It appears Who Is America? will end after its first season. Although Showtime C.E.O. David Nevins said hes eager to bring the series back, Sacha Baron Cohen doesnt see how he could make more episodes of the prank-focused series: “It would be impossible.”
“We relied on the fact that no one was expecting me,” Cohen recently explained to Deadline. “I hadnt done anything undercover for over a decade and so nobody thought, oh wait a minute, is this a Sacha Baron Cohen character?”
“Thats the problem,” he continued. “Youd have to wait another 10 years to get away with it again, otherwise youd have some very slim pickings. And no publicist worth his or her weight would allow an interview with anyone suspicious now.”
In its first (and apparently only) season, Who Is America? managed to claim a long and wide-ranging list of victims, including Dick Cheney, Bernie Sanders, O.J. Simpson, and Sarah Palin. Some of the duped politicians and reality stars were good sports; others, not so much. But one of the most incensed casualties, Sarah Palin, never made it to air. Although the former Alaskan governor railed against the series on both her Facebook page and Good Morning America, her segment was ultimately never shown on the series.
When asked why he cut Palins appearance, Cohen told Deadline that, in truth, his sit-down with her was pretty uneventful—and that although there was a fair amount of pressure from Showtime to include her on the show, “I looked at the footage and it just wasnt funny enough. . . . She was just delivering these kind of rote answers, as if she was doing a campaign speech.”
The two sat together for more than two hours, Cohen said, but by the end she had simply not provided any worthy material. “I just didnt want to put out something that . . . didnt really make me laugh,” he said.
Perhaps he can try again in 10 years.
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