This time last year, it was Daniel Day-Lewis and an empty chair. Last night at the BAFTA-LA Britannia Awards, Sacha Baron Cohen kicked it up a notch with the help of an elderly actress in a wheelchair. What’s next – Eddie Izzard and an electric chair?
Just as British Abe’s riff on Clint Eastwood proved impossible to beat at the podium during 2012 film awards season, Cohen’s hilarious prank of the audience with the help of an elderly co-conspirator is going to be very hard to top this year. Accepting the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy, the Borat/Bruno/Dictator star took receipt of a jerry-rigged cane from the woman, started doing his best “Little Tramp” imitation and then faux-tripped to send her rolling off the front of the stage. From a report by Deadline’s Pete Hammond:
The routine had half the packed Beverly Hilton audience roaring and the other half shaking in their Jimmy Choos wondering if he had really just killed an elderly woman in a wheelchair – or was it one of his patented tasteless gags?… The reaction was so visceral in the room host Rob Brydon had to literally calm down the normally more sedate British crowd. Some clearly thought it was real.