Sacha Baron Cohen has released a brand new 10-minute preview of his new show, Who Is America? Known for the creation of antagonistic comedic characters such as Borat, Brüno, and Ali G, Cohen is now introducing a brand-new character for his upcoming series on Showtime.
The comedian first teased his newest series earlier this month on July 4 when he released a brief and mysterious clip on Twitter. While it confirmed that Cohen’s next project was going to take on the subject of United States President Donald Trump, it did not state whether or not Cohen was making a movie or television series. Some speculated it was going to be a film focused on Trump University. A couple of days later, Cohen confirmed his mystery project was a political TV series airing on Showtime. He released an official teaser trailer for Who Is America? shortly thereafter, but his newest clip provides the most explicit look into what this series will truly be about.
“As you’ve never seen him before,” the 10-minute YouTube clip (above) boasts as it introduces Sacha Baron Cohen’s newest political project. It showcases Cohen’s brand new character, the Israeli Colonel Erran Morad, a self-professed anti-terror expert. Decked out from head to toe in all black, Cohen, posing as the Colonel, interviews various gun rights advocates and Republican politicians over the course of the 10-minute video. One of Cohen’s running jokes is his proposal of arming not the teachers, but the schoolchildren, which he calls the “Kinder-guardians” plan. The video also includes Cohen’s Colonel filming a satirical training video teaching children how to handle guns, which are decorated to look like stuffed animals. The comedian even makes his way to Capital Hill and interviews congressmen in the 10-minute clip.
This is all done in efforts to poke fun at some U.S. politicians' efforts to arm teachers following the string of school shootings in the United States scope over the years and, in a larger scope, provide commentary on the level of access children have to guns in America. And Cohen’s plan already appears to be working. Even before the series’ official release, Cohen has managed to inflame the attitudes of vocal former and current U.S. politicians. After news of the details of Cohen’s project broke, Sarah Palin came forward and complained that the comedian tricked her into a dishonest interview, claiming Cohen disguised himself as a U.S. veteran so that Palin would talk to him. In his typical style, Cohen responded to Palin’s complaints in the character of Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr., the veteran Palin assumed she was speaking to, through a letter posted on Twitter that only further antagonized the politician.
Cohen’s other characters that filmed around the U.S. in the past such as Borat or Brüno, while controversial and somewhat political, were not close to being as overtly critical of American politics as Colonel Erran Morad seems to be... so far. It remains to be seen if this will be one of Cohen’s most poignant project of his career or one of his biggest flops. But, coupling the online buzz already surrounding the series with the controversies flaring up each day between Cohen and politicians who are now realizing they were duped by the comedian, one thing is for certain: Who Is America? will get people talking. And regardless of whether or not the series succeeds, perhaps that’s all Cohen wanted in the first place.