The new documentary Tickling Giants, starring heart surgeon-turned-comedian Bassem Youssef, premiered last week at the Tribeca film festival in New York City.
Compared with the American comedian and host of The Daily Show Jon Stewart, Bassem Youssef created his political satire show ”Al-Bernameg” in the wake of the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Poking fun at Egyptian political developments following the revolt, particularly the powers that be, the controversial show was pulled off the air in June 2014, a week after Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi assumed the presidency. Youssef subsequently left Egypt for California.
Tickling Giants follows the team working on Al-Bernameg as they explore the new media landscape in Egypt after 2011.
The director and producer of the film, Sara Teksler, who was also a senior producer at The Daily Show, describes Tickling Giants as “a Cinderella story gone awry. Virtually overnight, Bassem Youssef goes from a doctor to one of the most popular comedians in the world. But, as his country, Egypt, struggles with the parameters of free speech, telling jokes becomes dangerous for Bassem and his staff.”