Magazine article Tablet Magazine

The Jewish Comedian Who Went from Playing the President on Ukrainian TV to Running for President of Ukraine

Magazine article Tablet Magazine

The Jewish Comedian Who Went from Playing the President on Ukrainian TV to Running for President of Ukraine

Article excerpt

On New Year's Eve, Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy confirmed the rumors and proclaimed his candidacy for the presidency of Ukraine. The 40-year-old actor and comedian is of Jewish descent, slim, youthful and possessed of a fantastically growly voice. His announcement roiled the upcoming Ukrainian presidential race and, capitalizing on his popularity among Ukrainians who are used to watching Zelenskiy play the president on television, immediately catapulted the young actor into the top three contenders for the real office.

Zelenskiy's political comedy "Servant of The People" is somewhat akin to a Ukrainian version of the West Wing. It is a popular fantasia of a non-professional politician with a stout heart who is uncorrupted by the system and upholds the righteous values of the people. On the show, Zelenskiy is the morally pure savior figure who arrives from outside the defiled system of mainstream politics to rescue a benighted country from its worst impulses. …

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