Thursday, June 10, 2010

We Have Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show, But Israel Has Eretz Nehederet

In the U.S. we get our political satire from Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show.  Israelis, who have a lot of politics to parody, have their own outlet for making fun of the daily comings and goings of politicians and celebrities.  It's a weekly TV show called Eretz Nehederet (Hebrew: ארץ נהדרת‎, literally "Wonderful Country.")

It's pure satire, featuring references to current affairs of the past week through parodies of the people involved, as well as the thoughts of recurring characters. The program is one of the most watched and influential shows on Israeli television.  It was first filmed in Tel Aviv in 2003, and in later seasons, was filmed in the neighboring Herzliya.

According to an article in Wikipedia, Eretz Nehederet won the Israeli Television Academy's "Best Entertainment Program" in 2004 and again in 2006, and attracts millions of viewers every season. In a May 2008 poll, web surfers selected all the Season 5 Eretz Nehederet actors from into the top 60 Israeli comedians list. The top 7 spots were all taken by Eretz Nehederet, as well as #9 and #20.

Last month CNN profiled the show.  Here is their report, followed by a typical skit from the actual show.  This one has an interview with Shimon Peres and George W. Bush, with a little help from Bush's translator, Dora the Explorer.  Enjoy!

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