DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Funny

"Bruno" Pranks It Up

Arkansas cage fights turn gay for new Sacha Baron Cohen movie

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"Bruno" Pranks It Up

JULY 8--Lured by $1 beer and the prospect of 'hot chicks' and 'hardcore fights,' thousands of Arkansans were duped last month into appearing as extras in comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's latest staged mayhem.

Cohen and his confederates organized cage fighting programs on consecutive days in Texarkana and Fort Smith. Both cards ended with two male grapplers (one was identified as 'Straight Dave' and wore camouflage) tearing each other's clothes off and, while in underwear, kissing down their opponent's chest.

This man-on-man action triggered Fort Smith fans to throw chairs and beer at the ring, according to one cop present at the city's Convention Center. [Click here and here to read bulletin board messages posted in early-June by miffed mixed martial arts fans who attended one of Cohen's Arkansas productions.]

Cohen is currently filming a follow-up, of sorts, to his smash 2006 film featuring Borat, his fictional Kazakh journalist. The new film stars another of Cohen's creations, Bruno, a gay Austrian journalist who favors mesh t-shirts and interviews subjects about fashion and entertainment. The June 5 Texarkana promotion was adverstised as 'Red, White, and Blood.' The June 6 matches in Fort Smith were dubbed 'Blue Collar Brawlin'' as seen in this poster.

Ads on Craigslist--like this one--noted that attendees had to be over 21 and suggested that fans arrive early 'for $1 BEERS!' Cohen & Co. underwrote the cost of beer, which usually sells for $4 at the Fort Smith facility.

'Blue Collar Brawlin'' drew about 1500 fans, who were greeted by signs stating that the event was being filmed. Attendees were also not allowed in with cameras or cell phones and some were asked to sign releases.

The 'Blue Collar Brawlin'' web site ( was registered two weeks before the event in the name of 'Peto Philer' of Algeria. The site, which remains live but has been stripped of all content, appears to be currently hosted on servers in Los Angeles. (4 pages)