Sound Bite

Sacha Baron Cohen‘s ethnic impersonation may be getting laughs in “Talladega Nights” (he plays the snooty French race-car driver Jean Girrard), but it’s only a warm-up for “Borat,” which Fox releases in November.

Borat is, of course, the boorish Kazakh native, and Cohen alter-ego, who’s hilariously offended whole towns as he travels across the U.S. as a tourist.

Publicity for “Borat” — already an Internet darling — is about to reach fever pitch. The president of Kazakhstan plans to buy TV spots and print ads about the “real Kazakhstan” as a defense against the film’s backward portrayal of the former Soviet republic.

Whether those can compete with Cohen’s own publicity stunts — such as showing up at the Cannes Film Festival in a bright green body thong — remains to be seen.

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