It’s been said that if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem quickly becomes a nail. That’s apparently the case with Sacha Baron Cohen, a British comedian who went undercover across America for his 2006 film Borat and now is the driving force behind the new Showtime series Who is America?
After several unpopular projects have since crashed and burned, Cohen is now going back to his roots and pretending to be filming a documentary about a Hungarian immigrant looking to purchase a gun.
That “mockumentary” series ran into a serious roadblock while filming in 2017, when the comedian crossed paths with Norris Sweidan, owner of the Warrior One’s Guns and Ammo store in Riverside, California.
In order to get the entire story, Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy interviewed Sweidan on Thursday morning, who recognized Cohen and derailed the comedian's attempted prank.
The Fox News anchor showed surveillance video from the store that captured the image of Cohen entering in dark clothing, a black hat and a long beard.
In addition, the producers of the segment had told people in the store that this filming was taking place as part of a “documentary about a Hungarian immigrant looking to purchase a gun.”
But when Doocy asked the store owner how he recognized the comedian in his disguise, Sweidan said (click "expand" to read more):
You know, when he walked in, the disguise, he just looked stupid. Tight plants, big boots — you can see — I mean, that beard, a dumb-looking hat and the, you know, he didn't say much. He just kind of, you know, he wouldn't make eye contact with me and you have to understand in the gun business, we pay attention to people. I'm talking to you, you're going to tell me, so this way I know what you're looking to get and what you're looking to purchase. He kept looking at the producers. Soon as I kept trying to make eye contact with him, I was like, yeah, you're Borat.
“After you said ‘You're Borat,’ he turned around, went out the door and left the camera crew and the producers there,” Doocy noted. “What did you say to them?”
“Here is the funny thing,” Sweidan responded. “I'm … trying to get answers, nobody giving me any answers. … That's when they left.”
Doocy then wanted to know when the store owner learned this incident was supposed to be part of a cable TV program.
Sweidan replied: “As soon as it -- this got released, which I heard it is flopping, so that's good.” He then noted: “You know, the disturbing part -- I'm going to be dead honest with you is about how they're mocking the Second Amendment, how they're mocking guns.” The store owner continued by calling out some Second Amendment rights activists who debased themselves by falling for similar Cohen charades:
So ... the really disturbing part is that you're putting a bunny on a gun and you have a gun advocate. You're not a gun advocate, okay? You don't put a bunny on a gun and look stupid. It doesn't work like that, okay? And Showtime should be ashamed for that.
“Everybody has a misconception of gun owners, okay?” Sweidan asserted. “Listen, people love guns just as much as people love cars. It is a hobby.”
Doocy then borrowed a page from conservative radio icon Paul Harvey by stating: “Now you know…the rest of the story.”