Movies | October 15, 2020 1:52 pm

What It’s Actually Like to Be Pranked by Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat

One Georgia newspaper publisher explains how he got duped

Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat
Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat at Borders Bookstore in Westwood Village, Los Angeles.
Ian West - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Sacha Baron Cohen’s surprise Borat sequel is slated to hit Amazon’s Prime Video next week, and it will no doubt feature the comedian in character doing his best to rile up and weird out unsuspecting Americans. In a new piece for Georgia’s Monroe County Reporter, publisher Will Davis explains how he and his daughter got duped into appearing in the new movie.

Davis explains that fathers and daughters who were part of the local cotillion community were offered $50 apiece and free food and drink to film “a fictional scene of Southern belles making their debut” at the Hay House in Macon, Georgia. Before the event, they were interviewed and asked to fill out an online quiz testing their pop culture/celebrity awareness. Davis was unable to identify Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen, but he correctly identified Mike Huckabee. (You can probably guess why he was chosen as one of Cohen’s marks.)

Davis says the attendees were separated into two groups, Group A and Group B. He was in the latter, and his group was held in a dining room for two hours before it was finally announced that the guests of honor from Georgia — the Eastern European country, not the American state — wanted to perform a traditional folk dance.

“They began dancing side by side in synch when suddenly the ‘daughter’ lifted her hoop skirt, gyrating and revealing no underwear,” Davis writes. “That’s when all of us who were sober marched to the checkout desk, demanded our phones back and hit the road. My precious daughter and I walked out into the cool Macon night with mouths agape wondering what had just happened.”

Eventually, he figured it out: “A friend who was there called me later that night,” he writes. “He had talked with some other attendees and determined that our crazy Georgian guest was in fact Sacha Baron Cohen, the comedy actor whose movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan made famous his Eastern European character. My friend had discovered that everyone on our Team B were those who could not identify Cohen in the online test. Cohen’s modus operandi seems to be trying to embarrass and shock Southern conservative audiences on film. Of course our cotillion friends, having been hoo-dooed into hosting the charade, were humiliated and apologetic. When COVID shut down theaters just weeks later, we thought it may have spared us from making the big screen.”

Of course, it didn’t: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan premieres on Amazon on Oct. 23. You can watch the trailer — which features a snippet of the cotillion scene — below.