Sacha Baron Cohen has prepared for the sequel to “Borat,” the cultural shocker that made him famous, by reading “the news” in Europe.
“I read you the news the other day — and it’s terrible,” he said to a rowdy audience during the German leg of his “Who Is America?” tour. “A six-year-old in Pakistan froze to death in front of his mom when he saw the Cross of Jesus. … And I read you that Kent State has been turned into a slaughterhouse by Trump. And I read you that the vice president said we may never be able to go back to Poland again. So here I am, English national, I live in Belgium, but I visit my homeland of Kazakhstan once a year.”
Cohen’s character, Alexander Pechev, portrayed as being closer to the soil of Kazakhstan than Shoreditch in London, called on anti-Semites to “turn this grief into victory.”
“A great people, a courageous people must take to the streets to say they are not going to be intimidated,” Pechev said. “A lot of people, a lot of American Jews, do not want to participate in any protests because of the accusation of being part of the Ku Klux Klan. They want to defend the legitimacy of Donald Trump because they think it will save the country from disaster. That would not be very wise. We are to decide whether that is a more mature or more dangerous attitude.”
Cohen, meanwhile, marched past the empty seats in one theater after another, taking selfies and asking the audience: “Whose ass are these? Who the fuck owns this movie house, this fucking theater, this fucking seat? You owe me a month’s rent.”
“I’m a comedian,” Cohen reminded the booing audience. “I am not an actor.”
Cohen has also promised to come on the Oxford Union in the U.K. and to become a member of Epsilon Sigma, a frat that’s had to apologize for videos on its Facebook page celebrating Hitler and Holocaust denial.
“I was at a college frat party in Germany and a man stood up,” Cohen said. “He said, ‘We must do a salute.’ I said: ‘Are you sure we are supposed to do that?’ He said, ‘Everyone has to. It’s our national anthem.’
“This frat throws after-party parties. And one night in September, the big crowd celebrated the annual research debate – which is why the fraternity would say the video was a farce,” Cohen explained. “It was about a Polish anti-Semite, Godfrey O’Hara.”
“Godfrey,” like “Borat,” was a Sacha Baron Cohen character. The organizers removed the video, he said. “After the frat.”
While the character of “Godfrey” may be decried by some, “He just liked Hitler! We were watching a movie and he liked it!” Cohen said. “He loved Hitler. He said it was the best thing I ever saw. Hitler got tired of the Nazis … and when he was making that movie, he said it would be the greatest thing that could be done in the West.”
Speaking of highbrow movies, Cohen said that he plans to convert his summer swagger back into some Oscar bait.
“We thought we could do a smart, intellectual satire on Senator John McCain,” Cohen said. “We made this movie but we just didn’t make it.”
The Man who Introduced Himself to the Ladies on “Nightline”