Tonight at Hancher Auditorium, political satirist, Bassem Youssef took the stage in a grand way. Youssef’s speak was built on poking fun at all races, governments, and religion and in doing so bringing us all together as human beings. Bassem Youssef is a man I admire a lot. He stands up to military dictators, corrupt politicians, and is damn funny too.
He spoke for 2 hours and captivated the whole audience the entire time. He even took questions at the end and I’m proud to say I got to ask him one myself. I asked who his influences as a comic were. He answered immediately with the names of such legends as George Carlin, Richard Pryor, and Eddie Murphy.
When writing the promo for this event I did a lot of research into his career and became very familiar with some of his material but the show he performed today was all new bits and jokes. It’s always a sign of a great comic when they don’t reuse jokes from years past. He rapport with the audience was great and I could see on his face he was enjoying himself in Hancher.
During the Q&A, he was asked some pretty tough questions and was even asked why he doesn’t make any more shows about the current political climate in Egypt. He response was intelligent, honest, and funny. He spoke about how he had the viewership of 44 million viewers each show yet when his arrest warrant was issued they all turned on him in a second. He spoke how he feels now if he makes shows about this topic from the US it would feel wrong and not complete.
His new plan is to create a career where the population can see a middle eastern man on stage and not have fears and stereotypes be brought to people’s minds. He hopes that in making more people aware of middle eastern entertainers in America, that the world will then look at the incredibly wrong things that are happening in Egypt and take action. Someone in the audience shouted that he has given up the fight against the military dictatorship of Egypt but Bassem was quick
with a retort. He called out the young man in the audience saying how he was exiled from his home, missed the death and funeral of his father, suffered many more emotional and financial repercussions due to his badass protest of the dictatorship when in Egypt. He said he didn’t mean call out the young man but Youssef’s shut down was awesome.
He was there promoting his book Revolution for Dummies: Laughing Through the Arab Spring. “Youssef recounts his life and offers hysterical riffs on the hypocrisy, instability, and corruption that has long animated Egyptian politics.
From the attempted cover-up of the violent clashes in Tahrir Square to the government’s announcement that it had created the world’s first “AIDS cure” machine, to the conviction of officials that Youssef was a CIA operative—recruited by Jon Stewart—to bring down the country through sarcasm. There’s much more—and it’s all insanely true.”-Amazon
Bassem Youssef is a political satirist that we need at this stage in history and I highly recommend looking into him. Whether it’s his TV spots, Web series, Live Performance, or reading his book. He has a mind that is made for this generation and I think truly is causing a change in the world.
To look at his book Click Here.
For more videos about Bassem Youssef See below: