Dubbed the "Jon Stewart of Egypt" by The New Yorker, heart-surgeon-turned-satirist Bassem Youssef is now making waves in America for his controversial brand of comedy that launched him to stardom. In 2014 he was forced to flee Egypt, a nation unaccustomed to the questioning satire Youssef embraced in Al Bernameg, the most popular show in the country's history. From mocking former President Morsi to challenging the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, to satirizing President el-Sisi, the TV personality has built a fandom inspired to rebel against their conservative governments.
He has appeared on The Daily Show with both Jon Stewart and Trevor Noah and on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Since coming to the U.S., his narrative has shifted to a satirical criticism of Donald Trump, questioning both his Presidency and the popular response it.
A documentary film about Bassem Youssef released in April 2016,Tickling Giants, directed by Sara Taksler, was called "...an ebullient ode to freedom" by Variety and "first rate" by The New York Times. The new film might just be Youssef's last push to full-scale American stardom.
Youssef has spent 2017 releasing a book, "Revolution for Dummies: Laughing Through the Arab Spring."
This event is co-presented with Wisconsin Union Directorate’s Performing Arts Committee and Distinguished Lecture Series. Sponsored by the UW-Madison Middle East Studies Program.