Sacha Baron Cohen is using his pranking powers for good.
The star of the new Showtime mockumentary series Who Is America? briefly put up for auction the “waterboarding kit” that he duped former vice president Dick Cheney into signing on Sunday’s show. All proceeds from the auction were set to go to the human rights organization Amnesty International.
Shortly after the episode aired, Cohen put the kit — consisting of one plastic water jug — up for auction on eBay, writing in the description:
Here is a rare opportunity to own a WATER BOARD BOTTLE SIGNED BY the Godfather of the sport – American war hero and all-round mensch, VICE-PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY
Unlike the cheap domestic water board kits you can buy on Amazon, this is a professional grade piece of military hardware. Fully functioning, it have seen many hours active use by me, both on the frontline of the War on Terror and also in my own home, where it has proved very effective at keeping my son, Eyal, in line. Indeed, if you too live in a bungalow, water boarding is a great alternative to the ‘naughty step’.
The bottle is made from Military Grade High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), meaning that as well as Water Boarding, it can also be used to Dr. Pepper Board, Clorox Board or even Urine Board potential terrorists or annoying neighbors.”
Yahoo News reported that bids for the jug went as high as $3,801 before the listing was removed from eBay overnight for unknown reasons. It was back up by Tuesday, with the new description:
“Boker Tov, my name Colonel Erran Morad. Here is a rare opportunity to own a military grade WATER BOTTLE SIGNED BY American war hero, VICE-PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY. Please bid freely, all proceeds from the sale will go to AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL.”
According to the listing, the jug comes complete with a “Complimentary towel” and “Zero (0) scruples.”
Amnesty International released a statement announcing the auction, saying: “Following this evening’s airing of Showtime’s, Who Is America, host Sasha Baron Cohen will be auctioning off the ‘Water Board Kit’ seen in his interview with former Vice President Dick Cheney to benefit Amnesty International.
“In the piece, Cohen asked former Vice President Dick Cheney about interrogation and torture,” the statement continued. “Amnesty International has long called for the use of simulated drowning and other acts of torture to be banned as interrogation techniques.”
In the Who Is America segment, Cohen, in character as an Israeli “anti-terror expert,” asked Cheney to sign a “waterboard kit.”
“Well, that’s a first,” Cheney said as he signed the jug. “That’s the first time I’ve ever signed a water bottle used for waterboarding. Very valuable.”
Cheney isn’t the only high-profile politician who’s fallen prey to Cohen’s pranks.
Using a variety of disguises, Cohen has also tricked former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders into interviews on Who Is America?.