Sacha Baron Cohen has been tricking people for decades. And based on his new Showtime series, Who Is America?, he’s still amazingly adept at pulling off major dupes — whether they’re on everyday citizens or prominent political and cultural figures — into saying embarrassingly revealing things on camera. While a lot of his disguises have been successful, including ones used on the likes of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Trent Lott, Rep. Joe Wilson, Virginia Citizens Defense League president Philip Van Cleave, gun lobbyist Larry Pratt, and former Rep. Joe Walsh on the show’s first episode, not everyone has been fooled. According to Washington, D.C.’s Warrior One Guns & Ammo store owner Norris Sweidan, Cohen failed to deceive him — and Sweidan has the footage to prove it.
Speaking to Fox 5 DC, the businessman says that in February 2017, his store was visited by a man claiming to be a documentarian working on a film about a Hungarian immigrant looking to buy a gun. That encounter was captured by surveillance cameras and reveal a man in a giant fake-looking beard and leather hat and vest entering and then exiting the establishment. After the costumed man left, Sweidan called him out on his apparent ruse.
“He comes in, off the bat you can see in the video I’m looking like, this guy does not look like a Hungarian immigrant, tight-a** leather pants, a beard, it just didn’t fit,” Sweidan told the local news outlet. “The moment his words came out of his mouth, I was like this guy is full of s*** … I’m looking at the producer and I’m just like am I being fooled right here? And I just kept looking at the guy and I was like you’re Borat, as soon as I said that his eyes just looked at me like, and he did a turn right out the door. … Once I knew it was Borat, we already know his game and his bull****, so we knew he’s here to make a mockery, and of what? Gun owners? The gun business, gun shops?”
It’s a rare instance of Cohen’s being caught in the duplicitous act, as reports indicate his tactics have also worked on the likes of Sarah Palin, Ted Koppel, and Dick Cheney — whose segments will be part of future episodes of Who Is America? For his part, Seiman has nothing nice to say about the comedian’s stunt, stating, “He was fake, the producers were fake, the show was fake, and Showtime is fake to be honest with you. They want a real story, come talk to us. Well give you a real story.”
To see who Cohen did fool into making fools of themselves, check out the next episode of Who Is America?, which — after debuting to an audience of 1 million last week — airs Sunday nights on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET.
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