This has been kicking around for some time, but just for the HE record and in case somebody hasn’t read this on Defamer or elsewhere, there are indicators that strongly suggest Sacha Baron Cohen‘s Borat character is based on a real-life Turkish guy named Mahir Cagri, whose doofus-level web page attracted internet notoriety six or seven years ago.
Make your own assessment, but Cagri’s Wikipedia page says that “chief similarities between Mahir and Borat include facial hair and taste in formal wear. Borat also shouted out Mahir’s catchphrase ‘I like sex‘ to the crowd at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Lisbon and at a Savannah Sand Gnats baseball game. In Borat, Cohen not only quotes ‘I like sex’ and ‘You can stay my home’ in the introductory scenes, but poses during a game of ping-pong in revealing red shorts, referencing two of Mahir’s famous shots.
It’s been claimed, however, that the Borat character “has been in development since 1995, four years before Mahir’s page was online. Cohen has allegedly said it was based on a Russian doctor.”