Booyakasha! Why Sacha Baron Cohens latest prank nearly went horribly wrong – The Guardian

Name: Sacha Baron Cohen.

Age: 48.

Appearance: Bearded; wearing dungarees, checked shirt and a straw hat; singing in a rather erratic American accent.

I take it this is his latest character. You’re right. He has reportedly been filmed entertaining an audience of rightwingers at a March for Our Rights 3 rally in Olympia, Washington.

What form did the entertainment take? It’s claimed he sang a pleasant country number about coronavirus being a hoax and other hot-button topics, and managed to get the rather sparse audience to sing along with the lyrics.

The reported sighting in Washington.

Sparse audience? Yes, the joke is that it was even more poorly attended than the average Trump rally.

Are you going to give us a sample of the lyrics? You bet. “Mask-wearers. What we gonna do? Inject them with the Wuhan flu. Journalists. What we gonna do? Chop ’em up like the Saudis do.”

Sounds like a riot. It almost became one when the organisers rumbled him – the lyrics were a little too outre even for the pro-gun, anti-federal government beardos of Washington state. Baron Cohen (who has yet to confirm it was him) had to make a hasty exit in a private ambulance. Uninjured, thankfully.

What was the purpose of the stunt? As ever, he is being secretive about what the footage is for, but the assumption is it will be used in the next series of Who Is America?

What’s Who is America? A satire show on Channel 4 and the US pay-TV network Showtime that got mixed reviews when it came out.

How disappointing. You’re right. It’s just that so much was expected of it that when it aired in 2018, it was a bit of a damp squib. The show does have its moments, though, notably the sequence in which Baron Cohen, in character as Israeli antiterrorism expert Colonel Erran Morad, instructs the Republican politician Jason Spencer on how to detect terrorists.

How? By putting a selfie stick underneath someone wearing a burqa to check whether it’s a real woman or a bloke with explosives.

How did Spencer react? He bought into the idea completely. He also used the N-word, mocked the Chinese and exposed his buttocks when Morad told him this was a tried-and-trusted technique to repel Islamic State terrorists.

I guess this hasn’t helped his political career. He resigned from the Georgia house of representatives.

Any other infamous pranks? Morad entranced gun enthusiasts with the idea of arming a new generation of toddlers, known as “Kinderguardians”, to protect American schools.

Not to be confused with: Ali G, Borat Sagdiyev, Brüno Gehard, Admiral-General Haffaz Aladeen.

Do say: “Baron Cohen is a genius and a fearless exposer of rightwing propaganda.”

Don’t say: “Yes” to an interview if approached by a man in disguise with a wobbly accent.