If you’re not burnt out on Sacha Baron Cohen yet (and the box office receipts for The Brothers Grimsby says people are), the comedian and provocateur is making a return to television. We 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.
Per 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.” 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.
So is the new show targeting just celebrities? And how different will it be from Cohen’s previous TV show, Da Ali G Show? Presumably, since the characters that show launched—Ali G, Borat, and Bruno—are all fairly well-known by now, a new series would offer Cohen the chance to create new characters to prank unsuspecting subjects. The question then becomes if the new characters will work or if people are too tuned into Cohen’s shtick that the stunts no longer work.
The untitled TV series isn’t the only Cohen show in the works. He’s also got a Netflix limited series entitled The Spy where he’ll play real-life spy Eli Cohen, who performed espionage for Israel in Syria in the early 1960s.
The larger question with this new series isn’t so much about what kind of stunts Cohen will pull, although if it’s directed at entities like Trump and Simpson, it’s likely to be talked about. The larger question is if his fame has blunted his ability to do these kind of stunts in the first place. The problem with a brilliant comedy like Borat is you only get do it once, and then everyone knows to be on the lookout for Borat. It remains to be seen if changing characters or setting will be enough for Cohen to get away with new stunts.