Nothing to declare but his wit - Bassem Youssef's on a roll

Published April 1st, 2013 - 15:56 GMT

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Bassem Youssef beard
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Image 1 of 8: Back in January, Egyptian preacher, Abu Islam Ahmed Abdallah, launched a catty attack on Bassem Youssef’s manhood. The Islamist said the Egyptian funnyman is so “pretty” he should cover up with a full-face veil. Bassem responded: "All of a sudden I was afraid of turning people on."

Mohammad Sha’ban
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Image 1 of 8: In one episode, Bassem made comedy gold out of the famous “get me a man!" statement by Sheikh Mohammad Sha’ban, to which our comedy-hero replied “Get him a man, I have no time to meet him!" Sha’ban’s considered reply? Bassem is not a man. BOOM

Bassem Youssef Mohamed Morsi
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Image 1 of 8: Morsi is often the butt of Bassem’s jokes. No presidential blunder goes unnoticed by the Egyptian funnyman, who pokes fun at everything from Morsi’s dodgy English to his even dodgier threads. On his way into the courthouse, Bassem took aim at the President, wearing a comedy hat resembling the one worn by Morsi on his recent trip to Pakistan.

Hazem Abu Ismaeel Bassem Youssef
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Image 1 of 8: Never one to hold his tongue in check, Youssef accused followers of Hazem Abu Ismaeel of being terrorists, claiming that they did not scare him, but in a his dry wit, pleaded with them to not burn down his TV studio.

Mohammed Hassan Bassem Youssef
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Image 1 of 8: Mohammed Hassan, the firebrand Salafist, is often the target for Youssef’s dark humour. In one monologue, our satirical hero asked, “Where has Islam been? I do not recognize any idols!” Not one to take things laying down, Hassan replied with a diatribe saying Youssef’s words were more dangerous than bullets.

Isam al-Aryan Bassem Youssef
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Image 1 of 8: After the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Isam Al-Aryan, urged the Jews of Egypt currently residing in Israel, to return home, our mischievous Jon Stewart-esque hero, claimed that the north African country doesn’t have space for them all.

Khayrat El-Shater Bassem Youssef
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Image 1 of 8: The next target for Bassem’s comedy crosshair was Khayrat El-Shater, who once famously proclaimed that he wouldn’t be running for the Presidency. Bassem let his thumbs do the talking, tweeting that the Muslim Brotherhood weren’t after the presidency, but Satan is Shater (good). Al-Shater’s son was so incensed he made a video reply!

Bassem Youssef innocent
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Image 1 of 8: Bassem was hauled before prosecutors on charges of mocking Morsi and Islam, after he (hilariously) declared the government had files for everyone who prayed. Hundreds of his fans came out to support him at court.

Hailing from the nation that prides itself on its rambunctious sense of humour, Bassem Youssef has kept Egypt's liberals laughing throughout a tricky period of transition.

The self-styled Jon Stewart of Egyptian television has firmly stuck his satirical boot into the country's leadership, as they struggle with economic and political challenges in the tumultuous post-revolutionary climate.

A demi-god among his supporters, Bassem's polarising brand of humour has made him enemies among the country's conservative Islamist political class. Public denouncements of the star were followed by an arrest warrant being issued by the state prosecutor-general.

Arriving at court in an oversized imitation Morsi hat, Youssef kept his legions of followers updated throughout the session with a series of humorous tweets.

We take a look at the controversial moments in the career of the man who's swiftly becoming a national legend.

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