Dubbed “The Jon Stewart of Egypt,” comedian Bassem Youssef created the political satire show “Al Bernameg.” The weekly program quickly became the most-viewed television program in the Middle East, with 30 million viewers per episode at its peak. To put that into perspective, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” averaged 2 million viewers.
Tickling Giants follows the team of “Al Bernameg” as they discover that democracy is not easily won. The young women and men working on Youssef’s show are fearless revolutionaries who just happen to be really, really funny.
In a country where free speech is not settled law, Bassem’s show becomes as controversial as it is popular. He and his staff enduree physical threats, protests and legal action—all because of jokes. As Youssef attempts to remain on the air, keep his staff safe and avoid being arrested, he continues to hold those in power accountable. Despite increasing danger, the team at “Al Bernameg” employs comedy—not violence—to comment on hypocrisy in media, politics and religion.
This screening will be followed by a q-and-a with Bassem Youssef and Senior Writer and Sports Editor of The Onion Seena Valli.