Home Pop Culture Showtime’s ‘Who is America?’ is punking America in the gut.

Showtime’s ‘Who is America?’ is punking America in the gut.

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Sacha Baron Cohen-Who is America?
Sacha Baron Cohen-Who is America? for Showtime. Pictured alter ego character,
Sacha Baron Cohen-Who is America?
Sacha Baron Cohen-Who is America? for Showtime. Pictured alter ego character, Col. Erran Morad.

Sacha Baron Cohen-Who is America? Showtime 7 part series exposing the absurdity, cognitive dissonance that is America and bought and sold to lobby groups and hijacked by corporate media. 

It appears Sacha Baron Cohen, best known for his colorful array of characters, from Ali G, Borat, Bruno to name a few, has come back to haunt America with a new eye watering morsel in the shape of Israeli anti terrorist commander, Col. Erran Morad and other haunting favorites. 

Appearing as the ‘disguised’ protagonist in Cohen’s new satire and expose of American mores and manners, ‘Who is America?’ the comedian (because if you don’t cry, you’ll laugh) brings seven episodes to Showtime with an array of character parodies aimed to make us wonder what it is that America holds true to its heart. 

Cohen true to form has already caused great disconcert and unease with the unwitting participation of public figures who seemingly hold back little in exhibiting standards and sensibilities that ought to make the average thinking person wince.

The new show sees Cohen adopting a range of characters, including Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr., an opponent of ‘mainstream’ media (naturally…) who debates healthcare with Senator Bernie Sanders.

There’s also Rick Sherman, an ex-con turned artist who works in the medium of human feces and bodily fluids, and Nira Cain-N’degeocello, an ultra-liberal hippy who dines at the home of a Trump-voting couple. 

Sacha Baron Cohen-Who is America? Training pre schoolers to bear arms (against the bad guys).

Perhaps one of his best segments includes Cohen hoodwinking Republican politicians into endorsing a made-up plan to train pre-schoolers how to fire a gun. Sadly it didn’t take too much arm twisting. 

Finally, there’s Israeli ‘anti-terror expert’ Colonel Erran Morad who pranks Republicans into endorsing a concocted plan to teach children as young as three and four how to fire a firearm, along with a ‘Puppy Pistol.’ 

It’s here where viewers will get their biggest laughs (and concerns).

Sacha Baron Cohen-Who is America?
Sacha Baron Cohen-Who is America? Cohen asks gun rights activist Philip Van Cleave (pictured left) to help him create a ‘common sense training’ instructional video for three-year-olds featuring ‘gunimals’

Sacha Baron Cohen-Who is America? Gunimals for 3 year olds? 

In one part of the teaser, he sits down with current and former congressmen and gets them to endorse a program that aims ‘to get deadly weapons in the hands of schoolchildren’ in an effort to prevent campus shootings. 

In another part of the clip, gun rights activist Philip Van Cleave is asked to help create a ‘common sense training’ instructional video for three-year-olds featuring ‘gunimals.’

‘I think it would be a good idea,’ he tells Morad.

‘I’ve been pushing something along this line for years but really haven’t got any traction.

‘We were thinking seventh or eighth grade – you’ve gone much younger than that.’

He then holds a gun wrapped in a stuffed dog and says:  ‘Just remember to point Puppy Pistol’s mouth at the middle of the bad man.’ 

While appearing in the instructional clip, Van Cleave says: ‘Today we’re going to teach you how you can stop these naughty men and have them take a long nap.’

Holding the ‘Puppy Pistol,’ he adds: ‘To feed him, take this lunchbox and push it into his tummy.

‘Just remember to point puppy pistol’s mouth right at the middle of the bad man. If he has a big fat tummy, point at that.’

Quips Col. Erran Morad in another segment while hanging with Executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of AmericaLarry Pratt, during which time the two men have been extolling the virtues of brining guns to the hands of school-children (cause they’re not spoiled by ‘liberal rhetoric’)- ’It’s not rape if it’s your wife.’

Prat can’t help but belt out laughing, while high fiving Cohen’s fictional character, while nervously mentioning- ‘you’re obviously going to cut this part out?’ ‘Of course,’ replies Morad. But of course not thought Baron who preys on the stupidity, vulnerability and the unabashed brazen behavior of his guests to drop their guard and reveal what they might actually feel about a range of issues: guns, sexual assault, class, poverty, criminals, gun violence and the second amendment- ever pressing themes in American media and culture.

Sacha Baron Cohen-Who is America? Leave it to a comedian to ask the questions the mainstream media dares not touch. 

Other sample teasers of ‘Who’s America,’ include US former vice president Dick Cheney signing a ‘waterboard kit’ along with Sarah Palin who has since vehemently attacked the spoofer, upset to have been punked by one of Cohen’s pranked subjects, a wounded veteran.

All of which is to wonder, what happens to American society when one supplants democracy, equal mobility and upward class mobility with that of violence, money and well entrenched corporate lobby groups along with corporate media ever influencing and controlling the narrative and the cognitive dissonance that is America?

Noted absurdist playwright, Samuel Beckett, ‘tragedy is the moment one doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry,’ – one suspects with Sacha Baron Cohen it’s both….