Netanyahu Guest Stars on Israeli Satire Show's Season Finale

Prime minister finally agrees to appear on 'Eretz Nehederet' - side by side with the comedian who impersonates him on the show.

The hundreds of people who came to watch the filming of this season’s final episode of “Eretz Nehederet” Thursday night were surprised to see that the political satire television show had an unexpected guest star – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu was filmed for a special episode in honor of the program’s tenth anniversary, which will air on the eve of Independence Day next week. The eight-minute sketch in which he participated involved a double interview conducted by host Eyal Kitzis – one with the real Netanyahu and the other with Mariano Edelman, who plays Netanyahu on the show.

The program’s editors have tried to get Netanyahu to participate in the show several times since he took office in 2009, but this is the first time he has agreed to do so. In contrast, then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak agreed to participate in an episode a few years ago.

The questions Kitzis planned to ask Netanyahu were sent to the Prime Minister’s Office a few days ago. Netanyahu and his aides then spent a few hours devising humorous responses.

About two weeks ago, “Eretz Nehederet” gained international exposure when U.S. President Barack Obama mentioned it during the keynote address he made in Jerusalem during his visit to Israel last month. “I want to clear something up just so you know – any drama between me and my friend, Bibi, over the years was just a plot to create material for 'Eretz Nehederet,'” Obama said. “That’s the only thing that was going on. We just wanted to make sure the writers had good material.”

Emil Salman / Haaretz Archive