Comedy Now: Sacha Baron Cohen’s New Showtime Series Is Already Making Its Mark


Welcome to Comedy Now, a weekly column cataloging what comedy fans should know about what’s available in the streaming world. Whether it’s a brand new special, an old classic, or the oddball show that defies categorization, we’ll list as many as we can for your enjoyment right here. Who knows? We may even throw in a few non-streamable bits on occasion, like tour announcements from our favorite comics. You can check out the previous column here.

What’s Now

Sacha Baron Cohen asks Who Is America?

As a series of secretive posters, teasers and an odd July 4th tweet have proven, Sacha Baron Cohen is back. His new Showtime series, Who Is America? premieres this Sunday at 10pm ET/PT and will be available to stream online and On Demand before that. Much like his acclaimed Da Ali G Show program, and the Borat and Brüno films it spawned, Who Is America? will consist of a series of interviews with prominent conservative American politicians and figures. Many of them, like former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin, have already spoken out against Cohen.

Jim Jefferies returns to Netflix with This Is Me Now

Comedian and Comedy Central show host Jim Jefferies’ third Netflix special, This Is Me Now, is now available to stream. Most famous for his gun control screed in 2014’s Bare, Jefferies continued discussing America’s Second Amendment debate in 2016’s Freedumb. Seeing as how the comic has tried to “pass on his gun control mantle,” This Is Me Now lightly addresses the subject, but focuses on other matters. Choice items include the time he was contracted to perform for Maria Carey, before which he met a skeptical Eddie Murphy.

Bobcat Goldthwait’s Misfits & Monsters delivers a comedy anthology

With Bobcat Goldthwait’s Misfits & Monsters, a new series on truTV that premiered on Wednesday, the titular director has entered the realm of anthology television. Best described as a mix of horror, comedy and science fiction — or a funnier, less depressing take on Charlie Brooker’s hugely popular Black Mirror — Goldthwait’s new show is something the 56-year-old creator has been dreaming up for the better part of the last decade, as he explained to Uproxx in a wide-ranging interview earlier this week.

What’s New(s)

Netflix will launch a global stand-up comedy event series in 2019

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Earlier this week, Netflix announced a new stand-up comedy event series that is about to begin filming at this summer’s Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal. It doesn’t have a title yet, but it does have a target audience: the entire planet. Chris D’Elia, Neal Brennan, Nicole Byer and Nick Swardson will lead the American contingent announced thus far, but they are by no means the only ones to be included. The global program “will bring together 47 comedians from 13 regions,” each of which will record “a half-hour stand-up special.”

Iliza Shlesinger’s Elder Millennial gets a trailer

Back in 2013, Iliza Shlesinger joined Bill Burr and a few other comics by debuting a new comedy special exclusively on Netflix. Since War Paint, she has released two more specials with the streaming giant, and come July 24th, she will release her fourth. In Elder Millennial, Shlesinger dives into undeniable truths about life at age 35, the insanity of the road she has traveled and what more lies ahead now that she’s engaged.

Megan Amram’s An Emmy for Megan… gets an Emmy nomination

Remember Parks and Recreation and The Good Place writer and producer Megan Amram’s wonderful An Emmy for Megan web series? So does the Television Academy, as they chose to bestow two Emmy nominations — one for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series, another for Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama Series — on Thursday. “It worked,” Amram declared on Twitter, along with an image of herself crying (not unlike one of the web series’ more memorable moments). Sadly, the same can not be said for Nathan Fielder’s phenomenal Nathan for You.