Navigate to News section

Mandy Patinkin Wants to be Israel’s Prime Minister

Homeland star announces plans to run for Israeli office on Colbert Report

Stephanie Butnick
September 05, 2014
Actor Mandy Patinkin on August 24, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Joe Kohen/Getty Images)
Actor Mandy Patinkin on August 24, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Joe Kohen/Getty Images)

Last time Mandy Patkinin appeared on The Colbert Report, he sang the Shehecheyanu during the on-air wedding of a couple whose wedding plans were thwarted because of the government shutdown (remember that?). How do you outdo that kind of performance? Apparently by pledging to run for Israel’s highest office.

Patinkin appeared on the show earlier this week to promote Homeland, whose fourth season premieres October 5 on Showtime. He discussed his beard (“It just brings me along wherever it goes”) and the state of the world (“it’s like they’re stealing your scripts,” Colbert says).

Sounding a lot like a rabbi giving a High Holiday sermon, Patinkin offers what he describes as an “antidote for it all.”

“I have a solution that I’ve come up with that I think will balance my participation in this world for however long I might have left to be in it. And I would like to know if you’d be interested in joining me.”

Colbert, of course, is in.

“As soon as this season finishes, Season 4 of Homeland, I am going to tear a page out of your book, your presidential campaign book, and I am going to enter myself to be possibly elected as the new prime minister of Israel.

He then asks Colbert to be his security advisor.

“I feel that with you as the head of security and me as the head of moral and ethical attitude towards humanity, the combination of the two might calm the region into on occasion laughing at itself.”

Colbert agrees, so long as he doesn’t actually have to go to the Middle East.

Patinkin, a board member of Americans for Peace Now (here he is in East Jerusalem on a 2012 trip organized by the group), has long been vocal about Israel’s politics and policies, so his passionate proposal on Colbert isn’t entirely surprising.

Still, it’s getting remarkably difficult to tell Mandy Patinkin apart from his fictional Homeland character Saul Berenson, a high-ranking CIA official who dispenses wise, weary advice about the Middle East. It must be the beard.

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.