America needs a wake-up call and Donald Trump's victory in the upcoming US Presidential elections might be just the thing to do it, according to Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef.
While much of the world is horrified by Trump's extremist views on Muslims and immigrants, Youssef says that becoming President might open people's eyes to how terrible the political front-runner really is!
“Sometimes people with empty, angry, racist rhetoric should be given the chance to get into power so they can screw up so bad that people will wake up and know that it doesn’t work," says the former host of controversial satirical show El Bernameg.
“Maybe the people need to see it fail so they believe this is not the answer.
“At least you know the US is not North Korea. There are bodies and legislation that will not bow to him, and you have hope that it may not be as disastrous as it could be."
Despite having had his hit show "El Bernameg" cancelled by the Egyptian government, Youssef is still voicing his opinion on various issues in Egypt and the world.
The funnyman is currently filming a new online show, "The Democracy Handbook," for Fusion TV’s new digital platform "F Comedy."
The series follows Youssef around the US as he analyses American politics from his Arab perspective.
“It’s a satirical outlook for American democracy through the eyes of a Middle Easterner," he explains.
“It’s kind of crazy when you can’t satirise the conditions in your own region but you get given the opportunity to go and satirise America. I’m the first Arab to do it and that’s a great honour.
“It’s hard, because I come from a different culture, so why would people listen to me? There’s a lot of competition out there because everyone is doing it, but what’s interesting is to find that Middle Eastern perspective.
“So for example I can say to people, ‘Trump – seriously? Are you scared of him? We call this life, every day, get over it!’
“It’s such an incredible opportunity to do what I want to do instead of what I have to do."
"The Democracy Handbook" will be produced by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart producer Kathy Egan, whom Youssef has a good relationship with from appearing on Stewart's show before he stepped down as host in 2015.
South African comedian Trevor Noah is now hosting the popular show. But will we see Youssef back for a conversation with Noah, now that his old buddy isn't host anymore?
“The same team is there and Trevor is a really nice guy," he says.
“I’m always welcome there when something comes up. I think they’re not as focused on the Middle East right now, there’s so much going on, but I’m there if they need me.
“I’m more focused on building my own brand out there right now and the rest will hopefully follow."
While Youssef's natural on-screen charisma and great sense of humor might come naturally to him, he started off his career as a heart surgeon until the Egyptian Revolution in 2011.
The past five years of his life have been a roller coaster for him.
“It’s an interesting place to be," he says. “It’s been an interesting few years.
“I was a heart surgeon then, at the age of 38, I started something totally different and became a political satirist, first on YouTube, then TV, then theatre, then all of that was suddenly taken away and I had to start again in an alien country.
“This is something someone in their early 20s should do, not someone who is 42 with a kid and a wife, but here I am and I’m not going anywhere just yet."
Youssef's "The Democracy Handbook" will premiere on F-Comedy’s YouTube channel in the coming weeks.
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