You know who my favorite comic in the world is right now?
Bassem Youssef, and I’ve never heard him tell a single joke. I’d never heard of him at all until this past weekend when his enormously popular Egyptian TV show was cancelled by his station for “violating editorial policy.”
In his first episode back from a four-month hiatus, he went after the broadcast organization and Egyptian government. The episode wasn’t shown, and his fans — including a number of prominent Egyptian leaders — openly criticized the censorship.
Listen, I don’t have to know what kind of satirical political humor he does on the air. It’s just that he does it in Egypt, and it appears that it’s a little more piercing than “a funny thing happened on the way to Cairo.”
Youssef has been described as the Middle East’s Jon Stewart, and that’s high praise because Stewart is at his best when he goes after everybody.
The world is filled with fools, and it’s the job of people like Bassem Youssef to expose them — even in Egypt.
I’m Pat McMahon