The Saudis have taken to making fun of Joe Biden with a television sketch that portrays him as doddering and forgetful, which has since gone viral.
The SNL-style skit comes from the show ‘Studio 22’, and features Vice President Kamala Harris played by a man in drag who has to guide Biden to the podium and help him when he loses his train of thought.
The one minute clip has Biden wandering off stage, forgetting the name of the Russian president, falling asleep mid-sentence and calling his Vice President ‘First Lady’.
‘Listen to me,’ the president says. ‘I have a very important message for you. The message is…’
And he falls asleep.
‘We’re going to talk about the crisis in Africa,’ the Biden says. Harris has to correct him once again, bringing him back on course to discuss Russia.
It ends with Kamala Harrison holding up a sleeping Joe Biden and demanding that the audience ‘clap for your president right now’.
The SNL-style skit from the show ‘Studio 22’ opens with Biden and Harris walking onto the stage and then Biden walks back off the stage and Harris has to guide him to the podium
Biden begins his speech by forgetting the subject of his speech, with Harris prompting him. He then turns to Harris to remind him the name of the president of Russia
He falls alseep mis-sentence and when nudged awake by Harris resumes a speech about the president of China
The skit ends with Biden falling asleep again and a flustered Harris holding him up and maniacally shouting ‘clap for your president right now!’
Biden has a long history of verbal gaffes and slips where he sometimes appears to lose his train of though mid-sentence, often misremembering names of important people.
This has led to questions about the mental acuity of the US President, who will turn 80 later this year in November.
‘Studio 22’ is broadcast on the Saudi government-owned television conglomerate MBC in a country where the media is heavily censored and controlled by the government, suggesting that the portrayal is more than just the work of comics.
Relations between the US and Saudi Arabia, two allies in a mutually supportive but transactional relationship since penning a 1951 Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement, are going through a difficult period.
In February the Saudi government rebuffed a US request to increase oil production in light of sky high energy prices globally, telegraphing a marked lack of cooperation between the two allies.
Joe Biden has a long history of verbal gaffes and slips where he sometimes appears to lose his train of though mid-sentence, often misremembering names of important people
As depicted in the parody skit Studio 22, Vice President Kamala Harris often stands over Biden’s right shoulder during speeches and has been seen to murmur words to him when he gets forgetful
Above: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. ‘Studio 22’ is produced by Saudi government-owned television conglomerate MBC in a country where the media is heavily censored and controlled by the government, suggesting that the portrayal of Biden may reflect the attitudes of those in power in Riyadh. US intelligence publicly accused him of ordering the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) has also fallen within the sights of Studio 22, which produced a skit portraying Johnson squabbling with US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin over which country would take in an attractive female refugee from Ukraine
The US intelligence community publicly assessed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder and dismemberment of dissident journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, putting pressure on the US to hold him accountable.
And the Democratic establishment in the US is always keen to take a harder line against the Arabian monarchy due to its human rights abuses and repression of its own citizens.
The show, comedy show broadcast during Ramadan and available via the streaming platform Shahid, is now in its second season.
Boris John is another world leader to come within its crosshairs, featuring in a skit with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
In the skit the pair squabble over who will get to take in a female Ukrainian refugee standing between them.
They threaten each other and eventually each try to pull the woman by a ribbon around her neck.
She stops them and introduces them to her husband and son, at which point Johnson and Austin lose their interest and squabble over who should not take her in.
It ends with Austin dragging Johnson off stage after he runs back on to lick his hand and pat down his hair in front of her.