Written by on July 26, 2018


A couple of weeks ago, while I was watching AM Joy on MSNBC, near the end of her broadcast, she mentioned a new series that premiered on Showtime called “Who is America?” I was pleasantly surprised when Joy announced the star of the series was the actor and comic, Sacha Baron Cohen. I thought, “Well this is a blast from the past.”

I first became aware of him around 2000, when he appeared in Madonna’s video of her hit, “Music.” In the video, Sacha appeared as her limo driver, who was flirting with Madonna and her entourage, working on their last nerve.

It seemed that after appearing in that video, his career took off here in America. In England, Sacha had a show that lasted about four years from 2000 to 2004 called “Da Ali G. Show.”

Sacha is noted for being like a chameleon. He is a master in changing his voice and appearance, much like his idol, the late British actor, and comic, Peter Sellers of “The Pink Panther” movies fame. It was his persona of Ali G. that appeared on Madonna’s “Music” video. This was probably the catalyst that prompted HBO to show the 2nd and 3rd season of “Da Ali G. Show.” here in this country.

“Da Ali G. Show” had its fair share of controversy here and abroad. Sacha in his Ali G. persona pretended to be a newscaster interviewing famous people. The folks he was interviewing had no idea he was a fake. Sacha usually had them show their authentic selves.

One of his most famous pranks at the time was when he interviewed American, James Broadwater, who was running as a Republican candidate for Congress in the Mississippi Primary. Sacha appeared as Borat, one of his characters. Sacha, as Borat, told Broadwater that the interview would only be played in his country Kazakhstan and other foreign countries to teach them about the American political system. He led Broadwater to admit that Jews would go to hell if they did not follow Christianity. Of course, the Jewish communities were clutching their pearls over Broadwater’s remarks. He lost his GOP primary and was not successful in other political pursuits.

At that time, Sacha’s three main characters were:

1. Ali G (aka) Alistair Leslie Graham He was the self-proclaiming leader of “The West Staines Massiv.” Ali G.’s mannerism was an exaggerated stereotypical mix of British, African-Carribean and hip-hop cultures, with some Urban American influences thrown in. He interviewed unsuspecting guests and told them he was a British talk show host and wanted to discuss politics. Donald Trump was one of the celebrities he tricked.

2. Borat Sagdiyev – is a character that Ali G. said he came across on an obscure satellite TV station called “The Fantasy Channel.” Borat is from the country of Kazakhstan. He travels the United Kingdom and The United States interviewing people and their activities. He makes his interviewers uncomfortable making misogynistic and anti-Semitic remarks along with trying to introduce them to food and culture of his native country.

3. Bruno Gehard – is a Gay Austrian and claims to be the voice of “Austrian Gay television.” Bruno often makes others uncomfortable with his exaggerated stereotypical Gay mannerisms. Bruno interviews fashion aficionados and ‘party people,’ exposing their extremities of hypocrisy, superficiality, and their inconsistency in the fashion world. In 2009, Universal Pictures released the movie, “Bruno.”

Let’s flash forward to 2018. Reminiscent of “Da Ali G. Show,” Showtime recently premiered Sacha’s new series entitled “Who Is America?” after a 10-year absence from television.”Who Is America” explores diverse individuals in America, some famous, taking his satirical humor to 2018 America.

By the time this article comes out, the 1st episode, and maybe the 2nd episode of “Who Is America?” will have already been shown. Sacha has a new host of characters to explore humanity in Trump’s America. So far from what I am hearing, the series is as controversial as “Da Ali G. Show.” The GOP is upset that they are being punked and is calling for a boycott of the show, even though Sacha has interviewed Democrats as well, with Bernie Sanders being on the 1st episode. I’m confused. If you are a famous person and someone wants to interview you, ESPECIALLY if you have not heard of them, wouldn’t you have your staff do some research on that person before you agree to do an interview?

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