The Prince of Laughter

“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

Call him a clown, call him a traitor, call him whatever would make you sleep at night. I don’t care if some are thinking that Bassem Youssef is losing his touch or running out of jokes, because Al-Bernameg was never only about laughter; it served a much greater cause.

There is a reason why most Egyptians enjoyed watching Bassem Youssef when he first started working with CBC, when Morsi had already taken charge. Al-Bernameg offered 2-3 hours of boundless entertainment, with the ability to finally criticize and judge those who were in control of our country, destroying the fear and threats that once prevented our freedom of speech. And Bassem Youssef spoke on behalf of us, with none minding it as long as it served and supported our political views.

I watch the show not for the jokes, but rather for the satisfaction I gain from seeing the guy expose and reveal the corrupt and hypocrites. How can anyone tolerate the likes of Tawfik Okasha and Tamer Amin yet somehow demand the end of Al-Bernameg? Yes, the show is by no means suitable for all ages, and makes laughing at some jokes embarrassing at times with unneeded and inappropriate humor, but let us overlook this trait for now. Can you deny the fact that it opens one’s eyes to what is going on around us? Can you deny the show’s influence on the 30th of June revolution, as it helped us realize the true nature and mindset that El-Ikhwan possessed?

Now, as we gradually return to a pre-revolution Egypt, where fear and intimidation kept the people’s voice and power at bay, many are starting to object what Bassem Youssef is offering. He’s breaking the rules. He is acting as a wake up call as some continue to involuntarily fall back and let the regime take over once again. He is not just a comedian.

“You know what, you know what I noticed? Nobody panics when things go according to plan. Even if the plan is horrifying. If tomorrow I tell the press that like a gang banger, will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all, part of the plan. But when I say that one, little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds! “

When a government provides the people with false hope through a fake, fictional cure to severe, lethal health problems, and the people are so desperate and blinded that they believe it, you realize how easy it is for a few officials to brainwash the innocent. And what happens when you take that hope away? What happens when you destroy one’s dreams and hopes of survival? It is not about the jokes anymore, it is about the topics and incidents Al-Bernameg brings to our attention in order to take off the blindfolds and keep our feet on the ground.

Ever wondered why so many people are so desperate to silence Bassem Youssef once and for all? He encourages and drives the viewers to question what they’re seeing, to stop taking things for granted. How is that a bad thing? (Disregarding the government’s point of view on the subject)

I’m sure Bassem Youssef could go on and ramble about politics once a week in a more professional manor, but it is his choice to present his views and ideas through black comedy. You are free to agree and disagree, but if you really do believe and support democracy, you have no right to demand his silence. And if you are not a fan of freedom of speech, there are many others who do not deserve the chance and privilege to speak to the people through the media, and shutting them up is way more important and significant than targeting Bassem Youssef.

The problem is that he’s not acting in accordance with the plan.

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2 thoughts on “The Prince of Laughter

  1. I am waiting with bated breath for the return of Al-Bernameg! But I think we Egyptians also have the tendency to get very attached to single persons as opposed to their ideas and their work.Examples? Abdel-Nasser, Sadat, Morsi, even Abdel-Halim Hafez… Sisi… Need I say more? :D We should not forget that Al-Bernameg is a huge team effort, and Bassem Youssef is just the face of it (not to belittle him of course!).

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