The Kennedy Center Honors are a glitzy, glamorous affair that honours artists who have made a lifelong contribution to American culture. It’s a formal event, but no one appears to have told Sacha Baron Cohen. He appeared as one of his most famous characters, Borat, to introduce U2, who were being honoured that night.
Baron Cohen’s humour has always been a bit near the knuckle, and his appearance at the Kennedy Center was no exception. Everyone was fair game during his epic roast, including Donald Trump, Kanye West and U2.
At first, pretending not to know who the President was, he said, “I am told the president of US and A is here – where are you, Mr Trump?” He then looked over, saw Joe Biden and quipped, “Where has your glorious big belly gone? And your pretty orange skin has become pale.” It appears there weren’t many Donald Trump supporters in the audience, as the roar of laughter almost took the roof off.
He then took aim at the antisemitism which has come to light in America. It looks like he’s talking seriously for a second when he tells America to stop it. However, he follows it up by saying America is stealing Kazakhstan’s hobby and that “Kazakhstan is number one Jew-crushing nation.” It’s no surprise, given the topic, that he continues to talk about Kanye West next.
He informs the audience that Kanye had tried to move to Kazakhstan and even change his name to “Kazakhstan-ye West.” The video cuts to the audience, who are in complete hysterics by this point. Kanye’s American fans don’t need to worry, though. With a wrinkled-nosed, faintly disgusted expression, he explains Kazakhstan turned him down because “He too antisemitic even for us.”
At this point, he talks about the reason for his appearance, “to make congratulation to Irish rocking roll band by the name of Me Too.” Seriously, how many current hot topics can one man fit into a four-minute slot? U2 themselves are laughing as hard as anyone. He then berates them for their humanitarian efforts, warning them, “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.”
Finally, he rounds off his performance with a rendition of one of U2’s best-known hits, With Or Without You. If you’re in need of a good laugh today, check it out and if that’s not enough for you, you can also check out Dave Chapelle’s acceptance speech.