From a makeshift studio in a Cairo laundry room to the halls of Harvard, Egyptian surgeon-turned-satirist Bassem Youssef has charted the tumultuous political path of his homeland through humor. In response to the Egyptian Revolution in the spring of 2011, Youssef posted his first satirical show on YouTube. After just three months—and 5 million views—he debuted al Bernameg (“The Show”) on Egyptian television. Due to lawsuits, threats, and governmental pressure, “The Show” was stopped after three seasons and Youssef, who had become known as “the Jon Stewart of Egypt,” was banished. He has since transformed his satirical news format into a lecture at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. The Joke is Mightier than the Sword is an off-the-cuff discourse about comedy, freedom of the press, and the state of the region.
Presented in partnership with UC Davis Humanities Institute.
Jackson Hall Stage | Post-Performance
Moderated by: Scott Syphax, Chief Executive Officer of The Nehemiah Companies; Host and Co-Executive Producer of Studio Sacramento, on PBS affiliate KVIE.