After months away from the small screen, TV satirist Bassem Youssef is back on the air but it is uncertain how long he'll stay. After a four month absence returned to the airwaves last Friday with a new episode of his weekly TV show Al Bernameg (The
Programme). The episode sparked a new wave of controversy, reflecting the deepening divisions in Egyptian society.
The Public Prosecutor ordered an investigation into a legal complaint against Youssef, one of several filed by citizens angered by his mockery of the military chief. Others were upset by jibes he made at the former ruling Islamists. Youssef has been
accused of inciting chaos, insulting the military and being a threat to national security.
Friday's episode played on the sensitivity about the recent coup. The word coup was never once mentioned on the programme. In one scene, Youssef is seen putting his hand over the mouth of one of his assistants in an attempt to silence him as he
utters the now-taboo word.
2nd November 2013. See article
An Egyptian television station has refused to air the latest episode of its star satirist's comedy series, after his show drew criticism for mocking the current fervour for Egypt s army.
Private channel CBC stopped the Friday night broadcast of Bassem Youssef 's show minutes before its 10pm airtime. Instead, a broadcaster read out a statement claiming that Youssef's production team was involved in a dispute with the channel's board over
contractual and content issues.
The channel did not give further details. But earlier this week a CBC newscaster read a statement distancing the channel from Youssef's criticism of Egypt's widespread pro-army sentiment , censuring him for using phrases and innuendos that may lead to
mocking national sentiment or symbols of the Egyptian state.
Update: A new job
9th February 2013. See article
Bassem Youssef, Egypt's top satirist, has returned to television for the first airing of his show since it was shut down three months ago. The heart surgeon turned comedian sent up the public and media for the adulation heaped on Abdel Fattah al-Sisi,
the army chief widely expected to be the country's next president.
In taking aim at the frenzy of support Sisi, Youssef went further in his criticism of the army-backed political order than anyone else currently allowed on the airwaves. Pledging not to discuss political issues that got his popular show The Program taken
off the air by private broadcaster CBC in November, Youssef showed that all topics in the country lead back to Sisi, who overthrew President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
After attempting in a mock game show to explore subjects ranging from cooking to sports, Youssef asked with exasperation: So what are we going to talk about?