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Sacha Baron Cohen Got Dick Cheney to Sign a Waterboard Kit for His New Show, 'Who Is America?'

Showtime says the series is "perhaps the most dangerous show in the history of television."

by River Donaghey
Jul 9 2018, 3:08pm

Sacha Baron Cohen is a master. The guy has been pulling shit over on famous people since the year 2000, and somehow they're still falling for it almost two decades later. Cohen's been relatively quiet following 2016's Alice Through the Looking Glass and his aborted role as Freddie Mercury in that upcoming biopic, but it looks like the comedian's finally back to doing what he does best—helping celebrities make fools of themselves on camera.

On Sunday, Cohen debuted the first clip from his mysterious new series, Who Is America?, and it features the comedian and prankster's latest victim—former Vice President Dick Cheney.

"Imagine if Sacha Baron Cohen had been undercover secretly filming a new show for a year..." the 22-second clip says, before cutting to Cohen, in the voice of some unnamed new character, asking Cheney to sign his "waterboard kit."

Cheney seems happy to oblige. Legs crossed and jowls quivering, the long-time waterboarding advocate Sharpies his name to a plastic gallon jug as the cameras roll. Unfortunately, Cohen is off-screen, so we don't get a look at the character he's playing during the interview, but the voice is unmistakably his.

It's our first real glimpse at Cohen's mysterious new Showtime series that didn't even have a name until Vulture spotted some advertisements last weekend. Before now, everything we knew about the series was based on rumors and speculation piecing together Cohen's tweets with Showtime's brutally vague teasers.

"We’d like to tell you about a new comedy that’s coming, but we can’t," Showtime said in the video. "The creators won’t let us show you a scene, the lawyers won’t let us tell you the name of the star, and we can’t even reveal the show’s title or we’d be breaking our nondisclosure agreement. So how do we promote perhaps the most dangerous show in the history of television when we’re not allowed to show it? Fuck if I know."

Then on the Fourth of July, Cohen tweeted a video of President Trump trashing the comedian over their fateful 2003 interview for Da Ali G Show when Cohen tried to get Trump to invest in ice cream gloves. Variety reported that week that Cohen was in talks with Showtime to distribute a new project, leading to speculation that he was working on a Trump-skewering show.

Now the series has a title, an official Dick Cheney cameo, and a July 15 premiere date. And if Cohen was able to get the former vice president to sit down on screen, odds are pretty good that he was able to cross paths with the president himself again—no matter how good Trump thinks he is at sniffing out scams.

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