Everyone’s favorite Egyptiant satirist, Bassem Youssef, has been forced into an early retirement over continuing threats and pressure from unnamed sources. Youssef started broadcasting his Daily Show-esque satirical news show from his home on Youtube during the uprising of 2011. After gaining a sizable following, the show was picked up by some local satellites, and garnered a ton of support from young Egyptians who had never experienced a show quite like this.
The newfound Egyptian freedom of expression seems to have swiftly ended with the recent election of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Basically, this Sisi guy has no sense of humor, and doesn’t like people poking fun at him. Dude, chill out.
It’s unclear where exactly the “threats” were coming from, but Youssef has been experiencing pressure ever since Sisi’s election, and he got to a point where he was like, “I mean, I love doing comedy, but I’m not trying to die over it.” That was me paraphrasing.
That region of the world doesn’t seem to be the most comedy-friendly place. It’s like a collection of all the people you know who just can’t take a joke. I kinda want to move there because I feel like there’s zero comedy competition, and I’d destroy with really played-out bits about airplane food and stuff like that. “You ever realize how people in the Muslim Brotherhood, they drive with their gun out the window like this, whereas dudes in Hezbollah, they be driving with their gun flailing around like this!?” I’d bring down the house.
Note to Egyptians: Please do not declare jihad against me. 🙁 I love President Sisi’s work
[Image via NY Times]