Borat? He's a riot

Furore over rodeo stunt

Ali G creator Sacha Baron Cohen has been accused of almost staring a riot at an American rodeo.

Press reports in Salem, Virginia, says his Kazakhstani character Borat narrowly escaped a lynching after mangling the national anthem and zealously backing George Bush’s war on Iraq.

One rodeo-goer said he told the crowd: "I hope you kill every man, woman and child in Iraq, down to the lizards.

"And may George W. Bush drink the blood of every man, woman and child in Iraq,"

Local newspaper The Roanoke Times, while stopping short of saying the prankster was definitely Baron Cohen, said the crowd turned “downright nasty” and started booing after he changed the words to the Star-Spangled Banner.

One observer said "If he had been out there a minute longer, I think somebody would have shot him."

Another rodeo fan described Borat as a 'semi-terrorist' figure who was making threatening comments about President Bush.

Rodeo producer Bobby Rowe admitted he had been duped in allowing the character, who turned up with a film crew, to sing the national anthem.

He told the paper: "Had we not gotten them out of there, there would have been a riot. They loaded up the van and they screeched out of there."

His wife Lenore, added "It's a wonder one of these cowboys didn't go out there and rope him up."

 It is not the first time Cohen has courted controversy with his show’s transfer to America.

Last year he encouraged drinkers at a country music bar to sing a anti-Semitic song: "Throw the Jew Down the Well"

Makers of Da Ali G Show said the programme is not currently in production, but would not comment further on whether it was Baron Cohen.

Published: 14 Jan 2005

Today's comedy-on demand picks

SHAKE WITH LAUGHTER FOR PARKINSON’S UK:

The charity fundraiser, usually held at the Comedy Store, launches an online version, with Mick Ferry as host.

The bill comprises fellow circuit favourites  Eleanor Tiernan, Laura Lexx, Nathan Caton, Rob Deering and  Russell Kane, plus Paul Sinha, and Vicar Of Dibley writer Paul Mayhew-Archer, both of whom have the condition.

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