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11th Jul 2018

Sacha Baron Cohen’s new TV show looks like it could be a brilliant return to form

Wil Jones

It definitely looks a step up from Grimsby

It’s easy to forget just how damn funny Sacha Baron Cohen was when he first burst onto UK TV back in the late 1990s. His brutal interviews as Ali G genuinely innovative and jaw dropping, (personal favourite early Ali G moment: asking the head of Christies auction house “My teacher told me that Van Gogh chopped his nob off?”)

Eventually, the character got too big to fool people in Britain, so he took Ali to America, made a not-great film, and created a couple of other characters – Kazakhstani reporter Borat, and Austrian gay fashionista Bruno. Both of them got very funny movies, and Borat also gave millions of unfunny banter merchants a silly voice to do for the rest of time.

All things must past though, and Baron Cohen got too famous to do his fake interview shtick. His subsequent film have not been all that – The Dictator was actually pretty funny, but Grimsby?

He’s secretly been filming a new show called Who Is America?, which debuts on Channel 4 on Monday night.

It’s a return to his undercover spoof interviewer days – but this time, instead of just being one character, he dons a number of disguises to take on various US politicians.

In what we’ve seen so far, he manages to get former Vice President Dick Cheney to sign a “waterboarding kit”.

He also interviewed Sarah Palin while undercover as a wounded military veteran.

Palin herself admitted she’d been duped, calling Baron Cohen “evil, exploitive, and sick”.

Who Is America? is on Channel 4 at 10pm on Monday night.