Saudi TV mocks US government, comedy skit goes semi-viral

The jokes are nothing new to those familiar with US satire TV commenting on the current administration, but the delivery method and source sparked a range of responses.

 US President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, US, March 1, 2022 (photo credit: VIA REUTERS)
US President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, US, March 1, 2022
(photo credit: VIA REUTERS)

A clip from Saudi Arabian television show Studio 22 began circulating on Twitter on Tuesday morning depicting US President Joe Biden as old and incapable. The minute-long clip pokes fun at US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Studio 22 is a comedy show aired by the Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC), also available to viewers on the streaming platform, Shahid. 

The overarching theme of the clip is that President Biden is old. The character is obviously unaware of his surroundings and prone to falling asleep mid-sentence. Consequently, the audience sees Harris, played by a male actor in drag, telling the President what to say and do.  At the end of the clip, Biden finally falls asleep and Harris literally puppets his unconscious body, screaming, "clap for the president!"

Responses on Twitter were mixed. Some claimed that it was harmless fun and that US satirists have been mocking foreign leaders for years, so it is only fair that the US be mocked in return. Others, mostly Americans, agreed with the sentiment of the clip but said they were put off by the tone.

In addition, both groups positively and negatively compared it to Saturday Night Live. And of course, there were those who unequivocally liked it, echoing the sentiments expressed in the clip itself.

The fact that this clip reached American and other English-speaking audiences are remarkable in itself. The jokes are nothing new to those familiar with the current administration, but the delivery method and source sparked thousands of tweets in a rare instance of Saudi media making it to the American public. 

US PRESIDENT Joe Biden signs an executive order as Vice President Kamala Harris watches, at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 25. (credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)US PRESIDENT Joe Biden signs an executive order as Vice President Kamala Harris watches, at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 25. (credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)