In case you didn’t already know, Bassem Youssef is the host of ‘El Bernameg’ (‘The program’) that used to air on CBC on Friday night. Bassem Raafat Muhammad Youssef is an Egyptian cardiac surgeon, columnist, comedian and host. In 2013, Time Magazine named him one of the “100 most influential people in the world”.
Bassem Youssef has without a doubt managed to push societal boundaries over and over again with his satirical news reporting and his consistent habit of shocking his viewers. Whether it’s making up names like “sisifore” or using sexual references to depict the political situation in Egypt, his show has succeeded to ignite controversial discourse throughout the country. He stands as the epitome of social reform whether you like it or not. His episodes have left the country torn between the conservatives and reformists. The conservatives question the talent of man that needs to use sex as his material for a satirical news program with good reason. However, the advocates of change or social reform, as I would like to call it, cannot deny that Bassem can push boundaries over the edge, but seem to have no problem with that.
As a viewer, I enjoyed the show. I cannot deny the fact that he has done what no man in this country has managed to do. He has brought laughter and wit to a time where politics made up societies daily discourse. He has managed to voice the frustration and anger of Egyptians who were tired of fascist regimes, media censorship and all in all the life of the human puppet. He gave people hope and helped channel their anger to something a bit more positive. People enjoyed hearing the news that haunted them all week on his show so that they could get to laugh about it.
Yet, I am skeptical of the amount of sexuality on this show. Granted, he does mention in the start of his show this is not a family show. However, my argument is: When you have a man as talented as he is, do you really need to stoop that low? Does he really need to depict Egypt as a woman with low lying self-respect? My argument isn’t that respect to one’s country is above all that goes without saying; it’s just the amount of sexuality in his shows. He doesn’t need all of this to make people laugh. In my opinion, his approach to comedy, though is quite enticing; is a little cheap. Everyone knows that sex sells. I think Bassem should stop trying to sell sex and start trying to sell his talent.