Who is America...and Who Signed a Torture Device?

I was bummed when Sacha Baron Cohen dropped out of the Queen movie. He looks more like Freddie Mercury than Rami Malek, and I think he’s a better actor.

Cohen is probably best known to people for the character Borat he played, in a very bizarre and funny movie. He pretended to be from another country, as he asked real people (some famous) very bizarre questions. Cohen also had success with his Bruno character, a gay fashion reporter that also did a lot of bizarre things. One of which was getting Paula Abdul to do a sit down interview, where he called in his Mexican gardens to knee down and act as chairs so she could sit on their backs during the interview. It was baffling that she agreed to do that, before cutting the interview short.

He’s gone back to tricking people, with a show “Who is America?” It’s on Showtime and it’s been tricking a lot of people. You probably heard about the fake interview Sarah Palin did. There ended up being some angry tweets back and forth after it, since Palin claims Cohen pretended to be a wounded veteran in order to get the interview.

What is of more interest to the autograph collecting community though, is the interview Cohen did with former Vice President Dick Cheney. After the fake interview, somebody off-screen (who sounds a bit like Borat), asks “Is it possible to sign my waterboard kit?”

Cheney chuckles and says, ‘That’s a first. That’s the first time I’ve ever signed a waterboard.” He then puts his John Hancock on it.

For those that don’t know, during the George W. Bush administration, Cheney often defended the CIA of some forms of torture, including waterboarding, during interrogations. And for those that don’t know what waterboarding is, you’re tied to a chair, and a towel is placed on your face. Water is poured on it, which ends up simulating the feeling of drowning.

I think Cohen should sell it, and donate the proceeds to the Wounded Warriors or something, so everybody wins.

Showtime has used Cohen tricking people before. His breakout series was “Da Ali G Show” in which he played a British rapper/gangster (it’s not the funniest character he does). He even got the future President, Donald Trump, to answer some questions. There was a clip from that, with Trump berating him, that was used to promote this show earlier this month.

I’m guessing people will like it or hate it...based on their politics.

Remember when humor was based on what was funny instead of who was in office? I had on occasion, written some jokes for late night shows back in the day. Now it seems they’re more interested in bashing Trump than actually being funny. And that’s a shame. Not because President Trump doesn’t deserved to be bashed, but because we like to watch humorous things to make us laugh.

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Tags: Ali G, Dick Cheney, Donald Trump, Paula Abdul, Rami Malek, Sacha Baron Cohen, Sarah Palin, Showtime, Who is America?

Comment by Rich on July 18, 2018 at 4:52pm

Trump is a comedy writer's dream come true. The material basically writes itself. I don't blame them for riding that.

Comment by Josh Board on July 18, 2018 at 4:54pm

Rich, here's the thing. Conan and Fallon are the ONLY two late night guys, that actually do a "joke" about Trump. I'm totally fine with that. They're funny jokes. Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert, as well as a few others on cable, DO NOT tell jokes about Trump. They rant about him. They bitch about him. How is that remotely entertaining? I'll watch CNN or one of the news/talk type of shows for that. I want late night to tell us the funny news stories, and hear them riff on that.

Comment by Rich on July 18, 2018 at 5:06pm

I guess I'm thinking more in terms of SNL (where Jost and Che on Weekend Update are making an absolute killing), as I don't watch many of the late night talk shows anymore. Colbert's entire act has mostly been politically-based for years, so it's not surprise that he goes off on it more. I guess I don't watch much of Kimmel outside of the "bad gifts" or "I ate your candy" videos I see here or there.

As far as Cohen goes, I saw about 10 minutes of the new show, and it's damn near impossible to sympathize with any of the "victims" of his pranks. On a purely comedic level, Cohen has had his successes and failures, but he's genuinely great at what he does. 

https://youtu.be/QkXeMoBPSDk

Comment by Josh Board on July 18, 2018 at 5:08pm

I agree with you on Cohen and his pranks. And, agree with you on Weekend Update. That is a PERFECT EXAMPLE of what the late night shows should do -- write jokes about Trump, don't just bitch about him. But, SNL should have that same mindset when they write skits. Many of their stuff with Alec Baldwin (despite his hysterical impression), just aren't funny.

Comment by Rich on July 18, 2018 at 5:14pm

Baldwin wore on me quickly. Darrell Hammond did the best Trump (no surprise), but bringing him back that regularly might have been awkward for a former cast member?

I've found John Oliver to be a bit more effective than Colbert when going on the full blown on the Trump offensive - he's both a great comedian and especially effective at making compelling arguments. Haven't watched either regularly or extensively though.

Comment by Josh Board on July 18, 2018 at 6:10pm

I feel the same way about Oliver. I loved him on The Daily Show, too. And like you, I don't watch them regularly. My wife freaks out when John Oliver or Trevor Noah make fun of Trump or America. She always says, "If you're not from here, you can't make fun of our country, unless you're doing it from your country!!!!"  

Comment by Eric K. Longo on July 19, 2018 at 2:40am
Comment by Eric K. Longo on July 19, 2018 at 2:47am
Comment by Josh Board on July 19, 2018 at 8:26am

I would've thought Cheney would've been smart enough to...refuse to sign something like that. I mean, I'm not saying I disagree with him in regards to torturing terrorists to get information. The jury is still out on whether or not that works, but...I certainly wouldn't gleefully sign a torture device because of my stance on waterboarding!!!

Comment by Scott Paul on July 19, 2018 at 8:55am

Perhaps he signed because he had a wet towel over his face at the time.

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