News

El Bernameg unlikely to make a comeback: Bassem Youssef

El Bernameg unlikely to make a comeback: Bassem Youssef

bernameg

Egypt’s self-titled “dark satirist”, Bassem Youssef, has said that whilst he hopes the wildly popular El Bernameg will eventually make a return, current circumstances “are not suitable” for a comeback.

In an interview with BBC’s James Reevell, the heart surgeon-turned-comedian opened up about Egypt, political satire and – the topic of his new film – the cost of “tickling giants”.

“People think that revolutions are easy, but there is no revolution that can happen in 18 days. It’s a process, a very long process, it doesn’t happen in a few days” he tells Reevell. “We have passed through four very tough years, it was a rollercoaster, like a rollercoaster of emotions, of feelings, of political change, and it affected everybody.”

Despite being the most watched television show in Egypt during the presidency of the deposed Mohamed Morsi, El Bernameg was suspended in April 2014 by regional satellite broadcaster MBC. Shortly after, Dr Youssef announced he would not continue to produce the show due to safety pressures faced by him and his family – a sentiment that he confirmed during the BBC interview.

On the topic of whether or not it is currently safe to perform political satire in Egypt today, he simply remarked: “Is it safe? Yeah, err, let’s hope it safe – how’s that for an answer?”

Perhaps alluding to his experiences as a satirists, he continued: “I do think that this planet is a totally unjust planet. I mean throughout history – history paints a beautiful picture when it’s written by the victorious, but it’s a planet that belongs to the strong and the more able and usually they are tyrants. So basically I don’t see justice happening to the crushed and the weak.”

Since finishing the show, Dr Youssef has been working on a number of projects ranging from seeking out the next YouTube stars for his Dubai-based talent discovery network “Tube Star Network” to working on a documentary on his life since 2011, “Tickling Giants”. He is also co-writing a Hollywood film called “A Comedy of Arabs” and was recently chosen as a Resident Fellow at Harvard University.

Click here to read Egyptian Streets’ exclusive interview with Sara Taksler, the producer and creator of Tickling Giants.

Two Gunmen Shot Dead at “Draw Muhammad” Event in Texas
3,700 Migrants Rescued off Coast of Libya

Subscribe to our newsletter


News
@daliaeldaba

Dalia is an Egyptian writer and journalist. Currently, she is particularly interested in raising awareness about the historical and current labour and feminist movements in the Arab world.

More in News

Egypt Closes Beaches to Combat Spread of Coronavirus

Egyptian StreetsMarch 28, 2020

Egypt’s COVID-19 Cases Surpass 500, Plunging Country Into Critical Phase

Egyptian StreetsMarch 27, 2020

Egypt’s Cabinet Holds First Virtual Meeting Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Egyptian StreetsMarch 26, 2020

Egypt Reports 40 More Coronavirus Cases, Raising Total to 442

Egyptian StreetsMarch 25, 2020

PM: Egypt to Impose Night Curfew to Halt COVID-19 Outbreak

Egyptian StreetsMarch 24, 2020

End the Sickness of War and Fight the Disease Ravaging Our World: UN Chief

Egyptian StreetsMarch 23, 2020

Armed Forces Director of Major Projects Dies Due to COVID-19

Egyptian StreetsMarch 23, 2020

Egyptian Major General Dies Due to Coronavirus, Cases Rise to 327

Egyptian StreetsMarch 22, 2020