Egypt’s Jon Stewart: Humorous Political Satire and Serious Culture Jamming
With the upsurge of political resistance in January 2011, politics became the focus of the majority of Egyptians. In such troubled times, political satire is often used as a form of revolt that serves to publicly express feelings and challenge the course of action. A new type of political satire emerged via Bassem Youssef’s YouTube show that earned him millions of viewers in just a few months. Shortly after, Youssef was dubbed “Egypt’s Jon Stewart” and started to present his popular television show Al-Bernameg. The show mocked politicians and parodied mainstream media in Egypt. This was a new phenomenon that elicited controversial feedback, with some critics stating that the show simply provided satirical social and political commentary, while others arguing that the content was inappropriate for broadcast television. This article qualitatively analyzes the program’s content and format to explore instances in which the show deconstructs dominant political discourses and ideologies disseminated by Egyptian mainstream media.