Leave it to Sacha Baron Cohen, he of the ashes-on-Ryan-Seacrest prank, to pull another morbid gag while accepting a prize at the BAFTA Los Angeles Jaguar Britannia Awards on Saturday night at the Beverly Hilton.
The comedic cannonball was the recipient of the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy, presented by Salma Hayek. According to Movies Now, Baron Cohen took the stage with someone who appeared to be an elderly woman in a wheelchair, holding a Chaplin-style cane.
The woman was said to be an actress who’d appeared with Chaplin during the silent era. She gave Baron Cohen the cane, saying: “This is Charlie’s actual cane from ‘City Lights.’ This is for you.”
Awesome, right? Sweet as pie.
So Baron Cohen starts into a Chaplin imitation that goes awry when the cane snaps in two, the actor falls into the wheelchair and the wheelchair rockets off the stage. (See it in the video above)
Oops. Cue stunned audience reaction, followed by laughter as folks figured out what was going on.
“The Dictator” and “Borat” star, who is married to actress Isla Fisher, gave mouth-to-mouth to the victim, to no avail -- no surprise there, because she was actually a stuntwoman done up to look elderly and frail.
Baron Cohen returned to the stage, staying with the gag: “This is obviously a tragedy, but on the bright side, what a great way to go,” he said.
“Try and sue!” he told relatives of “Grace Cullington,” according to Movies Now. “She’s dead. Get over it.”
Movies Now reported that the only Cullington to work with Chaplin during the silent era had a different first name and died in 1925. Chaplin himself died in 1977.
Baron Cohen, of course, will likely keep killing it for years to come.