Who is America? was a fire-starter of a show in which it exploded and extinguished almost overnight. The show was built up as a dark humor glance at the apparent hypocrisy to be found in our modern-day political climate. Before then, the show was taken over by the rumored appearance made by Sarah Palin that involved an interview between the two with Cohen disguised a disabled war veteran. She attempted to get out in front of the story before anything leaked out of it, an attempt to that backfired spectacularly. It became a huge news story for both the mainstream media and entertainment outlets alike, both of which provided free advertising for the upcoming release. Her segment never made it to air either, leaving anyone and everyone that caught wind of the story to question as to what happened and why Palin was trying so hard to explain it all away.
Wonder no more though as in a new interview with Deadline about the show’s recent Golden Globes nomination, Cohen spoke out on the infamous Palin clip and the reasoning behind its cutting room floor placement. Cohen states in the interview that “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.”
Cohen goes on to retort to Palin’s earlier descriptions of the footage as both “evil” and “sick” in her Facebook post, he would describe the reasoning for the footages eventual removal to be born out of boredom, as he argues: “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.”
Yup – we were duped. Ya’ got me, Sacha. Feel better now? I join a long list of American public personalities who have…
With that said, the show has no shortage of ridiculous horror in its midst, so much darkly witty conversations between a disguised comedian and his political puppet of choice. However, those who find themselves eagerly awaiting a season 2, Cohen said that might be “impossible.” Going further to argue: “We relied on the fact that no one was expecting me. I hadn’t done anything undercover for over a decade and so nobody thought, ‘Oh wait a minute, is this a Sacha Baron Cohen character?’ That’s the problem. You’d have to wait another ten years to get away with it again, otherwise, you’d have some very slim pickings. And no publicist worth his or her weight would allow an interview with anyone suspicious now.”
We may not get to see another season of the show, but its impact will on the forefront of our thoughts for a quite a long while. I mean, what other show could feature members of Congress defending gun programs for kindergartners? It’s truly a unique vision that was realized by Cohen, and one that might fair well with the Golden Globes.