life imitating art

Ukraine’s New President? A Comedian Whose Only Political Experience Is Playing Ukraine’s President.

Photo: Kvartal 95

We here in the United States know better than anyone that political experience isn’t what gets you elected to office. Honestly, playing the president immediately before becoming president seems like a massive step up. Of course, fans of the Ukrainian political satire Servant of the People probably weren’t assuming life would imitate art quite as quickly as it has, but, following the country’s runoff election this weekend, actor, comedian, and businessman Volodymyr Zelensky is now the nation’s new president.

For three seasons up until a month ago, Zelensky played the role of Servant of the People’s Vasyl Holoborodko, a schoolteacher Everyman elected to the Ukrainian presidency after his rant against political corruption goes viral. (The show’s first season is currently available on Netflix, if you want to check it out.) In reality, the actor’s own message, broadly against government corruption and the status quo, reportedly won him 73 percent of the vote over the incumbent, President Petro Poroshenko. Zelensky will take office on June 3. All of which makes you wonder: Does Veep even have the fan base to get Julia Louis-Dreyfus nominated? And how can we get accurate polling numbers if everyone keeps sharing their log-ins?

Ukrainian Comedian’s New Role? The President of Ukraine.