If you are looking for some good fun in the classic Cohen trickery sense, and are not afraid of a few bad words or offensive politically incorrect humor, then have a laugh.
By Sean D. Hartman
If you had been watching Fox News recently, you may have seen Republican Congressman Matt Gaetzmaking the rounds talking about his experience with Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show Who Is America?
The bit that Cohen was trying to trick Congressman Gaetz into supporting a radical Second Amendment proposal to arm four-year-old children. The proposal, made by his fictional Mossad character Erran Morad, was eventually supported by numerous conservative leaders, including Former Senator Trent Lott (R-MS), Former Congressman Joe Walsh (R-IL), and the President Emeritus of Gun Owners of America, a strong pro-Second Amendment organization who recently endorsed Sanford Republican Scott Sturgill for Congress.
Cohen’s new farcical show takes a similar dynamic of his infamous Borat, Ali G, and Bruno characters, and quadruples it for quadruple the laughs and quadruple the loss of faith in humanity.
Though Cohen certainly goes after conservatives in his first episode, his show is less about politics and more about satirizing the foolishness of America and Americans. Some may find it insulting that a British comedian is out there making fun of our great nation, but that is Cohen’s modus operandi, and it is what made him popular, even amongst the Republicans he trolled, with both Congressman Gaetz and Walsh having a public laugh about it, and Congressman Gaetz even admitting he was a fan of Cohen and disappointed that he couldn’t do his Borat impression with him.
Cohen’s bit with Morad going after Second Amendment supporters with false but believable reports of an Israeli program aimed at training young children in firearms. The idea itself is not abnormal, as gun safety programs in schools have been proposed, yet Cohen took it to a satirical extreme, with the apparent purpose to parody the arming teachers proposal made by conservatives.
But Cohen does not just target pro-Second Amendment politicians. He also goes after both the Christian Right and far-left professors with Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degeocello, a gender studies lecturer at Reed College, who is seeking to “heal the divide” in America, which he does by describing an eccentric polyamorous and potentially pedophilic sexual lifestyle with his “partner”. Cohen, as Dr. Cain-N’Degeocello goes into graphic sexual detail with a religious couple, including describing menstruation of the American flag. The couple, in their defense, took it like champs.
Cohen also was able to troll Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the popular standard-bearer of the Democrat’s progressive wing, speaking to him as far-right conspiracy theorist Dr. Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr., a “citizen journalist” who publishes his “investigations” on Truthbary.org.
But the most interesting and disturbing of his trolling came from Rick Sherman, an ex-convict who not only successfully sold fecal art to a high-end curator, but also convinced that curator, an attractive blond female, to provide for Cohen/Sherman a bit of pubic hair to be added to a paintbrush.
Many had wondered how could so many people be tricked by Cohen, himself now a noted celebrity after his other infamous characters engaged in similar antics. According to Congressmen Gaetz and Walsh, Cohen planned this out thoroughly over years, with several believable websites, cards, and other “official” documentation to make everyone believe these characters existed, with Congressman Gaetz simultaneously complimenting the makeup team, who make Cohen completely unrecognizable.
It is quite likely that conservative snowflakes may be offended by Cohen, who will most likely go after Trump supporters more than progressives, as he has gone after conservatives more in the past. Not to mention his series is on Showtime, whose programming does have an anti-Trump leaning.
Regardless, if you are looking for some good fun in the classic Cohen trickery sense, and are not afraid of a few bad words or offensive politically incorrect humor, then have a laugh as a British comedian trolls the American People, and hope you don’t fall for it when Season 2 comes around.
Sean David Hartman is a reporter for the Central Florida Post, covering entertainment and public affairs. He describes himself as a “Professional Political Nuisance” and goes after politicians on both sides. Hartman is an autism rights activist, and #ProudlyAutistic.