Sacha Baron Cohen has always thought of himself as on the cutting edge of wit, with his “Jackass meets Daily Show” mashup of a comedic style. The only real problem is that no one is laughing at him.
Instead, Cohen relies on Hollywood trickery and grandiose backstories to bring his prey in close for the kill. The actor, known for his racially insensitive characters and adolescent reliance on genitalia jokes, is now working with Showtime to create a weekly program in which the impressionist takes on the visage of an Israeli security expert, or perhaps a wounded American veteran, in order to spring his traps.
Now, after one sketch from “Who Is America?” has surfaced, Sacha Baron Cohen has claimed his first casualty.
Rep. Jason Spencer had vowed to serve out his term despite the fallout. Now he’ll step down at month’s end, spokesman Kaleb McMichen told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution late Tuesday.
In Sunday night’s broadcast of Cohen’s Showtime series “Who Is America?” Cohen poses as an Israeli military expert who persuades Spencer to take part in several outlandish exercises. The lawmaker is told they’re making a counterterrorism video.
Spencer repeatedly shouts a racial slur for black people after Cohen tells him the tactic is useful for drawing bystanders’ attention to an unfolding attack.
While Cohen’s antics are often reprehensible, Spencer’s willingness to participate in such an absurd manner leads many to wonder just how the comedian is luring these men and women into such horrific behavior. Is there some semantic, contractual trickery involved? What is the payment received by his guests?
We’ll likely have to wait until the Showtime non-disclosure agreements expire before we know for sure.