Sacha Baron Cohen’s Who Is America? is kind of addictive. It’s hard to imagine the British comedian will ever be able to pull off another Borat given his level of international fame, but the new Showtime series is, in many ways, his most successful venture into confrontational prank comedy since that 2006 mega hit.
I’ve watched all of the first three episodes. Who Is America? is always cringe-inducing, frequently laugh-out-loud funny and fitfully genius.
Perhaps the series’ most uncomfortable yet gratifying run-in occurred on last night’s show, when Cohen, in character as fake Israeli anti-terrorism expert Col. Erran Morrad, confronted Republican Roy Moore, a former senate candidate from Alabama.
Moore lost the Alabama election in Dec. 2017 amid allegations he’d sexually assaulted several women, including minors, in the past.
After a brief chit-chat of half-assed niceties comparing Alabama to Israel, Cohen-as-Morrad told Moore Israel had developed exciting new technology, a wand that beeps whenever it’s around a pedophile— the “science” behind it being that pedophiles release an enzyme that’s three times as strong as it is in “non-perverts.”
Of course, the went haywire, beeping erratically, when waved over Moore.
At first the former senate candidate kept a tight smile, before getting defensive.
“I’ve been married for 33 years,” said Moore. “I’ve never had an accusation of such things.”
Cohen, a brilliant improviser, handled everything Moore threw at him, claiming the technology was “99.8%” accurate, but he wasn’t accusing Moore of being a pedophile. Cohen-as-Morrad waved the wand over himself and his “security guard”—silence. Then he waved it over Moore and it beeped wildly again.
Eventually, Moore finally walked off.
Moore recently attacked Cohen on Twitter, saying he was duped. He thought he was receiving an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. to receive an award for his support of Israel.
To watch the scene in all of its squirmy entirety, head on over to YouTube.
Who Is America? airs on Showtime Sundays at 10pm.