101 Funniest Screenplays

Sacha Baron Cohen took his wrong-headed Kazakhstani rube-reporter Borat on the road through “the U.S., and A,” with stops in the Deep South. Cohen’s nerve-wracking, high-wire act is to perform a kind of guerilla comedy, with unsuspecting scene partners, toward penetrating attitudes on race, country and, well, how to handle a dinner guest who returns from the bathroom holding his feces in a bag. Cohen’s uncanny performance itself feels like the text, though the film was heavily scripted. “It's an incredibly difficult and unique skill, the actual writing of it,” Dan Mazer told Written By. “People think you go out there and just improvise. But all our jokes are tightly honed and tightly written, and Sacha delivers them brilliantly and also improvises around the situation.” Mazer, Peter Baynham, and Anthony Hines had all written with Cohen on his sketch series Da Ali G Show, where Borat was born.