America is back and funnier than ever in its latest series. But has it gone TOO FAR in trying to push a vulnerable comedian to the limits?
America: LOVE your work. Some of THE funniest stuff EVER. Laurel and Hardy! Eddie Murphy! The Farrelly Brothers! Jar Jar Binks! Donald Trump!
I could go on. But your latest show, examining who you are? It’s probably a LITTLE too edgy for most tastes.
You take a British comedian and make him THINK that he is being really clever and satirical and innovative. This is just cruel. You even make him think he is FUNNY again. Shame on you.
We are just 4 episodes into the 6 or so run of WHO IS AMERICA? The joke wears thin, fast. Seriously. It is degrading and offensive to make this Briddish comedian think he has you fooled. You have let him dress up in a series of (very well created) disguises that vary his earlier and better work from 20 years ago. You then appear to set him up with easily baited right wing fundamentalist twits who will say anything on camera. And I mean ANYTHING. They are surely in on the joke, right? Or very good actors. Or just as destructive as the comedian doing the interviews?
What I particularly like is how the presenter in no way at all feeds the ‘laughs’ or controversial lines to guests who are clearly deficient mentally or just super eager to please him as host in that American way? But it is a travesty that you allow him to make the biggest fool of all: HIMSELF. The idea that a man who once genuinely surprised, enthralled an innovated with guerilla comedy..reduced to making me titter rather than causing the old belly laughs? GENIUS! But also tragic and wrong and humiliating.
YOU: America, might think it sadistically funny to allow this man ‘Cohen’ to go around making jokes about defecation and masturbation. DOUBLY clever to let HIM think HE is being funny and clever..by making jokes bout..defecation and masturbation. Well, it’s all funny ha ha until people go around thinking ‘HEY! THIS IS EDGY SATIRE!’. A whole GENERATION of God fearing Americans will be CORRUPTED into thinking that all one need do to become comedy royalty is: pick easy targets, embarrass them into repeating lines YOU are basically feeding them and then make a reference to or actual demonstration of a bodily function.
But we are ONTO you, ‘AMERICA’. And so is Cohen. Because WE have uncovered a fightback. ACTUAL funny, satirical and in its way, warmly spirited observational comedy FROM Mr Cohen. It’s called: ALI G / BORAT. You just have to dig DEEP to go looking for that. Back in a more innocent era. When fooling politicians into skits was a sophisticated yet accessible premise for genuinely insightful fun from Cohen, rather than excuse for infantile inanity. When you could STILL surprise an audience and push boundaries without actually violating those in an unkind and unfunny manner.
I don’t know the answer to ‘WHO IS AMERICA?’. But know this: if asked ‘Who is Sacha Baron Cohen?’. I’d far rather show them ALI G /BORAT and even BRUNO..than this current odyssey through American extremism. Because neither Cohen nor America are well represented by the work so far..
WHO IS AMERICA is available to stream via Channel 4. It is made in association with SHOWTIME. It is well made and informative and fun..it’s just not half as FUNNY or clever or groundbreakingly edgy as it THINKS it is..But judge for yerselves..