Who Is America 1.1 FAQ
Sacha Baron Cohen (“Da Ali G Show,” “Borat,” “Bruno”) performs, co-writes and co-directs.
What says Showtime?
“WHO IS AMERICA? is a satirical half-hour series from comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, in his return to series television for the first time in more than a decade. In the works over the past year, the seven-episode series explores the diverse individuals, from the infamous to the unknown across the political and cultural spectrum, who populate our unique nation.”
How does it start?
“I want to confront the mainstream media” are the first words out of the mouth of Billy Wayne Ruddick. “I want to take them down one by one.”
Why am I just hearing about this now?
Remember how Ashton Kutcher pretended he wasn’t making any more episodes of “Punk’d”? Apparently nobody outside Showtime knew about this project before July 9.
What is the name of Cohen’s new alter ego?
There are a whopping four new characters Cohen embodies:
* Billy Wayne Ruddick is obese and gets around in a Rascal. He sports a big mane of blonde hair, big sideburns and a handlebar mustache. He speaks with a hillbilly accent as he promotes something called truthbrary.org.
* Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degeocello is a New Yorker who voted Hillary, bikes with pink cat ears on his helmet, covers his huge potbelly with an NPR t-shirt and sports a bald-guy ponytail.
* Rick Sherman is a British ex-con who sports a massive goatee as he peddles artwork made of cardboard and excrement.
* Col. Erran Morad is a Schwarzeneggerian Israeli anti-terror expert determined to arm preschoolers.
Who got pranked?
A lot of people with gullible publicists, including former presidential candidates Carli Fiorina, Howard Dean and Bernie Sanders, former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former CIA director David Petraeus, former attorney general Alberto Gonzales, former judge Roy Moore, former senator Trent Lott, former sheriff Joe Arpaio, former “Nightline” host Ted Koppel, and former congressman Joe Walsh (not to be confused with the James Gang frontman).
Aside from Cohen, Bernie Sanders is both first and by far the most famous person in the first episode. Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) is not at all famous but I believe is still the seventh most famous guy in the episode, right behind Cohen, Sanders, Lott, Walsh and congressmen Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C).
The big news?
The firest episode, at least, gets funnier with repeated viewings. My laughter, I realized, kept drowning out great gags I missed the first time around.
What else is Showtime not telling us?
The show features a real pair of adorable Trump-loving South Carolina marrieds.
Bernie’s ready-to-flee physical comportment. The appearance of Sherman’s hands. The shout-outs to Blink 182, Wiz Khalifa, Cardi B and Rita Ora. The references to “compliance cameras,” and a “recyclable cup.” “Do you think liberals are using these school shootings to further their anti-tragedy agenda?” “My son, Harvey Milk.” “Sure, she complains.” “In the bowl. In the bowl.” “My first instinct was, let’s move to a landlocked state.” “Now we spend three months a year in Oahu.” “I don’t ask.” “Eventually he found out.” “And obviously a lot of brown.”
What’s not so great?
The lead-off Bernie segment is just OK.
How does it end, spoiler boy?
“He just raised the bar for all artists.”
10 p.m. Sunday. Showtime.