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

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. "Servant of The People" is filmed mostly in Russian rather than Ukrainian and centers on the character, Vasily Holoborodko. He is a school teacher who is propelled to fame for his populist tirades and whose political campaign is crowd-sourced into reality, thus bringing to power an improbable figure who lives outside of Kyiv and takes mass transportation to work. Holoborodko is raspy voiced, eloquent and perpetually perturbed by the nonsense and corruption taking place around him. His venting is the venting of the Ukrainians watching at home.

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Author:Davidzon, Vladislav
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Geographic Code:4EXUR
Date:Jan 4, 2019
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