Sacha Baron Cohen - using the guise of his character Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr. - has fired back at Sarah Palin after the former vice-presidential candidate called him out for duping her as part of his upcoming Showtime series Who is America? Cohen of course first gained notoriety for his satirical series Da Ali G Show where he would disguise himself as various characters, including the titular Ali G, in order to conduct outrageous ambush interviews with politicians and celebrities.
After going on to a career in feature films, where he resurrected his Ali G Show personae Borat and Bruno to continued comedic effect, Cohen is now returning to the TV format for a new interview show (first teased as a mysterious "Trump University" project) sure to be filled with crazy gotcha moments. Showtime will air Cohen's new series Who is America?, which features the comedian going after such famous figures as Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin, among others. Palin for her part did not take kindly to being used as an unwilling comedic foil by Cohen, and voiced her outrage in a lengthy, blistering Facebook post.
Among other things, Palin accused Cohen of "stealing valor" by pretending to be a disabled veteran as part of his ploy to make her participate on his show. Now, Cohen himself has fired back at Palin, but once again he's sticking to the joke by offering his rebuttal in character. Cohen's guise this time is "Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr.," a Donald Trump supporter who spends his time on Twitter retweeting other people of the same political persuasion. "Ruddick" has posted a reply to Palin's attack and it shows that Cohen won't back down, or drop the bit:
Besides roping in Palin for what must have been a very uncomfortable interview, Cohen also snagged Cheney, who was shown in a recent Who is America? promo bizarrely autographing a milk carton described as a "waterboarding kit." Cohen also punk'd former Congressman Joe Walsh, who like Palin went on the defensive against the comedian, revealing that Cohen used the pretense of an award from the citizens of Israel to lure Walsh into his bit. Though Walsh claimed to get the joke, he also called for a boycott against Showtime. Recently, internet media figure Matt Drudge also listed Howard Dean, Alberto Gonzales, Bernie Sanders, Trent Lott, David Patraeus and Ted Koppel among Cohen's other victims.
Whatever one thinks of the appropriateness of Cohen's actions in duping celebrities into becoming his comedic foils, there's no question it's been an effective approach for him over the course of his career. And thanks to the reactions of people like Palin and Walsh, Cohen's latest effort Who is America? is getting more than its fair share of free publicity ahead of its premiere on Showtime.
Source: Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr./Twitter
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