If there’s one modern comedian who has mastered the art inspired by the likes of Andy Kaufman, it’s none other than Sacha Baron Cohen who was his usual inappropriate self at the BAFTA-LA Jaguar Britannia Awards Saturday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Cohen’s antics on Saturday night were in line with his usual ones as Cohen both had his audience doubled over in laughter and also mildly concerned that they had just witnessed an awkward death. The bit centered on an elderly woman who was wheeled out by Salma Hayek and introduced as the little girl who appeared in Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights, and was the last surviving member from it’s cast.
The woman, who was named Grace Cullington greeted Baron Cohen as he walked out on to the stage and took her Charlie Chaplin cane from her as a gift. He proceeded to do the Tramp walk made famous by Chaplin before the can broke, sending him tumbling into the old woman.
It appeared as though she was seriously injured and it was sold as though Baron Cohen had accidentally killed the last living actor from City Lights before it was revealed that the entire bit had ben a prank, with the elderly woman nothing more than a stuntwoman in makeup.
The event was honoring Baron Cohen for his comedic writing and talents, which he put on full display with his opening act. It was a highlight of the night and reminded us why we both love and hate Sacha Baron Cohen’s unique brand of comedy.