While Who Is America? this week didn’t quite reach the audacious heights of the previous two weeks (and certainly won’t pressure any sitting politician to resign), the show proved it can still reach howling-fits-of-laughter heights when that’s not the case, and continues to show the degree to which so many people are credulous toward anyone or anything that seems to confirm their existing worldview, anyone with a veneer of authority or expertise.
That, of course, is primarily done through Erran Morad, the Israeli commando of varying rank. (I thought he was always credited as a Colonel in the first two episodes, but in the two segments this episode he’s credited first as a General and then as a Major.) As I’ve mentioned previously,
Morad is so perfect for this show because he flips that switch in Republican politicians where their critical thinking shuts down for lobbyists thanks to his two pet issues– guns and Israel.
Turns out that’s true for regular Republicans, too– and isn’t necessarily true for Republican politicians, depending on the circumstances.
The first segment features Morad talking to Roy Moore, who probably needs no introduction if you’re reading this website. (He’s introduced as “Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore,” so presumably this taped before the election.) The bit, which starts with Morad explaining Israel’s state-of-the-art defense technology to Moore, leads to Morad introducing Moore to a wand which can detect a pheromone possessed by pedophiles. In a gag straight out of The Office, the wand goes off when Morad waves it around Moore. Of course, he tries to explain that, no, he doesn’t think Moore is a pedophile, and the wand must be malfunctioning, but Moore decides to cut the interview off. I’m assuming that, at the point in time this was filmed, he’d had enough experience with being called a pedophile that his defenses immediately go up when it happens again.
After this segment, we switch over to ResistanceHole character Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degeocello, who tries to “bridge the culture gap” by bringing together former South Carolina Republican state senator Chip Limehouse, and Atlanta rapper Bone Crusher (“Never Scared”), through making a bunch of equally foolish assumptions, particularly about black people. (Among other things, he assumes both of them have seen Moonlight, refers to Will Smith as a “gangster rapper,” and mistakenly thinks “black” is an offensive term.) Neither of them can bring themselves to take him seriously, of course; things get particularly goofy when Dr. Nira quotes the song “Wild Wild West” as being about Will Smith’s dangerous adventures in Compton growing up. (Bone Crusher corrects him that Smith is from Philadelphia.) Really, Bone Crusher’s facial expressions are the best part of this segment.
The third segment is the highlight, as we get the return of Morad, recruiting your MAGA ultra-patriot types on a special mission to round up “illegal Mexicans.” Naturally, these guys are on board and remain credulous as ever, even as Morad explains that his plan involves throwing a fake quinceañera– since Mexicans are always going to those, after all– complete with their suggestions for how to advertise in ways that would appeal to the criminal element (“drugs, young girls, young pussy”) and a plan that involves fake costumes (“John” has to go undercover as the honoree, while “Jack” plays the role of the piñata) that come complete with fake breasts, a fake vagina, and a collection of condoms and KY lube. Morad explains to them that the lube is to make them more difficult to hit in combat, and the condoms are to put on their hands to keep them from getting infected (you know, a real thing that happens when you punch a Mexican), and I started to think this segment was just going to feature lowbrow gags at these guys’ expense…
…and then, the cops arrived at the fake quinceañera and I realized the point of having all of those things. It’s especially astounding as SBC, now playing Morad in disguise as the mariachi musician, completely backs off and shrinks away when the cops arrive, and the other two never call him out for scheming this whole thing. So it’s just up to “John” and “Jack” to explain why one of them is dressed up as a 15-year-old Mexican girl, wearing a costume with a fake vagina, carrying a load of condoms and lube, while the marquee outside the event reads “QUINCEAÑERA! FREE DRUGS! YOUNG GIRLS! YOUNG PUSSY!”
Holy crap, what a howlingly funny scene, these guys just having no idea how to explain their bizarre secret plan, while trying to maintain their respect for law enforcement. (And also apparently carrying fake weapons.)
The final scene has Dr. Nira, still in Atlanta, attend a rap battle. This ends up being ridiculous in the extreme, though he does manage to, by the end, suggest his dick is bigger than his opponent’s. He’s learning.
It’s stuff like the Dr. Nira material that makes me think people who expect this show to “take down” people or accuse it of “punching down” are missing the point. Half the time, the joke is Cohen’s ludicrous character. The other half, it’s the lengths to which he can get people to reveal themselves with only the most minor prodding. These tend to be the more memorable pieces, for sure. But the cringe comedy of Dr. Nira is still funny, even if it doesn’t always lead to something as explosive as last week’s town hall meeting.
Not quite on the level of the first two episodes, but that quinceañera segment had me in stitches, and Who Is America? remains the most vital show currently on TV.
- The ostensible purpose of Dr. Nira’s “bridging the gap” segment is to determine “why the Afro-diasporic community did not support Hillary.”
- The one great revelation from this segment: Chip Limehouse may or may not have gotten his three doctorates from a diploma mill.
- The guys who volunteer for Morad’s “entrap the Mexicans” project sure seem to know a lot about quinceañeras.
- “This couscous made to feel like Gal Gadot.”