At the famous Kennedy Center Honors in the US on Sunday night, the British actor Sacha Baron Cohen, reprising his role as Borat, stole the show by criticising the former president Donald Trump, the rapper Kanye West (now known as Ye), and antisemitism.

President Joe Biden grinned widely, and his wife Jill was laughing uncontrollably as Cohen cracked racy jokes in the witty Kazakh television journalist Borat Sagdiyev accent.

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During a programme honouring the Irish rock band U2, Borat claimed to an audience of politicians and celebrities, “I know the president of the US and A is here. Where are you, Mr Trump?”

“You don’t look so good,” Borat said as the audience roared. “Where has your glorious big belly gone? And your pretty orange skin has become pale.”  Then, he inquired as to whether Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, and the nerve toxin novichok were accountable.

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The star of two successful satirical movies, Borat, continued, “But I see you have a new wife. Wawawoooah! She is very erotic. I must look away before I get a Bono.”

The comedian, who is Jewish, later focused on antisemitism after Trump had dinner at his Mar-a-Lago estate with Ye, who had previously glorified Adolf Hitler and had been banned from Twitter for tweeting a picture of a swastika.

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“Before I proceed, I will say I am very upset about the antisemitism in US and A. It not fair. Kazakhstan is No 1 Jew-crushing nation. Stop stealing our hobby. Stop the steal! Stop the steal!” Some guests burst into laughter while others sat in uncomfortable silence,” the actor continued.

“Your Kanye, he tried to move to Kazakhstan and even changed his name to Kazakhstanye West. But we said: No, he too antisemitic, even for us,” he added.

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The governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin, remarked, “I was surprised to see him,” and then sped off without further explanation.

The 45th Kennedy Center Honors, the most prestigious awards for lifetime achievements in the arts, also honoured U2, the actor George Clooney, the singer-songwriter Amy Grant, the singer Gladys Knight, and the composer Tania León. The Big Bird character from Sesame Street also made an appearance.