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Eretz Nehederet (Hebrew: ארץ נהדרת; lit. A Wonderful Country) is a satirical Israeli television show, which made its debut on November 7, 2003. It features satirical references to current affairs of the past week through parodies of the people involved, as well as the thoughts of recurring characters. The program is one of the most watched and influential shows on Israeli TV. It was first filmed in Tel Aviv, and in later seasons, was filmed in the neighboring Herzliya.
The show features a regular cast of comedians and actors, including Tal Friedman, Eyal Kitzis (the Jon Stewart-type host), Alma Zak, Orna Banai (6 first seasons), Shani Cohen, Asi Cohen, Eli Finish, Mariano Edelman, Yuval Semo, Roey Bar-Natan, Eran Zarachovitch, Yaron Berlad, Maor Cohen and Dov Navon (4 first seasons). During the third season, Asi Cohen started doing small roles on the show, and by the beginning of the fourth season (fall 2006), Cohen became a regular member.
Eretz Nehederet won the Israeli Television Academy's "Best Entertainment Program" in 2004 and again in 2006, and attracts millions of viewers every season. In a May 2008 poll, web surfers selected all the Season 5 Eretz Nehederet actors from into the top 60 Israeli comedians list. The top 7 spots were all taken by Eretz Nehederet, as well as #9 and #20.
- Uzi Cohen, former deputy mayor of Ra'anana and Likud central committee member, by Eli Finish
- Benjamin Netanyahu by Edelman
- Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes, wife of former Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, by Orna Banai
- Shimon Peres by Eli Finish
- Pnina Rosenblum, model and sometime politician, by Edelman
- Shelly Yachimovich, journalist-turned-politician (under the name Helly), by Tal Friedman
Following is a list of characters shown in Eretz Nehederet, both parodied real-life persons, and entirely fictional characters.
- In May 2010, a sketch played off tensions between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and American President Barack Obama, with Netanyahu trying to smooth over differences as they meet in the White House. A series of accidents caused Netanyahu to set the American flag on fire, stomp on it, and then torch a copy of Obama's proposed Middle East peace plan.
- In November 2010, the group used the video game characters Angry Birds in a mock up peace treaty sketch. The skit satirized recent failed Israeli-Palestinian peace attempts. The video quickly went viral across the world. It received favorable coverage from a variety of independent blogs such as digitaltrends.com, hotair.com, and intomobile.com, as well as from online news media agencies such as the Christian Science Monitor, Haaretz, The Guardian, and MSNBC.
- Muhammad Abu Tir of Hamas has expressed his discontent with the way he was represented on the program (as a terrorist disguised as a party arranger, who constantly invites Israelis to his "parties" while rolling his eyes).
- In a speech on March 21, 2013, President Barack Obama quipped that "any drama between me and my friend, Bibi, over the years was just a plot to create material for Eretz Nehederet. [...] That's the only thing that was going on. We just wanted to make sure the writers had good material."
- Flower, Kevin (19 May 2010). "Israeli TV show attacks taboos with humor". CNN.
- Barne'a, Or; Shiloni, Smadar (2008-05-07). "Asi Cohen the Funniest in Israel, Again" (in Hebrew). Ynet. Retrieved 2008-05-08.
- Van Camp, Jeffrey (November 23, 2010). "Israeli Angry Birds satire goes viral". digitaltrends.com. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "Breakthrough: Peace talks begin to settle bitter longstanding conflict". hotair.com. November 25, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "The Angry Birds Peace Treaty didn’t turn out so well". intomobile.com. November 23, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010. External link in
- Shaer, Matthew (November 29, 2010). "Angry Birds bound for Xbox, PlayStation". Retrieved November 29, 2010.
- "Israeli satire show goes viral with Angry Bird take on peace talks". Haaretz. November 22, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- Stewart, Keith (November 23, 2010). "Angry Birds Treaty brings casual gaming into the world of satire". The Guardian. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
- Popkin, Helen A.S. (November 22, 2010). "'Angry Birds' fail to negotiate peace treaty". MSNBC. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
- Remarks of President Barack Obama To the People of Israel