You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Egypt’s Jon Stewart’ Is Back on Air and Making Waves

Bassem Youssef and his weekly series are more popular than ever with the young demographic

Egypt’s interim cabinet resigned Feb. 24 in a move expected to pave the way for the defense minister, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, to run for president, and also likely to set the stage for a standoff between el-Sisi and TV comic Bassem Youssef, known as the Jon Stewart of the Arab world.

The hugely popular Youssef has been back on the air since Feb. 7, after his weekly show “Al-Bernameg” (The Program) was pulled in November last year by private broadcaster CBC for mocking the military-backed government.

With millions of Egyptians tuning in once again to “Al-Bernameg” — this time via satcaster MBC Masr — Youssef waited three weeks before firing off his first direct salvo at the army chief.

The satirist aired a montage of several prominent Egyptian TV personalities rejecting the prospect of an el-Sisi presidency during the show’s third episode Feb. 21. Then Youssef addressed the defense minister: “I beg you, General Sisi, not to stand (for the presidency). Let this one go. People will remember you well for it. This would be an achievement in itself.” Prosecutors are currently investigating new charges by el-Sisi supporters that Youssef insulted the military commander.

Significantly, since he’s come under fire for mocking el-Sisi, Youssef’s popularity has risen, especially among the young demographic. According to a survey by independent Egyptian polling agency Baseera, 68% of respondents 18-29 said they liked “Al-Bernameg” since it’s been back on the air, up from 47% who liked it in October 2013, Ahram Online reported.

It will be interesting to see whether Youssef and his show will stay on the air in the lead-up to presidential elections expected in the spring and beyond.

More TV

  • A.P. BIO -- "Melvin" Episode 208

    'AP Bio' Canceled After Two Seasons at NBC

    “AP Bio” has been canceled at NBC. Series creator Mike O’Brien shared the news with fans on Twitter, writing that “This has been my favorite project of my life.” In the single-camera comedy, Glenn Howerton portrayed a disgraced Harvard philosophy scholar who lost out on his dream job and was forced to return to Toledo, [...]

  • James Holzhauer $2 million

    'Jeopardy!' Champion James Holzhauer Hits $2 Million Winnings Milestone

    This current “Jeopardy!” player has just won over $2 million on the popular game show. Who is James Holzhauer? The 34 year old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas has hit a “Jeopardy!” milestone by becoming only the second person in the show’s history to win over $2 million in regular season play. Holzhauer won [...]

  • Kanye West Shares a Memory of

    Kanye West Shares a Touching Memory of His Mother in Letterman Interview

    In a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician’s wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman’s question about [...]

  • CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism

    CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism Staffers

    CNN has laid off a handful of staffers from its health-journalism unit after deciding to place its health, climate and Southeastern newsgathering operations under a single aegis. ” As part of the normal course of business, our newsgathering team made a small restructure earlier this week that ultimately impacts 6-7 employees within CNN’s Health Unit,” [...]

  • Henry Ian Cusick

    'Lost' Star Henry Ian Cusick Signs With Buchwald (EXCLUSIVE)

    Henry Ian Cusick, best known for playing Desmond on the hit ABC series “Lost,” is signing with talent agency Buchwald for representation. Cusick also starred in the CW sci-fi/drama “The 100” and was most recently seen in the Fox series “The Passage.” His other notable television credits include “Scandal,” “24,” “Fringe,” “The Mentalist,” “Body of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content