I swear to god, I am not in any way, shape, or form humblebragging and/or name dropping right now. In fact, I’m still kind of shocked and out of sorts about it all.
Last night, about an hour before I went to bed, I got an alert on my phone from Instagram that I’d picked up a new follower. Needless to say, when I saw what that follower’s name was, I was suspicious at first. Like, highly super suspicious, y’all. I mean. c’mon, really?
Could…could it really be? Did the actual, literal Sacha Baron Cohen start fucking following me on Instagram? Is that even a thing that can happen? I had to investigate, because it’s the Internet, and it very well could have been a 65 year old man in Alabama impersonating him. So, I opened Instagram…sure as shit, there was a message that said someone named “sachabaroncohen” followed me.
I kept digging. I next found his actual, real, verified account.
Hmm. It looks like it could…maybe be?
But this account only follows 26 people. There is no way the genius behind Ali G and Borat would follow me, a piece of shit nobody with less than 600 Instagram followers (plus more than 11k on Facebook and over 150k between The Political Garbage Chute and Alternative Facts, but he wouldn’t know that), and dude only follows 26 people. I took the next logical step and clicked on who he’s following.
And this is what I saw…
What. The. Actual. And. Literal. Genuine. Holy. Fucking. Fuck?
That’s…my username. Somehow, some way, Sacha Baron Cohen really did follow me on the ‘gram, as the kids are calling it these days. Needless to say, I still didn’t quite believe it. I mean, I knew it was true because I’ve been in the sosh-meeds game (not apologizing for that) for a few years now and can easily identify when people follow me or not. What I’m saying is I couldn’t understand why he’d do it.
Some of my recent satire: Matt Gaetz Blows .18 On Breathalyzer After Barging Into Closed Door Impeachment Hearing
So I slid into Sacha Baron Cohen’s DMs and just asked him if he’d meant to follow me. The next morning, as I sat down at my desk, I saw that I had a message from his Instagram account. And, as it turns out, he did in fact mean to follow me. The reason? He saw my piece about Mark Zuckerberg fucking sheep. Seriously.
It was this piece, right here, specifically, that caught his eye.
It was probably his assistant who replied, because they said, “Mr BC loved the sheep fucking analogy. He occasionally briefly follows in order to drive people to that site. So our policy is usually to unfollow after a week.”
I couldn’t genuinely care less that the follow is only going to last a week, if that. I cannot begin to tell you how crazy it feels having someone whose brand of satire you aspire to live up to one day, who is literally one of the greatest living satirists, follow my shit made me feel. I don’t really feel worthy to be mentioned in the same breath as the rest of the people he follows, all of whom are absolute titans of comedy. And Mr. BC himself is such a tremendous actor and satirist that people really thought Ali G and Borat were real people. He’s the goddamn Andy Kaufman of our generation, and Andy happens to be one of my biggest comedic influences, too.
Yeah, it’s just one piece. And yeah, he’s going to unfollow me sooner rather than later. But as I get ready to turn 40, which is what these pieces are all about, I’m not going to lie — it’s validation that I want and need. Don’t get me wrong, having the love and support of my wife, my kids, most of my family, and my friends and loved ones is sustaining. It’s clearly so, because I’ve kept doing this without any follows from Sacha Baron Cohen before now, and I’ll keep going long after he unfollows.
But the truth us, being told, directly, that I’m “on his radar” means that Sacha Baron Cohen gets me. At least he got this one piece he liked enough to try and use his enormous social media clout to drive traffic to it. That’s…fucking insanely cool of him. No one has to do that for me, or anyone. It’s like I’m going to be able to parlay this into a gig writing for him or anything, but validation, as an artist, is really all you can ask for in life because there are millions of people out there who will tear you down and make you question everything you do.
So…yeah. I wrote something that caught the attention of a comedy legend, and at least for the next week or so, I’m going to let myself feel pretty okay about it, thank you very much.
Catch up on the rest of the year’s entries HERE.
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.