Not very niiiiiice.
Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is infuriating, and embarrassing, conservatives and liberals alike across the US in the season’s most controversial new TV series, “Who is America?” — and The Post got a sneak peek at the debut episode.
In Sunday’s 10 p.m. premiere on Showtime, master of disguise Cohen (aka Borat, Ali G, Bruno) poses as “Erran,” an Israeli terrorism expert — complete with over-the-top Hebrew accent and Frankenstein-like prosthetic brow — who kibbitzes with gun-rights activists Philip Van Cleave and Larry Pratt, to outrageous effect.
Erran gets Pratt to laugh at the prospect of raping his wife and killing a Muslim man; and he gets several politicians — including Trent Lott, Dana Rohrabacher, Joe Wilson and former GOP Rep. Joe Walsh — to advocate arming toddlers.
Posing as an ex-con who looks like an extra on “Duck Dynasty,” he convinces a liberal art-gallery consultant named Christy in Laguna Beach, Calif., to give him her pubic hair for “artistic” purposes.
Like “Borat” and “Da Ali G Show,” the new program is shot mockumentary-style and Cohen’s subjects range from ordinary citizens to pols such as Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Dick Cheney — who’s shown in a preview clip autographing a waterboarding kit.
To interview Sanders, Cohen poses as alt-right blogger Dr. Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr. — buried beneath a fat suit, blond wig and Southern drawl.
To dine with a conservative couple, he pretends to be a left-wing hippie activist who travels the country to heal the cultural divide.
“I’m a white hetero male, for which I apologize,” he says, thoroughly unrecognizable beneath a bald cap and prosthetic chin.
Showtime launched a stealth PR campaign to promote the seven-episode series — even requiring reporters who attended a Midtown screening of its first two episodes to sign nondisclosure forms.
But word of Cohen’s outrageous interviews leaked after Sarah Palin, newsman Ted Koppel, former Alabama judge Roy Moore, ex-GOP Rep. Walsh and former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio went public with their gripes.
Moore is already threatening a defamation lawsuit.
“I did not know Sacha Cohen or that a Showtime TV series was being planned to embarrass, humiliate and mock not only Israel, but also religious conservatives such as Sarah Palin, Joe Walsh and Dick Cheney,” he wrote on Facebook. Palin has accused Cohen and his antics of being practically un-American. (After all, he is: the 46-year-old was born in London.)
“I join a long list of American public personalities who have fallen victim to the evil, exploitative, sick ‘humor’ of the British ‘comedian’ Sacha Baron Cohen,” Palin wrote on Facebook.
Cohen, er Ruddick, responded on social media — and demanded an apology form the former Republican vice-presidential candidate. “I did NOT say I was a War Vet,” he wrote as Ruddick. “I was in the service, not military, but United Parcel . . . I have always admired you for TELLING THE TRUTH about Obama’s birth certificate and the location of Russia. But ma’am, I do believe you . . . are now bleedin’ FAKE NEWS.”
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