Pick of the Day: American Cinematheque: A Virtual Conversation with Sacha Baron Cohen and Eric Idle 2/17
When it comes to character comedy, Sacha Baron Cohen stands tall, both literally and figuratively, above so many others for his daring and commitment as Borat and Ali G in service of comedy and satire. Eric Idle remains a living legend as part of one of the most lauded comedy troupes of all time, Monty Python.
You’d very likely pay good money to see either of them do a Q&A, virtually or in-person. Lucky for you, American Cinematheque is hosting a special virtual conversation between Cohen and Idle this month where the two will dive into their work. Truly, it ought to be illuminating to see both just as themselves talking shop.
This virtual conversation is set for Wed. Feb. 17th at 6PM PT/9PM ET. Tickets for livestream access are FREE, but be sure to RSVP here.
The Comedy Bureau Field Report Ep. 33: Chad Damiani & Clowning/Idiot in a Pandemic
Before COVID-19 took hold, a new form of “clowning” that was so much more rebellious and absurd than most other live comedy, or even any clowning you likely would have seen in the past, had really started to take hold in Los Angeles. Through the last few years, such inspired, spirited, and ingenious performers like Chad Damiani were instrumental into not only pushing the boundaries of what you could do with blending characters, improv, physical comedy, etc. on a live stage, but pushing the boundaries of what you could do with live comedy as a whole. Chad dives into the whole world of clowning/idiot, with TCB’s Jake Kroeger, as it was in 2019 going into 2020 and what the clowning/idiot community has had to do to adapt to the pandemic (a growing number of outdoor shows in parks). Also, some quick “hot” takes on Adult Swim Festival’s full virtual line-up and Sacha Baron Cohen setting his sights for Mark Zuckerberg.
Follow Chad @thechaddamiani on Instagram
The Comedy Bureau @thecomedybureau across platforms and please, please support TCB via GoFundMe, Patreon, or on Venmo (@jakekroeger).
Produced by Jake Kroeger
Music by Brian Granillo
Artwork by Andrew Delman and KT
Sacha Baron Cohen Tweets Pic of Trump and Mark Zuckerberg, Says “One Down. One to Go”
With the release of Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm in the thick of this year’s General Election, Sacha Baron Cohen stirred up the sort of controversy that he has made an entire career out of and specifically targeted the Trump administration. Specifically, Cohen dressed up in a Trump costume while in character in Borat to interrupt a Mike Pence appearance in order to present his fictional daughter, Tutar, to Pence as a gift. Even more notably, Cohen duped current Trump legal counsel Rudy Giuliani into a similar situation.
Now that Trump has lost to Biden over the past weekend, Cohen has indeed tweeted, “One down. One to go.” with a picture of Trump shaking hands with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Supposedly, one facet of comedy is indeed speaking truth to power and, within that, ridiculing those whole abusively wield power. No matter how hard hitting a joke (or even just a line in a joke) might be, it’s hard to truly see what the effect might be. There are plenty of very, very shrewd political jokes that, ultimately, only preached to the choir and an aside during a set by Hannibal Buress led to an accelerated downfall of Bill Cosby. Then again, the words of George Carlin still ring very loud and very true as a wake-up call, even in 2020.
It’s curious to ponder if Cohen showing the ridiculous incompetence, ignorance, and prejudice of Trump cronies (and, by proxy, Trump himself) has affected anything. Four years of Donald Trump as POTUS has given more than enough proof of this. Really, his first 100 days should have been enough proof to show how bad his Administration was and would ultimately end up being. It’ll be great to see Cohen dupe Zuckerberg especially since he has him, as of this tweet, in his crosshairs, but how that will bring about the downfall of Zuckerberg/Facebook is a mystery at this point.
There is no doubting that Cohen is mastered in the art of satirical comedic performance and that showing ridiculous bigots to be ridiculous bigots can be very satisfying. We want to hope that whatever he has planned will actually dismantle the social media giant and other like them. If Cohen actually pulls that off, that definitely would cement his legacy in the art form of comedy and The Kennedy Center should automatically give Sacha the Mark Twain Prize for Humor.
One down. One to go. pic.twitter.com/eQYi1pBqku
— Sacha Baron Cohen (@SachaBaronCohen) November 7, 2020
Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm Trailer Has Arrived
Of course, the movie that was officially entitled Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan would not simply have a title of Borat 2.
The follow-up to the original Borat will be indeed called Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm and it’s set for an Oct. 23rd release on Amazon Prime, just over a week and half away from the election. The trailer just dropped this morning and it would seem that there might really be some political implications with this sequel given Borat’s crashing a Mike Pence event.
As whispered about in announcements of Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm, Sacha Baron Cohen dons his famous Borat character, and then goes into other characters in different costumes as Borat (in order to not be recognized). Even though it still kind of sounds like Borat, Cohen amazes with what he’s still able to get away with.
See for yourself in the very first trailer for Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm here.
Borat 2 Will Be Streaming on Amazon Prime Right Before the Election
It wasn’t too long ago that the news that the sequel to Sacha Baron Cohen’s breakout film Borat was already in the can, which was pretty surprising on its own. That means Cohen somehow fooled enough folks in some sort of amalgamation of characters and did in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following that, we figured it would take some time to stitch together, but, alas, that doesn’t seem to be the case either.
