The Best 5 Clips From Zelensky’s Past Life As An Entertainer

(TPM/Illustration/Getty Images/YouTube)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

For Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, life indeed imitates art.

During a virtual address on Tuesday, Zelensky urged the European Parliament “to prove they are with us” by allowing Ukraine to join the European Union, which currently has 27 members, amid Russia’s unprovoked invasion of the country.

“We have proven our strength,” Zelensky said in translated remarks. “So do prove that you are with us. Prove that you will not let us go. Prove that you indeed are Europeans.”

But for Zelensky, it wasn’t his first time making the demand — well, at least in real life.

The last time Zelensky asked to join the EU

Before entering office in 2019, Zelensky was a successful entertainer in Ukraine, starring in a hit TV show titled “Servant of the People.” Zelensky played a high school history teacher whose viral rant against government corruption in Ukraine unexpectedly led to his character getting elected as president of the country.

In one scene, Zelensky’s character, Vasyl Petrovych Holoborodko, becomes excited when he gets a call from the office of then-German chancellor Angela Merkel, who informs him that the EU has decided to accept Ukraine into the union.

But not so fast — Merkel’s office apparently meant to call the president of Balkan country Montenegro, not Ukraine.

(Bonus clip: In the show, Zelensky’s character also at one point declares that Russian President Vladimir Putin “has been toppled!”)

Ukraine’s Paddington

In addition to foreshadowing his eventual career in politics, Zelensky’s entertainment career also extended to voice overs.

Most notably, the Ukrainian version of “Paddington Bear,” in which Zelensky voiced the main character in the Ukrainian versions of both 2014’s “Paddington” and 2017’s “Paddington 2.”

Sean Spicer, Step Aside

And let’s not forget the time when Ukraine’s president worked the ballroom all the way to winning the Ukrainian version of “Dancing With the Stars” in 2006.

Balls To The Wall

Zelensky also flexed his comedic chops well before entering office.

Among his goofiest moments, Zelensky is seen with four other men standing behind a piano with their pants around their ankles as they pretend to play the Jewish folk song “Hava Nagila” without using their … hands.

Giving Beyonce A Run For Her Money

It’s the leather pants and heels for me:

Latest Five Points
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: