The thing that gets you is the laughter. On Sunday night’s finale of Who Is America?—a segment that aired after the credits had made it seem that the end of the show had come and gone—Showtime offered one more instance of Sacha Baron Cohen fooling, and in that way revealing, a selected representative of the American identity. This time, the stunt-happy satirist was playing “Gio,” an Italian playboy, host of the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous–style show La Vita Diamante di Gio. Gio was meeting in a Las Vegas hotel suite with one such diamond-life-haver, a person introduced as “an American hero and women’s rights activist.” That person, the show soon revealed, was … O.J. Simpson.
The segment goes like this: Gio introduces his girlfriend, “Christina,” to O.J.; she professes to have no idea who Simpson is (this despite Gio’s references to “Buffalo Bill” and the Naked Gun films). Christina’s confusion is brief, though; Gio proceeds to make stabbing motions into her chest with his hand, at which point her face lights up with recognition. “She knows that, oh Jesus,” Simpson says, shaking his head and—this will be a theme in the segment—laughing. And then “Gio” tries, repeatedly, to coax O.J. into confessing to the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. After Christina leaves the room, Gio confesses to O.J. that “she’s gorgeous but sometimes I want to kill her,” and that “I want to send her on a private helicopter and throw her over the Grand Canyon—oopsie daisy!” Gio jokes about having her do a bungee jump where the cord isn’t long enough; O.J. tentatively replies that the cord could also be too long, to the same effect. “Me and you, we got something in common,” Gio says: “We both, how you say, ‘lady-killers’?” At this, again, O.J. laughs, uncomfortably.