Bassem Youssef Adds More Shows to “The Middle Beast” Comedy Tour

Youssef, a renowned comedian and satirist, is continuing his tour with shows in both Arabic and English.

Bassem Youssef Adds More Shows to “The Middle Beast” Comedy Tour
Bassem Youssef in an interview at the University of California, Berkeley. Photo credit: Roxanne Makasdjian and Phil Ebiner

Comedian Bassem Youssef has just announced more dates on his successful comedy tour. Youssef, a renowned comedian and satirist, is continuing his headlining “The Middle Beast” tour with new dates across Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Some of the added performances will be exclusively in Arabic while some will be only in English.

Youssef, sometimes known as “the Jon Stewart of the Arab World,” first rose to prominence as the host of the groundbreaking political satire TV show “AlBernameg” (2011–2013) in the SWANA region. “AlBernameg” was unprecedented for its bold political satire from an Egyptian host during the 2011 Egyptian revolution. The series started as a YouTube series of 5-minute-long videos but quickly became the first online-to-TV conversion in the SWANA region and also the region's most-watched show, boasting 30 million weekly viewers weekly.

Despite widespread acclaim, “AlBernameg” faced controversy and legal challenges for its bold criticism of ruling powers. Youssef faced tens of lawsuits and was even arrested for his work. The impending threat to his safety led him to seek refuge in the United States in 2014, a country he recently became a citizen of. “AlBernameg” achieved record viewership in its third season but ended in 2014 due to pressures on the show and its channel. Youssef centers a political lens in his work to this day.

More recently, Youssef went viral for a series of interviews with Piers Morgan regarding the Israel-Gaza war on Morgan’s show “Piers Morgan Uncensored” (2022–). Youssef’s satirical, dark humor and delivery made the topic digestible to Western audiences without mincing words about the reality of the violence in Palestine. The interviews surpassed 20 million views on YouTube within days of its upload, making it the most-watched segment on Morgan’s show. The conversation sparked a global dialogue about the current dynamics of the SWANA region, which this tour promises to address.

According to a review from the media organization Egyptian Streets, Youssef's show blends his political opinions with his stories and experiences from both Egypt and the United States. His remarkable talent lies in seamlessly balancing comedy and commentary, addressing serious issues with humor and wit. The show covers a range of topics, including regional differences in Muslim communities, immigration, censorship and the current state of global politics. Youssef's comedy encourages the audience to engage in thought-provoking reflections.

Tickets are on sale for Youssef’s “The Middle Beast” tour now. Find yours at the link below.

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