There is one episode left of Sacha Baron Cohen’s Who Is America? and we still have yet to see a glimpse of Sarah Palin.
The former Alaska governor was the first major figure to come out and admit she had been “duped” by the British comedian for the Showtime series, explaining how his “disabled veteran” character had interviewed her at length before she “finally had enough and literally, physically removed my mic and walked out, much to Cohen’s chagrin.”
Showtime has recently hinted that Palin’s segment may not even air, but it seems likely that she will show up in some way or another in next week’s finale.
That same character, Dr. Billy Wayne Ruddick, PhD, dominated the penultimate episode of the show this Sunday night, sitting down with two former presidential candidates who both happen to be real doctors themselves: Jill Stein and Howard Dean.
Of the two, Stein seemed more eager to engage with Baron Cohen on the issue of climate change. “I’m a scientist,” she explained to him. “And it’s pretty clear from the science that the climate is changing.” She was not convinced by the charts he showed her of temperatures rising in the summer and then falling back down in the winter. “OK, you’re demonstrating that the seasons change,” she said, smiling generously.
Things got considerably weirder when Baron Cohen’s Dr. Ruddick sat down with former Vermont governor and Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean to try to convince him Hillary Clinton is actually a man. After showing Dean a doctored photo of a bulge in Clinton’s pants, he asked, “How do you explain that?”
“I explain that as maybe the trouser-presser did a lousy job, who knows?” an exasperated Dean replied, to which his interviewer asked, “You think the trouser press created a perfect penis?”
“Oh, who knows?” Dean said. “I can’t go here… I can’t do it. And we’re not going to find out, because we’re not going to examine her.”
Next, when Baron Cohen presented a “hidden shot” of Clinton using a men’s urinal, Dean struggled to come up with an explanation that would satisfy the host.
“Governor, have you seen her lady parts?” Baron Cohen asked eventually.
As Dean admitted, “I have not,” the host was quick to shoot back, “Well, isn’t that convenient.”
Compared to Baron Cohen’s right-wing political targets, Stein and Dean hardly embarrassed themselves in any meaningful ways—besides agreeing the sit down for the interviews in the first place. It’s conceivable that the comedian went easy on them because they are progressives, but it seems just as possible that they helped him prove liberals are harder to fool.