Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Here are some things I observed at a late-night Manhattan screening of Walk Hard over my winter vacation last week:

1) A dude sitting in the audience who looked a lot like Seth Rogen…until he turned all the way around, at which point he ceased to look at all like Seth Rogen.

2) Not one, but two consecutive trailers featuring Borat‘s Ken Davitian (pictured, right) in bit parts. Sweet! First up was the Get Smart remake (see below), in which Davitian plays a generic baddie opposite Steve Carell.

This one’s been out there on the web for a while, but Carell’s showdown with Davitian (check it out around 00:50) is still the funniest part by far; the big guy’s killer deadpan instincts are intact. I’m sorta half-hoping that the partial scene we see in the trailer devolves into a full-on naked brawl in the final movie, but that’s probably just a pipe dream. In the meantime, I’ll just hope that Carell, Anne Hathaway, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson don’t totally desecrate my childhood memories of watching Get Smart reruns on Nickelodeon.

Speaking of desecration, the second trailer I caught Davitian in at that screening was for Meet the Spartans, the boneheaded 300 parody in which he appears to play a pierced, obese Xerxes-type warlord. I can’t find that particular trailer online at the moment, which is probably a good thing, since it looks terrifyingly unfunny. Bear in mind, I would normally be praising this thing to the rooftops just on the grounds that its cast includes Wu-Tang star Method Man in the role of, uh, “Persian Emissary” — so you know it must be awful.

But never mind that. Point is, regardless of the merit of these projects, it was great to see Davitian back in action. He definitely deserves some more work after his star turn as Sacha Baron Cohen’s sidekick — especially now that SBC has semi-definitively ruled out any future Borat projects. Next up for Davitian: May I suggest a touching Charlie Chaplin biopic? He sure pulled off the look in Borat‘s parade scene…