Sacha Baron Cohen Sent a Very Special Gift to the Art Advisor He Duped on His New Show

Cohen's latest show focuses on the absurdities of American culture.

A screen shot of Sacha Baron Cohen as Rick Sherman speaking with Christy Cones from Who Is America?

The art advisor who was pranked by Sacha Baron Cohen has received a very special parcel from the comedian.

In the premiere episode of his new show Who Is America?, Cohen’s character Rick Sherman—a British ex-con-turned-artist—seeks the advice of Laguna Beach gallerist Christy Cones to take his fledgling art career to the next level. “Sherman” explains that he started painting in prison using the materials available to him—which is to say, feces.

In the hilariously awkward segment, Cones gingerly critiques the artist’s work but doesn’t have the heart to tell Cohen’s reformed ex-con character that his work is, well, crap. The cringe-worthy interview hits its climax (or nadir) when Cohen’s character excuses himself to go to the bathroom only to emerge with a freshly “painted” portrait of Cones herself.

Rick Sherman’s portrait of Christy Cones. Screen shot from Who Is America?

According to Vulture, a week after the show aired, Cones revealed on Twitter that she received Cohen’s impromptu portrait in the mail as a gift along with a hand-written letter signed by his character, Rick Sherman.

“Im the English bloke what come into you’re picture shop last year to show you the art I done when I was in the nick,” Cohen’s in-character letter says, complete with spelling and grammatical errors. “I want to say how lovely it was to meet you, I hope your well and staying out of trouble. As for me, I told you I had only ever done one thing wrong, just 14 times. Well you can make it 15 now HAHAHA! Meaning that after a bit of time outside painting oil on canvas, Im now back in HMP Belmarsh painting feces on plaster again! Anyway, say la vie!”

Cones took the gag with humor, telling Vulture that she holds no grudge against Cohen’s satirical prowess. “Essentially, Sacha is carrying on a long tradition that was started thousands of years ago by guys like Aristophanes and Petronius and Jonathan Swift and Voltaire,” she said. “Art and satire, it hurts. I just wish everybody would quit taking themselves so seriously.”

If only the politicians Cohen duped had the same attitude.


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