The 2018 Showtime series featured interviews with celebrities and politicians, all hosted by Cohen disguised as a range of over-the-top characters such as Israeli counterterrorism expert Col. Erran Morad and Italian billionaire Gio Monaldo. While none of them exist in real life, they prompted noteworthy figures, including former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio, to do some pretty shocking things, like autographing a “waterboarding kit” and debating gun control with a Shopkins toy.
“I had an absurdly ambitious aim,” Cohen said. “I shot that right at the end of the show, and I had achieved some things I was surprised by. Like, I never thought a politician [Jason Spencer, then a Georgia state representative] would get his buttocks out.”
Cohen had been referencing an earlier episode of his program in which Spencer, having been pranked by Morad, exposed himself and repeatedly yelled racist slurs. The lawmaker announced his resignation days after the footage aired.
“So I trained up with an FBI interrogator,” Cohen continued. “Again, this is reaching too high, but I thought, ‘Let me try it,’ because it was hidden camera ― if he’s ever going to admit it, it would be in a hotel room where he thinks he’s going to earn a lot of money.”
However, Cohen’s teacher wasn’t confident he had a shot.
“So I trained with supposedly the greatest FBI interrogator, and eventually he goes, ‘Who’s this for?’” Cohen recalled. “And I go, ‘It’s for O.J.’ And he goes, ‘That’s going to be tough.’”
For the interview, which was featured in the show’s finale, Cohen transformed one last time into his Monaldo character, donning neon green shorts, a white blazer and a man bun, affecting a heavy Italian accent.
Sitting across from Simpson, Cohen as Monaldo complained about his wife, saying “sometimes I want to completely kill her,” prompting a roar of laughter.
Monaldo then said he had a business partner who was “obsessed” with the 1994 murder of Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown and wanted to know how he “got away with it.”
“Hey, hey, I didn’t get away with nothing,” Simpson replied, smiling and throwing his hands in the air.
Simpson was charged in 1994 with killing Brown and her boyfriend, Ron Goldman, but he was eventually acquitted in one of the nation’s most controversial murder trials.