Bona fide clown eyes Knesset seat
Popular children’s entertainer Yuval Shem Tov given third spot on nascent Calcala party list
Popular children’s entertainer Yuval Shem Tov, known professionally as “Yuval Hamevulbal” (Yuval the Confused), will attempt to enter the Knesset as No. 3 on the list of the new Calcala party, a nascent, economic policy-oriented political party launched this year by two American-Israeli brothers, the party announced Wednesday.
Shem Tov, as the funny, singing television personality clad in his trademark yellow T-shirt with a big blue star on the front, is one of the best-known entertainers in Israel and is particularly beloved by small children. He said the party approached him about entering politics, but at first he responded that he was “happy blowing balloons.”
However, after seeing the party’s platform, which focuses on pro-business and family issues, he decided to “help them enter the Knesset.”
Calcala was formed just six months ago by two US-born brothers, veteran businessmen Daniel and Benny Goldstein. Recent polls, conducted before Wednesday’s announcement and therefore not taking Yuval Hamevulbal’s star power into account, indicated that the new party would not attain the number of votes (the equivalent of three seats) necessary to enter the Knesset.
Shem Tov said on Wednesday that if he made it into the Knesset, he would advance legislation aimed at improving conditions for children in Israel and would still continue in his role as a children’s entertainer.
Maybe he can entertain the rest of us as well. When asked by Army Radio on Wednesday morning if he wanted to be the “Sar Hahinuch” (Minister of Education), Shem Tov said he wanted to be the “Sar Hahiyuch” (Minister of Smiles).
National elections are scheduled for January 22.