The Project's Waleed Aly was surprised on Tuesday night when his co-host Sam Taunton and Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef made fun of the host for his sense of humour.
"Bassem, before we get into it, I was hoping you could help me clear something up," Sam began the interview. "Waleed here is Egyptian, and he tells me that Egyptian people are some of the funniest – famously funny – people in the world, but Waleed is kind of not the best case study for that."
As Waleed and co-host Sarah Harris protested Sam's comments, he continued, "Is that true? Are Egyptian people notoriously very funny?"
"Yeah, we are, maybe except Waleed because he's just too white, I'm sorry," Bassem said cheekily. "He's trying too hard to be white, I'm so sorry, Waleed."
Bassem is a heart surgeon turned comedian who catapulted to fame with his satirical videos on Egyptian politics. He later went on to host his own satirical comedy show, Al-Bernameg (The Show in Arabic), and is known as the 'Jon Stewart of the Arab World'.
.@Byoussef was a heart surgeon who turned his hand to comedy, and he tells us why he makes light of serious situations, including the Israel - Hamas situation that is unfolding in Gaza. pic.twitter.com/aS99HombZt
— The Project (@theprojecttv) November 14, 2023
The comedian told SBS' The Feed this week that it's a "huge honour" to be compared to Jon, joking, "I think he's sick and tired of hearing my name with him in the same sentence."
"Being compared to him is a huge honour ... but I feel like this poor guy, he has this Egyptian leech!"
Speaking about his recent infamous interview with Piers Morgan about the Hamas-Israel war, where Bassem highlighted the 2014 ratio of 27 Palestinians killed for every one Israeli death, saying it's "a very good exchange rate", the comedian shared why satire is important to exaggerate reality and hold up a mirror to society.
"I guess if you're going to kill 10, I'll have to kill a hundred," he said. "Even the person with the most radical approach will stop for a second, like, ‘Wait, I don't want to go that far.'"
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