Sacha Baron Cohen has duped dozens of high-profile politicians and celebrities, including Sarah Palin and a handful of Congressmen, who are featured in segments on his new show "Who Is America?" While watching the thinly disguised actor deliver his absurd questions, it's almost impossible not to wonder: How do these people fall for this? But even an actor as skilled as Cohen isn't able to dupe everybody.
So when one gun store owner in Riverside, Calif. recognized Cohen mid-shoot, things got a little testy. Norris Sweidan, the owner of Warrior One Guns & Ammo, recounted his story to Fox 11.
The incident unfolded at Warrior One Guns & Ammo in February 2017. Owner Norris Sweidan said Cohen and a camera crew met him at his store, claiming to be filming a documentary about a Hungarian immigrant wanting to buy a gun. Immediately, Sweidan said, something about the situation just didn't seem right.
"He comes in, off the bat you can see in the video I’m looking like, this guy does not look like a Hungarian immigrant, tight ass leather pants, a beard, it just didn’t fit," Sweidan said. "The moment his words came out of his mouth I was like this guy is full of s***."
As soon as Sweidan realized who he was dealing with, he called Cohen out...
"I’m looking at the producer and I’m just like am I being fooled right here?" Sweidan said. "And I just kept looking at the guy and I was like you’re Borat, as soon as I said that his eyes just looked at me like, and he did a turn right out the door."
...Prompting Cohen to walk out and leave his crew behind.
"We’re talking to the people they don’t wanna give us an answer, we basically told them to get the f*** out, you guys are all full of s***, have a great day, get out," Sweidan said.
Sweidan said he immediately realized what Cohen was up to, and was not pleased.
"Once I knew it was Borat, we already know his game and his bull*****, so we knew he’s here to make a mockery, and of what? Gun owners? The gun business, gun shops," Sweidan said.
The gun store owner also had a few choice words for the "firearm advocates" who appeared in Cohen's promotional video for his mock "Kinder Guardians" program.
"You’ve got some gun advocate holding a bunny on some gun, if you’re a gun advocate, what the f*** are you doing holding a gun with a bunny on it, really?" He said.
He added that Cohen picked the wrong gun-store owner to mess with and also had some choice words for Showtime.
"He was fake, the producers were fake, the show was fake, and Showtime is fake to be honest with you," he said. "They want a real story, come talk to us. Well give you a real story."
Sweidan said he believes his shop was targeted because he's in the process of filming a pilot at the well-known location. With the release of his new show, Cohen has found himself at the center of controversy over his decision to disguise himself as a wounded veteran to fool Palin, which has led to demands that he be arrested for violating the "Stolen Valor Act" (it's illegal to impersonate a veteran in the US). And while Cohen has clearly started working with a talented team of makeup artists, given all of this notoriety, we imagine it'll only become more difficult for him to continue fooling would-be marks.