Actor and leftist prankster Sacha Baron Cohen claimed in a new interview that he didn’t release footage of his prank Sarah Palin interview from his Showtime series Who Is America? because “it just wasn’t funny enough.”
“Your response to your Golden Globes nomination was to invite Sarah Palin to be your date. She complained she had been duped but she was nowhere to be found in the series. Why, and what did we miss?” a reporter from Deadline asked Sacha Baron Cohen.
The upsetting answer is, I don’t think you missed much. There was a lot of pressure on me from the channel to put out Palin. And obviously, she did the only publicity for the show because I did zero interviews. There was no other publicity at all for the show. Thanks to her, people knew that the show was coming. But ultimately, I looked at the footage and it just wasn’t funny enough. For the pieces to be good, there has to be a good comic dynamic. She was just delivering these kind of rote answers, as if she was doing a campaign speech. And even though I sat with her I think for about two-and-a-half hours, there was no comedy gold. (emphasis added)
The Borat funnyman made news over the summer with his Showtime series in which he wore disguises to fool a number of political figures with faux interviews.
His series notably featured Dick Cheney, with Cohen posing as an Israeli military man and asking Cheney what his “favorite war” was.
The series did not, however, feature the interview he did with former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, despite much media attention it generated when Palin revealed that Cohen pretended to be a disabled veteran during the interview. She reportedly walked out of the interview in disgust when Cohen asked her an offensive question mocking Chelsea Clinton.
Breitbart News reported in July:
A source close to Palin with knowledge of the interview told Breitbart News, “Cohen pretended to be a disabled veteran from Kentucky who was a big fan of Governor Palin. He was wearing a necklace made of bullets and had a laptop covered in InfoWars stickers.”
“His disguise was basically a caricature of a conservative middle class Trump voter. He was asking her absurd, racist, homophobic, and sexist questions that were all meant to mock Trump voters as a bunch of ignorant and offensive kooks.”
“He was asking her things like, ‘Why can’t the mentally ill be armed with assault weapons?’” the source said. “He kept presenting her with ridiculous graphs that she told him were obviously inaccurate and fake.”
“If people tune into this show, then they’re going to see how middle-class Americans are mocked and our values are mocked,” Palin said of the show at the time.
Cohen also told Deadline that he believes Donald Trump’s election has made Americans feel more comfortable being racist.
“I think the population has changed and that’s a result of the president legitimizing these views,” he said.
The 47-year-old also said that his motivation for making the Who Is America? came from a feeling of “anger and total disgust” at Trump’s presidency.