It’s been the running joke of a gruelling fortnight: the surreal example of a comedian doing rather well as a world leader. The premise had previously seemed laughable (“The Comedian-Turned-President Is Seriously in Over His Head”, Olga Rudenko, NY Times, 21 Feb) as if other outrageous stand-ups might transfer their acts to the world stage. Here’s Prime Minister Russell Brand at the next NATO summit with his shirt open to his creepy navel. There’s President Frankie Boyle of Scotland admonishing the press like the front row of the Glasgow Apollo.
“Ya don’t feel so funny now asking ya clever questions, do ya, ya bawbag?”
The thought is ridiculous and frightening, and Volodymyr Zelensky an aberration, because no sane person would ever expect a mere comedian to lead a nation through its most perilous moments of war.