Sacha Baron Cohen’s new series Who Is America? has been getting a lot of free press lately courtesy of public outrage from Sarah Palin, Roy Moore, and Joe Walsh, who were evidently tricked into interviews with Cohen in disguise. Now, Showtime has shared an 11-minute “first look” at the series, which serves as a kind of introduction to one of Cohen’s latest characters, an Israeli “anti-terror expert” named Col. Erran Morad.
Clearly influenced by Cohen’s Ali G and Borat roles, Morad is a hyper-aggressive, Islamophobic, ex-Mossad agent that prods at all the weakest aspects of gun-touting, red-blooded American masculinity. The clip follows Morad’s search for politicians willing to back his idea to get “deadly weapons into the hands of American schoolchildren,” eventually enlisting the help of Joe Walsh, Trent Lott, and Dana Rohrabacher in the process. “In America, there’s a big problem of shootings in schools,” Cohen says. “The NRA wants to arm the teachers—this is crazy! They should be arming the children.”
Eventually, Cohen somehow gets Virginia Citizens Defense League president Philip Van Cleave to join him in leading an instructional video training toddlers to fire guns at intruders. “Just remember to point Puppy Pistol’s mouth right in the middle of the bad man, if he has a big tummy, point at that,” Van Cleave says without the slightest hint of wrongdoing.
But even that might not be the most damning of it, soon followed by Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt who explains the science behind why it just makes sense to let toddlers carry guns. Reading directly from a teleprompter, Pratt cites the “elevated levels of the pheromone Blink-182, produced by the part of the liver known as the Rita Ora” as significant to a four-year-old’s fearlessness with a firearm. “This allows nerve reflexes to travel along the Cardi B neural pathway to the Wiz Khalifa 40% faster, saving time and saving lives.”
Who Is America? looks to be a pretty masterful indictment of modern conservatism, and if the phoney Twitter accounts and performative outrage weren’t enough, his performance here reveals that Cohen still has so much more new ground to cover in the insanity of the current moment. Who Is America? premieres Sunday, July 15 at 10pm EST on Showtime. Watch the clip below.