Texas politics contains no shortage of mysteries, but one enduring enigma has remained unanswered for over a year: whatever happened to Sid Miller’s appearance in the “Borat” sequel?
When the trailer for the movie, which is officially titled “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” dropped in 2020, just weeks ahead of the general election, it caused quite the sensation. Not only was Sacha Baron Cohen back as Kazakhstani journalist Borat, but he somehow crashed the 2020 CPAC conference to deliver a woman to Mike Pence (a name he strategically mispronounces).
For Texans the trailer ended in glorious fashion with Cohen, in a non-Borat disguise, chatting with our Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. They exchange fist bumps and Cohen cracks an adult joke.
After the trailer went public, Miller admitted to getting duped. In a Facebook post he also listed a number of other prominent politicians like Dick Cheney, Trent Lott, and Bernie Sanders who have also been tricked by the comedian.
However, when “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” started streaming on Amazon Prime, Miller’s appearance was nowhere to be found. What happened?
Cohen is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to his films. The fact that there was even a sequel to Borat, which came out in 2006 and earned over $250 million, was barely a whisper around Hollywood until the trailer debuted.
The trailer is also quite deceptive. While the scene of Cohen crashing CPAC is treated as a crescendo in the trailer, in the actual movie it happens very early on. In fact, the bulk of the movie centers not on Borat, but his daughter Tutar (for which Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova received an Academy Award nomination). The “finale” of the movie actually involves Bakalova and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani in one of the most agonizingly compromising moments recorded on camera.
But no Sid Miller. There was a glimmer of hope that we might finally see his movie debut when Cohen announced some additional footage would start streaming on Amazon. In May, the streaming service began offering three different specials: “Borat: VHS Cassette of Material Deemed ‘Sub-acceptable’ By Kazakhstan Ministry of Censorship and Circumcision,” “Borat’s American Lockdown,” and “Debunking Borat.”
Though “VHS Cassette” features scenes that didn’t make the initial 2020 cut, Miller’s appearance wasn’t included. So will we ever see this footage?
When it comes to Sacha Baron Cohen, never say never. Outside of his comedic personas, Cohen is extremely outspoken on political issues. He has been one of the biggest critics of social media platforms like Facebook. A speech that he delivered to the Anti-Defamation League after receiving their 2019 International Leadership Award went viral for the way he passionately called out the way Facebook pervasively allows hate speech to spread.
Given that Sid Miller’s social media feeds are the very cesspit of bigotry Cohen is trying to eradicate, maybe one day we will actually see that full scene. Until then, we’ll always have the trailer.
A longtime writer and journalist, Jessica was thrilled to join the Texas Signal where she could utilize her unique perspective on politics and culture. As the Features and Opinion Editor, she is responsible for coordinating editorials and segments from diverse authors. She is also the host of the podcast the Tex Mix, as well as the co-host for the weekly SignalCast. Jessica attended Harvard College, is a onetime fitness blogger, and has now transitioned to recreational runner (for which her joints are thankful).