Cohen as Trump-endorsing, beer-and-gun-clutching Nobby
With our Wandering Village Idiot again declaring himself "a very stable genius" - aka in Scotland "weaselheaded fucknugget" - and facing a massive U.K. "Carnival of Resistance" overseen by the cheeky Trump Baby blimp, what better time for comedian and provocateur Sacha Baron Cohen to unveil his latest, long-clandestine project: A Showtime series exploring U.S. figures "across the political and cultural spectrum" titled "Who Is America?" Cohen, of fearless Borat and Bruno fame, reportedly spent a year undercover interviewing the heedless, right-wing likes of Roy Moore, Joe Walsh, Joe Arpaio, Alberto Gonzales, David Petraeus and a now-furious Sarah Palin, along with Howard Dean, Bernie Sanders and others.
The show debuts Sunday July 15. It was briefly, tantalizingly teased on July 4 with a belligerent Trump shouting, "This third-rate character named Sacha Baron Cohen should have been punched in the face so many times he'd be in the hospital - he should go to school to learn about being funny," after which he snarls to the camera, "You don't know shit." As "Solidarity Forever" gently hums, the screen fades to black, then scrolls a Trump U diploma with the words, "Sacha Graduates." Cohen, who as Borat once compared Trump’s brain to “a female chicken,” has been poking Trump since 2003, when he interviewed him as the outrageous Ali G. and tried to interest him in his "ice cream gloves." In 2016's The Brothers Grimsby, Cohen's dim character Nobby endorses Trump, who in the film gets infected with HIV, "the ultimate football hooligan." "I wasn't into him until I went to one of his rallies," he said. "It’s a bit like English soccer matches. There’s violence. There’s shouting. There’s abuse. The only difference is we don’t throw out our black people.”
Unsurprisingly, several of Cohen's latest targets were not amused to find they'd been duped by what appeared to be a Finnish comedian, a women's studies professor, a wounded veteran and other fictional characters. Blowhard Joe Walsh inexplicably charged Cohen with "stolen valor," while serial sexual abuser Roy Moore harumphed, "I can tell him that America is a proud Nation which sprang from humble beginnings and a strong belief in God, virtue, and morality.” Sarah Palin, meanwhile, got seriously worked up. In a Facebook post she blasted Cohen as “evil, exploitative and sick” for pretending to be a disabled US veteran, fake wheelchair and all, for what she thought was "a legit” documentary. “I sat through a long ‘interview’ full of Hollywoodism’s disrespect and sarcasm," she seethed, finally walking out when he started touting a theory about Chelsea Clinton's sex-change operation. She was also some pissed that Showtime producers reportedly, and to her mind deliberately, dropped her off at the wrong D.C. airport for her return flight.
Cohen greedily picked up the Palin gauntlet with a response full of faux outrage. "I have always admired you for TELLING THE TRUTH about Obama's birth certificate and the location of Russia," he wrote, and besides, "I did NOT say I was a war vet. I was in the service - not military, but United Parcel, and I only fought for my country once - when I shot a Mexican who came onto my property. (Coincidentally, just like our great president, I was sadly prevented from joining the regular army on account of bone spurs being discovered in my testies.)" It was signed by one Dr. Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr., founder/ceo/accountant of Truthbrary.org (as in, not lie), a conspiracy-theory-packed website offering articles like 16 More Reasons to Question 9/11, Signs That Hollywood Is Run By the Satanic Elite, Deceit At Pearl Harbor, and of course the Chelsea Clinton scoop.
The site opens with a typo-laden screed about Americans taking back control of the media, which cannot be trusted: "They have there own agenda and are beholden to the whim of the deep state and the illuminati...We must stand together to fight the dark forces of clintons and muslims and Godless peoples for what is right in our country." Personifying that, evidently, is Dick Cheney, who crawled out of his cave long enough for an interview. In the show's second and final tease, we see only the last few moments of that encounter. Off-screen, we hear a bashful voice with an indefinable but Borat-like accent ask, "Dick Cheney, is it possible for you to sign my waterboard kit?"
"Sure," Cheney smirks. He takes the plastic water gallon handed him, signs with a flourish, blithely hands it back. "That's a first," he smiles. Which suggests it is, indeed, an excellent time to ask who is America.
Ali G interviews Trump
— Sacha Baron Cohen (@SachaBaronCohen) July 4, 2018