Announced today, the sequel to Borat will be released via Amazon Prime near the end of October, conveniently right before the U.S. General Election on Nov. 3rd. It’s no surprise that Cohen would have anything up his sleeve especially since he hoodwinked Dick Cheney on Who Is America?. It does make us wonder though if Cohen actually has some actual “October surprise” in store for us all that’s not unlike James Comey’s ill-timed letter about investigating Hillary Clinton’s e-mails.
If he indeed does, maybe it will, at least, be more substantive to the election than what Comey found.
We’ll just have to wait and see. Also, if you’re taking a stand against Amazon, it might be a good time, in a few weeks, to take on that free trial of Amazon Prime.
Borat 2 Is Reportedly Already In the Can
Given the break that Sacha Baron Cohen took before he did Who Is America?, one might think he would wait an inordinate amount of time before attempting any of his undercover characters that he’s so famous for. Yet, a sequel to his landmark film and character, Borat, has already wrapped shooting.
It’s no surprise that this news comes after Cohen has finished filming since he already has to go to extremely great lengths to obscure his identity. However, one can imagine that there is no way that he could just do Borat and donning other characters might have been just Cohen’s angle this time.
Who Is America?, while effective in its execution and presentation, was a reminder of the dystopian America that many who tuned in were well aware of. The prospect of seeing Cohen’s damning, unapologetic, taking-a-long-hard-look-in-the-mirror style of satire at a time when the fractures of the world are more visible than ever will be a curious case while lockdown continues in 2020.
Sacha Baron Cohen Teases His New Undercover Interview Show “Who Is America?” Coming to Showtime
Well, it turns out that Sacha Baron Cohen had gone deep into character yet again over the last year to shoot his latest show, but done so in a way that is being touted as “undercover”.
We’re guessing that being undercover is the only way he’d get to talk to Dick Cheney as shown in this teaser and tweet (in which Cheney apparently signs a “waterboard kit”). You’ll notice that Cohen has donned yet another voice, though we’re not quite sure what ridiculous get up he’s in this time and what satirical angle he’s playing.
What we do know is that the show is called Who Is America? and is going for a rather short season and it will actually be premiering on Showtime this Sunday, July 15th at 10PM. We’re guessing there will be some satire of Trump, though we’re curious to see if Cohen will bring something else that we haven’t seen yet from the mountains of content that has been made parodying the Trump Administration.
We’ll all have to wait and see this weekend.
Bono Thinks That Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Their Comedy Should Be Deployed Against ISIS
While you might think this this celebrity fueled clickbait, take note that Bono from U2 did just go to a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing and suggested that comedy be employed in taking down terrorist group ISIS, specifically Amy Schumer, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Chris Rock.
That’s one of the world’s most well known musicians giving credence to the power of comedy and recommending comedy in fighting the narrow minded extremism over other art forms that are more often highly regarded for their political activism.
So, Schumer, Cohen, and Rock should be doing an ISIS roast?
Sacha Baron Cohen Tells The Story of a Deleted Scene of “Borat” That Involved a Disastrous Porno Shoot
For some reason, upsetting a real porn director on a real porno shoot where you’re a porn star seems like a relatively normal day in the life of Sacha Baron Cohen.
Matt Damon Does His Darndest (Including Some Help from Ben Affleck) to Get on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Nothing quite summons the performer out of Jimmy Kimmel quite like his on-going bit of continuing to postpone Matt Damon from being a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Their latest quarrel came after The Oscars when Damon got the closest he’s ever gotten to being on the show without kidnapping Jimmy.
May the “war” between Damon and Kimmel continue forever so Damon cameos at Kimmel like this one will keep happening.
Sacha Baron Cohen Sets Up His Own Production Company, Spelthorne Community Television
Yes, that’s an Ali G reference.
Sacha Baron Cohen along with his company partner Andrew Newman have started their own production company Spelthorne Community Television that will, as you’d expect, develop bold and ambitious comedy.
Right now, they’ll be based in the UK with a bit of a stake from UK network Channel 4, but don’t be surprised, given Cohen’s success in the U.S., to see series from Spelthorne Community TV stateside in the not so distant future.
Amazon Orders “Highston” Comedy Pilot From Bob Nelson
Screenwriter Bob Nelson is making the jump from indie hit Nebraska to the open TV pastures of Amazon.
Not only is Nelson writing “Highston”, but the ever-industrious and mischievous Sacha Baron Cohen will be producing it, and the Little Miss Sunshine team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris are set to direct.
Needless to say, we’re incredibly intrigued to see how all these folks mesh together on a coming-of-age comedy online.
The 4th Annual Wayne Federman International Film Festival Might Be The Best One Yet
Well, luckily, The 4th Annual Wayne Federman International Film Festival, the festival that brings comedians and their favorite films together at Cinefamily, has both of the aforementioned events as well as MacGruber star Will Forte presenting a screening of none other than MacGruber.
Every year Federman gets together a great handful of these screenings, but this year’s line-up seems primed to be especially great.
The 4th WFIFF runs from Thurs. Mar. 5th-Sun. Mar. 7th at Cinefamily and you can and should get tickets now.
First Promos for Sacha Baron Cohen’s Ali G Rezurection
Sacha Baron Cohen is finally getting back to his break out character Ali G on FXx in Ali G Rezurection on Wed. Feb. 26th.