Egyptian TV Station Pulls Episode of Bassem Youssef’s Satirical Show ‘El Bernameg’, “The ‘Daily Show’ of Egypt”

An episode of Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef’s political satire show El Bernameg (The Program) was pulled last week because the show apparently violated the policies of the privately owned network, CBC. A few minutes before Friday night’s episode was set to air, a broadcaster on the network said the episode wouldn’t be airing because Youssef and his producer “insist on continuing to not commit to the editorial policy” of the network.

The show had been on a four-month hiatus over the summer, missing much of the chaos that ensued when the country’s Islamist president Mohammed Morsi was toppled in July. Morsi had a been a frequent target of Youssef’s attacks, but now that a nationalist, pro-military attitude has swept the country, Youssef returned on October 25 with jokes targeting both Morsi and current military leader Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. That drew criticism from military supporters, and CBC had attempted to distance themselves from Youssef’s program, stating that it is “keen on not using phrases and innuendos that may lead to mocking national sentiment or symbols of the Egyptian state.” As a result, Youssef had devoted much of the episode due to air last Friday to mocking CBC and its editorial policies. The show has been suspended, and it’s unclear when or if it will return.

An incredibly popular satirical show, El Bernameg is often compared to The Daily Show, and Youssef has been called “the Egyptian Jon Stewart”. The two are good friends; below, watch Youssef’s appearance on The Daily Show from April, as well as Stewart’s appearance on El Bernameg from June.

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