Bassem Youssef, 'Egyptian Jon Stewart,' Appears on 'Daily Show' (Video)
The satirist, who was arrested in his native country for mocking the government, says: "They are insecure. They are locked up into their teenage years."
Jon Stewart praised his Egyptian counterpart, Bassem Youssef, during the TV satirist's appearance on The Daily Show Wednesday, saying "you have my undying support and friendship."
The Comedy Central host told Youssef: "Here's why you have my undying support and friendship: you are doing what I take for granted all the time and forget sometimes. You are caving out the space for people to breathe and express themselves in a way that I think is incredibly admirable."
Earlier this year, Youssef was arrested in Egypt for allegedly insulting Islam and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. The host of the weekly topical satire program, al-Bernameg, watched by more than 30 million Egyptians, was released on bail of 15,000 Egyptian pounds ($2,250), in March. Youssef, who was visiting New York City this week to attend a Time 100 gala for the "Most Influential People in the World" (he's on the 2013 list), told Stewart that besides "denigrating Islam and diminishing the president's stature," he has now been charged with "propagating and promoting homosexuality and obscenity."
Cracked Stewart: "We have a show like that. We call it Glee."
Said Youssef: "They think they can get away by their own agenda and they will tell you, 'Oh yeah, it's a democracy, you can say what you want but ... be polite. Be nice. Be presentable.' It's like, what is that?"
"They are insecure," he added of Egypt's government brass. "They are locked up into their teenage years. They still have pimples and they have to deal with their bodily hair."
At Tuesday's Time 100 shindig, Youssef addressed a star-studded and eclectic audience that included Vice President Joe Biden, former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords, Daniel Day-Lewis and the two Jimmys, drawing laughs when he called Stewart his inspiration "in a totally non-sexual way."
On The Daily Show, the comedian joked that America is "very dangerous" and he was "a little bit scared to be here," describing how Ann Coulter had been throwing shade his direction at the Time party. "She was like three tables away," said Youssef. "A zombie will not generate that negative energy."