Sacha Baron Cohen became famous for his rendition of the character "Borat", filming a fake documentary on "behalf" of the government of Kazakhstan. During the creation of the film, Cohen fooled many, including former Congressman Bob Barr and a local news crew.
But his latest stunt goes well beyond that.
"Basically, what I wanted to do was create a practical joke so large and so profound that it wouldn't even seen funny." Cohen told us from his London loft, "It was around 2004 and I remember that lots of American folks were rambling on about that year's Presidential election, so I figured that I could create just a romping good laugh by faking my own election.
"So I went down to the studio and began to draw up a general idea of how we could create a 'fake' President of the United States. We picked an actor named James Stephenson and sent him over to the States to act in a role as 'Barack Obama.'
"The character Obama was a simple state senator from the most corrupt city in the country. That alone would cause a lot of alarm bells. And his record was hardly anything-- In fact, he had more legislation aimed at closing domestic industry and outsourcing jobs than anyone in the Illinois state senate. That would create red flags too.
"And we casted a bitch wife-- I mean a total, over-the-top full PMSing rage-oid. I mean, people were turned off by Hillary Clinton cause she wanted universal health care in 1993. Well, this broad-- excuse me-- young lady, was casted to say that she wasn't even proud of her country. We figured that even some of the left-wing types would pause and think about it.
"And we made sure that Stephenson (Obama) would go to the most extreme, radical church this side of Jonestown. And the preacher he went to, we didn't even script. Wright was perfect. Between accusing the government of creating and spreading AIDS and celebrating the 9/11 attacks, this would be a great way to turn people off. I mean, in the script Wright married Barack and Michelle and baptized their children, all while calling for a separation of races.
"But that wasn't enough. People just adored the guy still. We couldn't figure it out. We made sure that he never spoke in-depth about geopolitics, and whenever he did, he would just confuse Iran with a Flock of Seagulls song.
"And his upbringing was a treat. His mother was a drugged-out hippie who posed nude for pictures and his father was a deadbeat. This wouldn't keep people from voting for him, but it should make them stop and think of the values he was instilled with.
"And even in his own autobiography he clearly states that he tried to hang out with the Marxists and radicals. He followed them around and listened to their rants against American society.
"And the biggest kicker was that he launched his political career at the house of a wanted terrorist, who killed American civilians and bombed landmarks. Not only did he go to his house, but knew him personally as a Marxist agitator and murderer.
"But when we entered his name into the Democratic Party primaries, everyone loved the idea that he opposed the Iraq war, even though he publicly stated that the people there spoke "Iraqese." He couldn't speak without prepared speeches, but they loved that his meticulously-prepped lines made him seem authentic.
"And we got him on every TV show and with every celebrity possible, to make it seem like he had no idea how politics worked. But it just seemed to make him more popular.
"But somehow, with all of his shortcomings and parts of his life that just didn't make sense, he still beat Hillary Clinton. Why? Because he was deemed 'cool.' Not competent, but the type of guy who could burp the entire alphabet.
"So who did the Democrats vote for? A religious zealot who knew nothing about foreign policy and was a former cokehead. Gee, isn't that what Jon Stewart tried to say good ol' Georgie was for eight years? And they wind up electing the guy. That one's the kicker.
"And now he's actually in office. I've got to admit, we're running out of material to give the guy. He's just flailing up there. If you have any suggestions, send me an email."
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