Sacha Baron Cohen is known for his ability to push the buttons of anyone he comes across and it sounds like Bernie Sanders is no exception. In Judd Apatow’s upcoming book Sicker in the Head: More Conversations About Life and Comedy, Cohen revealed that his interview with Sanders almost led to a congressional hearing. This reveal was taken from an excerpt of the book.
Of course, as with most of the people Sacha Baron Cohen interacts with in his shows and movies, Sanders didn’t know it was him. Cohen was disguised as a conspiracy theorist character named Billy Wayne. The interview was conducted for Cohen’s show Who Is America? which aired for one season on Showtime in 2018. Hilariously, Cohen repeatedly tries to convince Sanders that the 99% could simply be moved over to the 1%, making everyone be in the 1%. The clearly perplexed Sanders doesn’t really know how to respond to the ridiculous ideas that Cohen’s character keeps throwing out throughout the interview.
As Sacha Baron Cohen tells it, it seems like Sanders didn’t love talking to this person for an hour. Sander’s team ended up calling CBS and Showtime to find out if it was legitimate, saying that they may open a congressional hearing if the video wasn’t pulled. Overall, it’s a funny situation, though Cohen is probably glad he was able to avoid the whole thing going to Congress.
Who is America? featured Sacha Baron Cohen interviewing a range of politicians and other notable figures, including Dick Cheney, Matt Gaetz, O.J. Simpson, and more. So, Sanders was far from the only politician to fall for Cohen’s typical disguised antics. Though Sanders was undoubtedly a bit frazzled by the whole affair, it’s nothing compared to what Cohen was able to pull on Rudy Giuliani in his Borat sequel Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. In the shocking finale of that movie, Borat’s daughter Tutar (Maria Bakalave) poses as a reporter to interview Giuliani in a hotel room. A hidden camera sees Giuliani apparently sticking his hands down his pants before Borat intervenes yelling that she’s “15” and “too old for you.” Giuliani alleges he was just “tucking his shirt in” and was “never inappropriate.” We’d say Cohen was able to do quite a bit more damage to Giuliani than anyone in Who Is America?
For now, it looks like Sacha Baron Cohen is taking a little bit of a break from the political satire. His next project is a TV series called Disclaimer which is about a television documentary journalist who exposes respected institutions. However, she also has a dark secret that may be exposed. The series stars Cate Blanchett, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kevin Kline, Hoyeon, and Sacha Baron Cohen. His next starring role will be Mandrake the Magician, where he stars as Mandrake, a master illusionist based on a newspaper comic strip of the same name. The movie is directed by Ethan Coen. It sounds like for the time being Sacha Baron Cohen will be able to stay out of trouble. At the very least he won’t have to be attending any Congressional hearings anytime soon.