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    Sacha Baron Cohen arrives at the premiere of Alice Through the Looking Glass at the El Capitan Theatre on Monday, May 23, 2016, in Los Angeles

    Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's New Controversial Show Splits Internet

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    On Independence Day, Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen gave his followers an inkling that he was coming back to the screen when he released a somewhat provocative video featuring President Donald Trump, which social media users perceived as a teaser for his new show.

    The provocateur and comedian has indeed returned to the screen with a new seven-episode mockumentary “Who is America?” on US cable channel Showtime – and it’s already making waves.

    READ MORE: ‘Ya Got Me Sacha’: Sarah Palin Claims ‘Evil’ Comedian ‘Duped’ Her Into Interview

    The prankster took aim at a number of Trump-era politicians, as he took on a new fictional character – Dr. Billy Wayne Ruddick, a conspiracy theory enthusiast, who is also the founder of a fake right-wing news site, Truthbrary.org, and whose sole purpose is to take down the “mainstreme [sic] media.”

    Starring as another fictional character, Erran Morad, a tough Israeli anti-terrorism expert, rooting for the “Kinderguardians” program, Baron Cohen managed to get a number of politicians to voice their support for arming kindergarten kids.

    In addition to Ruddick and Morad, Cohen also took on two other characters, including freed criminal Ricky Sherman and Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degeocello, a Trump supporter.

    How Did Those Duped React?

    Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and Alabama politician Roy Moore lambasted Cohen for duping them into giving interviews for his show.

    In a Facebook post, Palin dismissed Cohen as “evil, exploitative” and “sick” after he posed as a “disabled US Veteran” in a “fake wheelchair” to get the interview with the former Republican vice-presidential candidate. 

    Cohen struck back in his casual semi-sarcastic, semi-mocking manner from Ruddick’s parody Twitter account, labeling her remarks as “Fake news” and demanding an apology from Palin:

    Republican Roy Moore, who has had quite a year after being accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, also admitted to having been deceived by Cohen.

    READ MORE: Users Baffled as Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen Tweets Cryptic Trump-Related Video

    Upon realizing that the interviewer was in fact a comedian, Moore lashed out at Cohen, accusing him of “trickery, deception and dishonesty” and claimed that the new show sought to “embarrass, humiliate and mock.”

    But not all of those tricked were offended by Cohen’s antics: ex-Congressman Joe Walsh laughed at being “got” by the prankster.

    Internet Goes Wild

    “Who is America?” has been the talk of the internet ever since the Ali G Show star teased it with a cryptic message from Trump on Independence Day and footage of ex-Vice President Dick Cheney agreeing to sign a waterboard kit.

    READ MORE: WATCH Dick Cheney Sign Waterboarding Gear for Sacha Baron Cohen

    Many fellow celebrities congratulated Cohen on the premiere:

    Former Congressman David Jolly suggested that those who were duped into the interview with Cohen should be banned from access to classified data:

    Meanwhile, Twitterians have largely praised the “insane episode,” with many saying that Cohen has outdone himself:

    Others said that Cohen didn’t trick anyone into supporting the program, he just laid out the idea, and those politicians were quick to pick it up:

    Fellow netizens emphasized that Cohen had raised the very relevant issue of gun violence and disinformation in the country:

    There were, however, those, who suggested boycotting the cable channel Showtime for promoting Cohen, who “impersonated [a] disabled military veteran”:

    In the meantime, Cohen is promo-ing his show via Ruddick’s fictional Twitter account, in a way trolling the claims made by the politicians that appeared in the mockumentary:

    Baron Cohen is known for provocative PR stunts: in 2006, he sported a bright green “mankini” while promoting his movie “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.” In 2012, Cohen, dressed as his character from “The Dictator,” turned up at Cannes Film Festival with a camel and two model bodyguards.

    Related:

    ‘Ya Got Me Sacha’: Sarah Palin Claims ‘Evil’ Comedian ‘Duped’ Her Into Interview
    WATCH Dick Cheney Sign Waterboarding Gear for Sacha Baron Cohen
    Users Baffled as Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen Tweets Cryptic Trump-Related Video
    Tags:
    provocation, internet, boycott, episode, premiere, trolling, show, mockery, prankster, prank, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Dick Cheney, Sacha Baron Cohen, United States
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