U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Israel had more than its share of comedic moments, and the local equivalent of “Saturday Night Live” mined them all for a special edition broadcast Monday night starring Trump and his Israeli hosts.
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Leading the pack was the moment that Likud Knesset member Oren Hazan crashed the VIP receiving line for the American president and took a selfie, despite what looked like an attempt by a mortified Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to grab Hazan’s smartphone.
“Eretz Nehederet” (“It's a Wonderful Country”), the highly-rated satiric comedy sketch show that dominates the ratings in Israel, took things a step further. The actor playing Hazan tried to subject Trump to the experience that is the bane of every Israeli celebrity: a request that he record a greeting for his nephew’s bar mitzvah video.
Other sketches included Netanyahu and his wife Sara hosting the American president and his wife for dinner at their home, with Melania Trump played by a cardboard cutout of a magazine cover. Sara, desperate for her friendship, chatted and bonded with her anyway.
First daughter Ivanka Trump made an appearance on the show too, with Trump bringing her to the studio panel discussion and proudly announcing: “To honor you, I brought my Jewish daughter and left the shiksa at home.”
Ivanka explained that she was teaching her father Orthodox Jewish customs, “like modesty, when you shouldn’t shake a woman’s hand.” The actor playing the president leered and replied, “Don’t worry, I never grab women by the hand.”
Poking fun at the U.S. president’s inability to keep classified information to himself, Trump pointed out his undercover bodyguard in the audience. When his security man got up and fled, he said, “Oh, he ran away. Don’t worry, he’s just on his way to meet his secret lover, Sandy.”
When Trump proudly showed off his Saudi Arabian sword, Netanyahu pointed out that if he spent enough time walking around Jerusalem, he’d be sure to collect a bunch of knives and scissors to add to his collection, bringing in some Israeli black humor about the wave of stabbing attacks over the last year and a half.
Along with “Eretz Nehederet,” Israeli advertising agencies jumped aboard the Trump bandwagon with their own impersonations.
The most prominent was the telephone company Bezeq, which used the U.S. president’s visit to promote a new internet security system called Smartnet.
Featuring Israeli pop star and actor Gidi Gov, it shows a hapless Israeli tourist ditching his White House tour group and invading Donald Trump’s Oval Office, where he finds Trump’s wig, suit and red ties and puts them on – becoming Trump.
He is immediately rushed into a meeting by his staff, who inform him: “Code Red! Someone broke into the White House network. It was the Russians!” Speaking in Hebrew, the fake Trump recommends they use Smartnet by Bezeq – interspersing Trumpisms like “tremendous!” and “China!”
He is interrupted when the “real” Donald Trump then appears in a bathrobe and demands, in a surprisingly Trump-like voice, “What the hell is going on?”
This prompts the fake Trump to say: “It doesn’t matter where they’ll try to break in. From the smart TV, the camera or the computer. Smartnet is the Iron Dome of the home. Let’s make the internet great again!”
The fake Trump is dragged out by his staff, crying out, “Not the hair!” and “Crooked Hillary!”
Appropriately, the commercial premiered on Monday night, following the Netanyahu-Trump press conference.