Sacha Baron Cohen Brings Back Borat, Ali G and Brüno to Accept MTV Movie Award in Hilarious Skit
The Borat Subsequent Movie film star joins the ranks of lauded comedians like Will Ferrell and Melissa McCarthy to win the Comedic Genius Award
Sacha Baron Cohen is a genius—at least to the MTV Movie & TV Awards.
The Borat Subsequent Moviefilm actor, 49, received the 2021 Comedic Genius Award during Sunday night's ceremony, joining past honorees Will Ferrell (2013), Kevin Hart (2015) and Melissa McCarthy (2016).
Cohen initially transformed into his iconic Borat character to accept the award, which was presented by Seth Rogen. "Thank you Prince Harry. I'm very excited to be on this brand new music television channel. I'm very happy to be accepting this cup of gold teeth instead of Sacha Baron Cohen and will put it in our national museum along with national treasure we have confiscated from yous," he joked as Borat.
But Borat was soon interrupted by an appearance from Cohen's fictional satire character Ali G. "We should be accepting this award not you. I was the original gangster. The OG," said Ali G.
As Ali G. and Borat traded some hilarious jokes, the real Cohen stepped in to interrupt the men and accept the award himself.
"Thank you MTV. To the millions of fans out there who voted for me, I salute you," the actor and comedian said. "This is yours, I'd be nothing without you. I'm so humbled by this. I'm just a human being creating complex nuanced characters."
But Cohen's serious speech got cut off by Brüno, his character from the 2009 mockumentary film of the same name. The two then enjoyed some back and forth banter.
"I am officially canceling myself," Cohen joked to the audience before he stepped off the stage. "I was actually really looking forward to this after losing the Oscar. You can f---ing keep it."
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The Comedic Genius Award "honors an actor who has made incomparable contributions to the world of comedy, providing a major influence through their work and transforming the genre at-large."
Aside from his Comedic Genius nod, Cohen was also up for three MTV Movie & TV Awards this year: best performance in a movie (The Trial of the Chicago 7), as well as best duo (alongside Maria Bakalova) and best movie for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.
From Borat to Ali G to Brüno, Cohen has a history of taking on comedic roles that often contain hard-hitting societal commentary.
He has been nominated six times for Primetime Emmy Awards and for seven Golden Globes, taking home awards for Borat as well as its sequel. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm also won the Golden Globe this year for best motion picture — musical or comedy.
The Sweeney Todd actor even attended clown school, telling Seth Meyers in March that training under instructor Philippe Gaulier was intense. "You'd have people who'd flown in from Australia [to attend], the clown music goes, he stops the clown music, they start speaking and he hits his drum because they're not funny and they would burst into tears and hate it," he said.
The 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards is airing live Sunday, May 16, at 9 p.m. EST/PST. MTV Movie & TV Awards: UNSCRIPTED takes place Monday, May 17, at 9 p.m. EST/PST.