You know things are bad when Saudi television mocks the president of the United States in a SNL-style spoof. A state-run TV station featured a comedy sketch depicting Joe Biden attempting to address the Ukraine crisis, but he's seen wandering away from the podium and falling asleep mid-sentence, while also being constantly prodded by his VP over what to say given he struggles to remember basic names and information.
The sketch went viral after it hit social media on Monday, and comes after last month Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly rejected attempts by the White House to set up a phone call between he and Joe Biden, at a moment the US is urging the Saudis to ramp up oil output. Watch the brief segment below:
For the first time i see the Saudi TV mocking the US administration. pic.twitter.com/8vPtU0txJ8— Asaad Sam Hanna (@AsaadHannaa) April 12, 2022
The sketch from the show Studio 22 begins with "Biden" barely aware of his surroundings as "Harris" tries to pull him back on stage in order to stutter through some short sentences, as The Jerusalem Post described further:
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!"
The clip was an obvious and perhaps over-the-top attempt at highlighting the 79-year old president's cognitive decline in old age, also after a series of recent remarks on Ukraine that the White House had to scramble to walk back. The Saudi spoof included the following dialogue:
BIDEN: Yeah, we gotta talk about the crisis in Africa.”
HARRIS: [taps and whispers again]
BIDEN: Yeah Russia. And I wanna talk about President of Russia–[pauses].
BIDEN: Putin. Putin. Putin! Listen to me, I have [a] very important message to you. The message is [falls asleep and snores].
But just days ago a very real clip of Biden giving a press conference on the White House lawn while standing beside Harris wasn't too far off from the extremes that the Saudi skit depicted...
BIDEN: "I was in the the foothills of the Himalayas with Xi Jinping, traveling with him, that's when I traveled 17,000 miles when I was Vice President. I don't know that for a fact." pic.twitter.com/hoiGCUGckR— Greg Price (@greg_price11) April 8, 2022
He began by saying "America as a nation can be defined as a single word..."
But then Biden inexplicably drifted off and changed thought entirely, breaking into his own sentence with "...excuse me, I was in the foothills of the Himalayas with Xi Jinping, traveling with him, traveled 17,000 miles when I was Vice President. I don't know that for a fact."
And it's of course unclear what the bizarre Himalaya story was meant to convey. Given the timing and fact that the Saudi skit was produced days after that last Friday White House speech, the Saudis were clearly taking aim at the incident, using it to highlight current lack of faith in Biden as a global leader during the Ukraine crisis.