‘Who Is America?’: Everything We Know About Sacha Baron Cohen’s New Show
Sacha Baron Cohen is returning to television this weekend with a new show, Who Is America? We didn’t even know about this series a week ago, but now, it’s just days away from its premiere episode.
So what, exactly, is this show? Showtime is still keeping us in a dark on a lot of details, but let’s take a look at everything we’ve learned over the past few days.
It’s another series in the style of Da Ali G Show
Sacha Baron Cohen’s whole gimmick used to be interviewing people who had no idea he was playing a character, with this beginning on Da Ali G Show and continuing in the movie spinoffs, Borat and Brüno. However, Cohen got away from that after 2009, and his third feature film, The Dictator, was just a scripted comedy.
However, Who Is America? is a return to that format, as Variety reported last week.
It will explore people from across the political spectrum
In a press release, Showtime described the series by saying that it will “explore the diverse individuals, from the infamous to the unknown across the political and cultural spectrum, who populate the unique nation.”
It will have something to do with Trump University
It seems that Cohen will be taking on Donald Trump in some way in Who Is America?, especially Trump University.
After all, the first time we received any indication that Cohen was working on a new show came on July 4th, when he released a teaser featuring an old video of Trump calling Cohen “disgraceful.”
— Sacha Baron Cohen (@SachaBaronCohen) July 4, 2018
In the video, Trump also tells Cohen to “go to school” to learn about being funny. The promo then teases “Sacha Graduates,” with the Trump University logo coming up on screen.
He has been filming it in secret for a year
Although the announcement of this show came out of nowhere, it has apparently been in the works for at least a year now.
A recently-released teaser notes, “Imagine if Sacha Baron Cohen had been undercover secretly filming a new show for a year…”
He’s going to interview Dick Cheney
That teaser also confirms the reports that Who Is America? is based at least in part around duping famous people into giving interviews to a fictional character, and Cohen has apparently secured a big one for the first episode: Dick Cheney.
— Sacha Baron Cohen (@SachaBaronCohen) July 8, 2018
In the footage released from Showtime, we see Cheney signing a waterboard kit at the request of Cohen, who remains off-screen.
Showtime also released another video in which Cheney says to the camera, “I hope you’ll tune in next week for an interview with me.” Clearly, Cheney didn’t know he was speaking with Sacha Baron Cohen when he filmed this interview, though it remains to be seen what exactly he thought was happening.
It will be a half-hour series consisting of seven episodes
In terms of the show’s format and length, Showtime says that each episode will be a half-hour long, and the upcoming season will consist of seven episodes. It’s unclear whether the show will continue after that or whether it is a one-time series.
What we don’t know is anything about who, exactly, Sacha Baron Cohen’s new character is, but we’ll find out when the show premieres this Sunday at 10:00 p.m. ET.