- By Ty McCormickTy McCormick is an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Previously he was a freelance correspondent in Egypt, where he wrote about everything from military trials to revolutionary rap music. A 2011 Pulitzer Center grantee, he has written for Newsweek, the New Republic, the International Herald Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times, among others. He has also appeared as a commentator on Fox News and American Public Media’s Marketplace Tech. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a master’s from the University of Oxford, where he was a Clarendon scholar.
It’s been an exciting month for the funniest man in Egypt. Not only was Bassem Youssef, a heart surgeon-turned-satirical television host, briefly detained for "belittling" President Mohamed Morsy and "insulting" Islam, he was also named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine (here he is giving a toast at the Time 100 gala). Bassem found himself at the center of a minor international incident as well when the U.S. Embassy in Cairo tweeted a link to the Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart taking Morsy to task for arresting the satirist, prompting the Egyptian president’s office to accuse the American mission of spreading "negative political propaganda."
Tonight, the "Egyptian Jon Stewart" will be back with the American Jon Stewart on the Daily Show, no doubt reflecting humorously on what has turned out to be a not-so-humorous time in Egypt’s history. In anticipation of his appearance, here are five obscenely funny clips from his own wildly popular show El Bernameg (The Program), which premiered in Egypt back in 2011.
Here’s Bassem declaring his complete and utter support for President Morsy … 55 percent of the time. Later in the episode, he talks about some of the challenges facing the media in Egypt, at one point quipping that every episode "can either take you toward fame" or "to Abu Zabal Prison."
In the clip below, Bassem pokes fun at Islamists for claiming that the opposition is only opposed to the new constitution because they’re "jealous." (He also takes a swipe at Morsy for apparently ordering his bodyguards to protect his shiny new car.)
Here’s Bassem taking Morsy to task for claiming that the solution to all of Egypt’s problems is … love. (The president at one point ludicrously claimed that "I no longer have power over anyone, except the power of love.")
Bassem on the "purification" of the media…
"Yo, yo, yo. Ikhwan G in the house, baby." Yep, you’re just going to have to watch this one yourself.