Sacha Baron Cohen became one of the biggest comedy stars of the early and mid-00s thanks to his extraordinary, cringe-inducing prank interviews where he would talk to a famous person (or a regular person revealing way too much) while he was in-character as Ali G or Borat or Brüno. He would say and do outrageous stuff, and his interview subjects would go along with it. He interviewed Donald Trump as Ali G and pitched him an idea for a glove you can wear while eating ice cream so it doesn't drip on your hand, and Trump was uncharacteristically polite.
It seemed like Baron Cohen was done with prank interviews after the movie Brüno, but for the past week or so there have been hints that he's been up to something for Showtime. And on Sunday, Baron Cohen released a teaser which confirmed that prank interviews will be part of the mysterious new show.
"Imagine if Sacha Baron Cohen had been undercover secretly filming a new show for a year," the teaser's text reads, before flashing a quick montage of very Baron Cohen-y images like a fake mustache, a naked butt and President Obama dressed as a Sunni cleric. Then it cuts to Baron Cohen's voice speaking with an unplaceable accent asking former Vice President Dick Cheney to sign his "waterboard kit." And then Cheney does it.
"That's a first," Cheney says.
It's shocking, until you remember that Cheney doesn't consider simulated drowning torture and is also a heartless ghoul, so of course he has no problem signing a "waterboard kit." The kit looks like it contains a gallon jug, a towel and a stack of papers signing off on the use of torture.
Showtime confirmed on Monday that the seven-episode series is called Who Is America? and it will feature people, both famous and unknown, from all across the political and culture spectrum. However, Baron Cohen's new character for the show is being kept under wraps for now, but we can't wait to see what he's been up to when Who Is America? premieres Sunday, July 15 at 10/9c on Showtime. But viewers can also catch it early when it debuts streaming, online and On Demand at midnight ET that same day.