Egypt is No Place for a Satirist

What do you do when your government becomes a military dictatorship and forbids freedom of speech that is critical of the regime? You can fight back with the one non-violent weapon most bullies fear the most – satire. Heart surgeon turned comedian Bassem Youssef knows this is true because he became an overnight sensation in Egypt after launching his own YouTube web series (filmed in his laundry room) that poked fun at his government.

From these humble beginnings to the network launch of his satiric news show Al Bernameg in 2012, Youssef quickly earned a following of 30 million viewers per episode and was soon dubbed “The Egyptian Jon Stewart.” All of this and more is chronicled in the highly compelling documentary Tickling Giants, directed by Sara Taksler and currently in selected screenings across the U.S.

*This is a revised version of an article that originally appeared on ArtsATL.com Continue reading