Sacha Baron Cohen returns to the Stern Show this Tuesday to plug his latest flick "The Brothers Grimsby." The British comedian is by far one of Hollywood's most polarizing movie stars, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that his previous appearances on the Stern Show have been nothing short of amazing. Here are some highlights from his past visits.
Why Stand-Up Wasn't a Good Fit
In 2004, the "Da Ali G Show" star made his first visit to the Stern Show studio. After discussing some of Sacha's more infamous bits, like when he sings "throw the Jew down the well " dressed as Borat in a Texas bar, or when he interviewed a very unamused Andy Rooney, Howard asked, "Were you a stand-up comedian at some point?"
"Yeah, I used to do stand-up," Sacha said to Howard. "I did characters. The problem was they were a little too realistic, so occasionally people didn't realize this was a character on stage and thought this was a real guy."
Settling Down in Hollywood
Also discussed in his first Stern Show interview was that Sacha was engaged to his now wife, Isla Fisher. At the time, Howard joked that marrying Isla was a bad idea for Sacha, since his star was obviously on the rise.
Sacha laughed off the likelihood that he would be flitting about Hollywood, getting the same type of action as famous cocksmen George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio. And with good reason.
"I sort of get a bit method about it," Sacha told Howard. "I grow the facial hair. So basically, if I'm walking around Hollywood, I'm either walking around with a massive mustache or I'm looking like an incredibly gay guy, so the idea of me getting girls doesn't pan out."
In Too Deep
In this same interview, Sacha went on to say that he has had numerous guys offer him their number after filming in character. One scary memory he shared with Howard involved him being almost violated in the men's room at a gay pride event.
"I went to a gay pride festival in England," Sacha told Howard. "And there was a guy who's a transvestite … and he was a massive guy. But he was dressed in a dress and the idea was that Borat obviously thought he was a beautiful woman."
The hulking transvestite eventually brought Borat into a bathroom stall with the camera crew in tow but quickly slammed the door shut, locking out the production staff. "I was trying to open the door and I realized the guy was a lot stronger than me," Sacha recalled. "I was literally trying to pull this door open for dear life, and eventually I managed to yank the door open and then ran out of there."
Sacha laughed about how he stayed in character even when he feels his life is being threatened. All in a days work.
Bruno Talks Openly About His Family
In 2009, SBC visited the Stern Show as his character Bruno, dressed in a tight-fitting metallic silver jumpsuit that exposed his ill-fitting G-string that he was casually wearing underneath.
It didn't take long for Bruno to open up, especially after setting his gaze on Fred, who he referred to as a "silver fox." Fresh off the heels of being smitten with the Stern Show's resident sound machine, Bruno told Howard he wanted to be the most famous gay Austrian since Arnold Schwarzenegger and Adolph Hitler.
Always an open book, Bruno made a few other jaw-dropping comments about his childhood.
On Bruno's Parents' Relationship
Curious to learn more about Bruno's family, Howard began to ask some deeper, more serious questions about his history (with Sacha in full character). He wanted to know if Bruno's mother and father were supportive to him when he came out as a gay man in Austria. Howard assumed his father was most likely a strict disciplinarian.
"He was very strict, he actually, he killed my mother," Bruno told Howard. "He was very bad to her, he killed her."
Howard, Robin, and the gang were blown away with this revelation. It begged further explanation so Howard asked how Bruno was so sure his father murdered the woman who brought him into this world.
"My mother had a lot of problem with schmutzing," Bruno said. "You know schmutzing?"
"No, what's that?" Howard replied.
"When you produce a lot of saliva." Bruno told Howard. "And one day she was eating some mozartkugel, a very dry cake, a lot of flour. Not much moisture. And she was eating it, making the schmutzing noise, and he had enough. He took a hair dryer, he opened up her mouth, and he dried her mouth, dried the schmutzing, and dried her until she passed."
"How sad, how sad," Howard played along.
A Fox Exec Wanted to Cut Borat in Half
During a 2012 interview, Sacha came back on the show to promote his movie "The Dictator." Howard was happy to speak to Sacha and not one of his characters, as he pointed out that Sacha is way more interesting than any of his pseudo-personalities.
Howard was in awe of the things that Sacha has gotten away with over the years and even more impressed that he's been able to get different networks and studios to air them.
"I think to keep the freedom, you have to be ready to have failure. That's how you take the risk," Sacha told Howard. He went on to talk about how a bit called the "Running of the Jew," which was featured in the movie "Borat," was "disgustingly anti-Semitic" but he thought it was funny so they filmed it anyway.
Howard wondered if Sacha got hell from any studio executives for most of the stuff that was in the movie, as most scenes pushed the limit like never before. He asked Sacha if anyone told him to remove anything before the movie was released.
"Yes, well that's what happened," Sacha said. "When we first showed 'Borat' there was an executive at Fox, who now has left, and this guy said, 'Listen, you've made two movies. You've made a satire and you've made a comedy. And you can't have both."
Sacha went on to say that the executive felt they should stick with a comedy and get rid of half of the segments in the movie that were remotely satirical, political, or made fun of Jews.
"Yes, he no longer works there," Sacha added.
It should be noted that "Borat" has made over $261 million worldwide since its release in 2006.
Seth Rogen Writes in His Underwear
While telling Howard about his creative process, Sacha also discussed working with Seth Rogen who wrote on Season 2 of "Da Ali G Show." Seth and his writing partner Evan Goldberg were behind a bit called "Boys Gone Wild" (a parody of "Girls Gone Wild") that aimed to get frat guys to show their dicks.
Sacha loved the idea and wanted to hire them both but only had enough money to hire one. "I said 'Listen, we've only got enough money for one guy, so we gotta choose one of you," Sacha recalled. Seth and Evan agreed to share the job and not only split their paycheck but also share a bed.
"So these guys came on the road and shared a bed," Sacha said. "And they'd be writing in their underpants at four o'clock in the afternoon in bed."
During his 2011 Stern Show appearance, Rogen also talked to Howard about working on "Da Ali G Show," including how Sacha would fearlessly take on the stunts Seth and Evan pitched to him.
Check out the trailer for Sacha Baron Cohen's new movie "The Brothers Grimsby" below and see it in theaters everywhere Friday, March 11.