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Best Sacha Baron Cohen Characters
Sacha Baron Cohen isn’t for everyone. Actually, Sacha Baron Cohen isn’t for most people. His characters are a lot to take in, but if you’re watching closely enough, he almost always has a point. In his new show, Who Is America?, it’s exposing a lot of uncomfortable truths about how our country has taken a turn for… well, it’s taken a lot of turns. But Cohen’s been in the game a lot longer than his newest Showtime venture. Here are the best of the best (and worst) of Cohen’s personas.
Brüno is the product of getting nominated for an Academy Award for satire. While Borat hit the perfect level of absurdity, Brüno was overkill. Too weird, too brash, and too offensive to take away anything useful. Looking past the offensiveness of the character, Brüno is a bit insufferable, unbelievably flamboyant, and a little bit pointless.
Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degeocell
If Cohen is anything, he’s an equal-opportunity offender. One of the new characters in his lineup tackles the left, even when it appears that he might be tackling the right. Dr. Cain-N’Degeocello is the caricature of your woke white academic who listens to NPR and allows his daughter to “free bleed on the American flag.”
The Dictator might be Cohen’s most polished mockumentary film to date, and he does a surprisingly good job as a the dictator of the Republic of Wadiya, on visit to the United States. It’s a bit more muted than his other roles, but considering how out there the others are, muted isn’t that hard to achieve.
The Italian playboy has only made one appearance so far on Who Is America? but it was in quite the non-partisan twist—he duped The Bachelor star Corinne Olympios into doing a bogus PSA for child soldiers in Africa. Not to rescue them, but to arm them. Olympios went along with the entire thing and even took part in being photoshopped into pictures to make it look like she was part of it.
Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr, PhD
We haven’t seen a ton of Billy Wayne yet, but we know that he dupes Sarah Palin, and dupes her hard. Dressed as a disabled veteran, Ruddick goes in on Bernie Sanders and represents a right-winger whose information sources are a little less than trustworthy, and when his opponents disagree with him, he simply moves on to a different topic.
If there’s one Sacha Baron Cohen movie worth watching, it’s Borat. Kazakhstan’s fourth most famous celebrity travels to America to make a documentary and challenges everyone he meets along the way. He turned “very nice” into its own phenom of a phrase and captured just how easy it is to dupe the general American public.
Da Ali G Show was what really kicked things off for Cohen. As a white, suburban rapper from England, he landed interviews across the board and duped most of them along the way. One of the most notable is his pitch to Donald Trump for ice cream gloves. The Donald didn’t take him up on the offer, but he did keep him around for just about two minutes while he sold an idea that no one quite seems to understand.
Colonel Erran Morad
Maybe it’s too early to be making this judgment call, but no character of Cohen’s has had quite the immediate impact that Colonel Erran Morad has. This character has effectively gotten high-profile Republicans to reveal they want to arm kids and ruined the career of Georgia lawmaker Jason Spencer. Colonel Morrad isn’t here to play, and he’s getting those he encounters to show their true colors, whether it looks good for America or not.