A Trump-related video and two mysterious HBO promo videos have us curious about what Sacha Baron Cohen is planning. It would appear the comedian and provocateur is making a return to television. Various media channels had previously reported that Cohen had some kind of Trump-related project in the works, and now it appears to be a TV series for Showtime according to Variety.
“Details of the project beyond Baron Cohen’s involvement are still sketchy. It’s believed that at least one or two episodes have already been produced or at least roughly assembled.”
As Variety notes, the project is said to be “similar to Baron Cohen’s Da Ali G Show,” a hilarious interview series that aired in the US on HBO. The Hollywood Reporter links the project with a cryptic tweet from Showtime from June 29th, when the network advertised an upcoming comedy that would be “the most dangerous show in the history of television.” Though it says it can’t reveal the show’s title due to non-disclosure agreements, the ad promises that “something fucking huge is coming July 15th.”
There was also word that in addition to targeting Trump, Cohen also did a stunt involving O.J. Simpson in a Las Vegas hotel room back in February. As of Saturday, July 7, the Borat star has deleted all of his tweets, save one involving President Donald Trump (more on that in a sec), and around the same time, U.S. channel Showtime released two teaser videos so cloaked in mystery that it’s hard to even tell Cohen’s involved. And yet, it seems Cohen’s prints are all over it. What’s the deal?
Let’s start with the Trump-focused tweet Cohen posted on July 4. It’s the only one that currently lives on Cohen’s Twitter timeline (we’re unsure when he deleted the rest of his Twitter history) and it’s styled to look like a personal message from Trump. You’d expect the video to be July 4-related — because that’s Independence Day in the U.S. — but instead, the footage shows Trump calling out Cohen and telling him to take some acting lessons. Cohen’s caption for the video is fairly lowkey — “A message from your President @realDonaldTrump on Independence Day” — but it feels like something bigger is happening here, especially since the video ends with “Sacha graduates soon”, likely in reference to Trump’s demand about those acting lessons.
Another similarly-styled HBO teaser calls the show’s star “shameless,” “unhinged,” and “cold-blooded,” comparing him to characters from other Showtime series, including Shameless, Dexter, and Homeland. The adjectives definitely fit the bill when thinking about the Cohen’s antics in films like Ali G Indahouse, Borat, and Brüno, but it makes you wonder: What is actually going to happen in Cohen’s next TV outing?