accomplishments of the lauded Irish rock band who were joined by Gladys Knight, George Clooney, Amy Grant, and Tania León as the night’s honorees. Baron Cohen chose to make his dedication fully in the voice of his most famous character, who had quite a bit to say to the night’s illustrious audience about the current climate of culture and politics in America.

Borat’s most memorable dig was directed towards former music icon and current Nazi sympathizer Ye, of whom Borat said, “(Ye) tried to move to Kazakhstan and even tried to change his name to Kazakhstan-ye West. But we said no. He’s too anti-Semitic even for us.”

“I am told the president of U.S. and A today is here. Where are you, Mr. Trump? You don’t look so good,” Borat addressed to President Joe Biden who was in attendance for the prestigious ceremony. “Where has your blown-ass big belly gone? And your pretty orange skin without fail,” asked the Kazakhstani reporter of the Commander in Chief.

Though Borat’s speech veered off course at times, he didn’t digress too far from the topic of the guests of honor – Borat read a message from his parents to the perennial rockers in Kazakh, then telling Bono and his band, “It translates to mean ‘Please remove your wretched album from my new iPhone 6.'"

Having made the trip all the way from Kazakhstan to America’s capitol, Borat felt it necessary to comment on what he considers to be a small controversy brewing between his country and the “U.S. and A” due to concerning developments in our public discourse surrounding certain social issues, remarking, “I must say I’m very upset about the anti-Semitism in the U.S. today. It’s not fair. Kazakhstan is the No. 1 Jew-crushing nation. Stop stealing our hobby. Stop the steal. Stop the steal.”

Baron Cohen has spent much of his lengthy and impressive career calling out anti-Jewish prejudice both in and out of character – the Borat persona is a clownish caricature of the kinds of anti-Semitic sentiments that exist throughout the world, and his two films, Borat and Borat 2 showed just how endemic that thinly-veiled prejudice is in America. Up until recently, it took a buffoonish foreign reporter to coax some of the more dimwitted Americans into admitting their hidden hostility towards Jewish people, but with figures like Ye publicly outing themselves as anti-Semites, it seems that Borat may have been going easy on us all these years.

If there’s any silver lining to the anti-Semitic storm cloud that Ye and other prominent anti-Semites have created, it’s that Baron Cohen will have a delicious dearth of American ignorance to mock if he ever decides to make Borat 3 – though Ye and his friends might mistake it for a real documentary.

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