Comedic bashing

Michael Rapaport skewers Hollywood in ‘Eretz Nehederet’ skit

In mock Oscars ceremony, comedian calls out celebrities for not protesting Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack or advocating for the hostages

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

Comic Michael Rapaport in 'Eretz Nehederet' on February 28, 2024 (Screen grab)
Comic Michael Rapaport in 'Eretz Nehederet' on February 28, 2024 (Screen grab)

Comic Michael Rapaport is back in Israel, this time as host of Keshet TV’s long-running satirical show “Eretz Nehederet” (A Wonderful Country).

In this latest episode, screened Wednesday, Rapaport satirizes the hypocrisy of Hollywood stars and their silence regarding the Hamas attacks of October 7, appearing as host of this year’s Academy Awards ceremony in an English-language skit.

As he cracks jokes at the celebrities for not denouncing the Hamas-led onslaught in which Palestinian terrorists killed some 1,200 people and took 253 hostages, the camera pans the audience, showing the familiar actors, directors and faces of the Oscars ceremony crowd, using footage from previous awards shows.

Onstage, Rapaport compared the over 130 hostages still held in Gaza to the slender celebrities, joking “Neither of you has eaten in almost four months.”

He proceeded to lob barbs at the crowd for not speaking out against Hamas, suggesting they were wary of losing young fans.

“You don’t want to mess around with those notorious, scary Gen Zers. They are far more dangerous than Hamas,” Rapaport said.

He introduced several new categories to the awards show, starting with “best actor who has made millions playing a stereotypical neurotic Jew with back hair yet still won’t show some solidarity.” The nominees were Seth Rogen, Adam Sandler and Larry David.

“And when you finally say something it’s about the legalization of pot? What the f**k, man? You gotta be on crack. Pick a drug, Seth Rogen,” Rapaport said, singling out the Canadian actor who made waves several years ago for saying Israel “doesn’t make sense.”

He also took a shot at female actors who were vocal supporters of the MeToo and Time’s Up movements against sexual assault but don’t advocate for female hostages abused by Hamas terrorists,

“Hamas makes Harvey Weinstein look like Peter Pan,” he said.

One of Rapaport’s final quips was “the best actor who plays a dead Jew to get an Oscar but will say nothing about Jewish babies that are still in captivity,” nominating Bradley Cooper for his role as Leonard Bernstein in “Maestro” and Cillian Murphy in “Oppenheimer.”

“The loser has to give back his fake nose; you guys don’t deserve our schnoz, ” he said, referring to the prosthetic used by Cooper.

At the end of the skit, two “Eretz Nehederet” actors dressed as hostesses escort Rapaport offstage. One turns to ask if actor Will Smith is in the audience, “to give a hand,” a reference to the 2022 Academy Awards when Smith walked onstage and slapped comedian Chris Rock.

Rapaport also appeared in December on “Eretz Nehederet,” which is often described as Israel’s version of “Saturday Night Live,” when he skewered prominent American universities over the antisemitism scandals on their campuses.

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