Born: Mar. 21, 1974
Bassem Youssef is a popular Egyptian satirist, TV host and columnist.
Originally a cardiac surgeon, Youssef began his onscreen career on March 8, 2011 with the B+ Show, which was uploaded to his YouTube channel.
The YouTube show rapidly grew in popularity and led to the first season of El Bernameg, ‘The Program,’ on the satellite channel ONTV in July 2011. Youssef’s popularity boomed as did his viewership with the second season airing in November 2012 on satellite channel CBC.
Inspired by Jon Stewart’s the Daily Show, Youssef’s show parodies and satirizes notable politicians and other public figures across the political spectrum, including then-president Mohamed Morsi.
His lampooning of the former president resulted in accusations of defaming the president, insulting Islam and spreading false news at the end of 2012. In March 2013 an arrest warrant was issued and he turned himself in to police. Youssef was quickly released on bail and fined.
In his last show, Amreeka Bil Arabi (America in Arabic) which aired in Ramadan 2013, Youssef departed from his usual satirical approach and opted instead for an in-depth examination of Arab Americans living in the U.S.
Youssef frequently contributes to various publications including Al-Shorouk and Al-Arabiya. In 2013 he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.
In June 2013, Youssef hosted Jon Stewart on El Bernameg.