VIDEO: The night Sacha Baron Cohen pranked Hollywood's elite
Everyone expected it, but they still left stunned.
Well, they probably didn't expect Sacha Baron Cohen to faux kill an elderly woman – who actress Salma Hayek introduced as Grace Cullington, the oldest person to have appeared in a film with British great Charlie Chaplin, but who actually turned out to be a game stunt double – but they expected something.
How could that crowd at Saturday's BAFTA L.A. Jaguar Britannia Awards not? They were honouring him and he presented them with his craft.
The actor and comedian has gotten famous for pranking all of America in Borat, and Bruno, and The Dictator. He's dumped ashes on Ryan Seacrest's pre-Oscar jacket. He's almost always in character, and almost always a character.
Over the weekend, though, he accepted his award as himself. He thanked his wife, whose name he couldn't pronounce. He dedicated the award to Ms. Cullington as she was being heaved out of the room. He left a hall of Hollywood heavyweights struggling for air.
It was his finest gag in a while.
"This is obviously a tragedy but, on the bright side, what a way to go," Cohen said. "Anyway, tonight is not about her. It's about me."