April 29, 2023

The Jokes That Flew Under The Radar


The Jokes That Flew Under The Radar
"National Team of the Moscow Aviation Insitute", one of the contestants in the humor TV show KVN. Ofitsialny Kanal KVN, Youtube

In a rare expression of public dissent, the comedy competition show KVN aired a team's sketch that joked about the draft, the economy, and the persecution of journalists on Pervy Kanal (Channel One), the most influential state-owned propaganda channel. 

Among the many comedy groups representing cities, universities, and schools in the competition was the National Team of the MAI (Moscow Aviation Institute). The group began their sketch with an announcement from a flight attendant: "For your safety, please(...) turn [your] roubles into Yuans."

Then, one of the actors nervously threw away his phone after receiving a notification, implying he was just called up. Afterward, MAI had more to say on their national currency's devaluation: "Don't be upset. I'm sure everything will be fine for us, just like the Russian rouble," raising eyebrows from fellow teammates.

Then, a group member asked: 

"- Who are we fighting against?

- Journalists

- No, I'm [talking] about [here in] KVN."

One teammate asked another to "not make up excuses like Iosif Prigozhin," alluding to a Russian music producer whose private conversation criticizing Vladimir Putin was leaked in late March. 

The team got a near-perfect score from the judges, except for one. Actor Dmitry Dyuzhev has openly supported the invasion of Ukraine, even holding a pro-Putin concert shortly after February 24. Another judge, Valdis Pelsh, has held concerts in illegally annexed Crimea.

The National Team of MAI passed on to KVN's semifinals, which will be aired in September. 

 

 

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