Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has been punched in the face repeatedly after he tried one of his Borat jokes on a man walking down the street in New York.

According to reports, the actor approached a man walking down the street and said, in his character Borat's accent: "I like your clothings. Are nice! Please may I buying? I want have sex with it."

The man did not see the funny side of the remark and began to punch the comedian in the face repeatedly.

A friend of the actor reportedly said: "Sacha couldn't resist playing the fool as Borat, but picked on the wrong person."

"I guess this guy thought he was being attacked by someone unstable and lashed out. Sacha is very lucky he didn't get a much worse beating."

Cohen was walking to a bar with actor Hugh Laurie when the incident occurred.