Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef to host Int’l Emmy Awards

Ahram Online , Monday 11 May 2015

It's the first time someone from the Middle East is to host the awards ceremony

Bassem Youssef
Bassem Youssef to host the International Emmy Awards in November (Photo: Courtesy of Emmy Awards website)

Egypt’s satirist Bassem Youssef is to host the 2015 International Emmy Awards on 23 November, organisers announced on Monday.

“Very proud to be chosen to host the International Emmy Awards in New York next November," Youssef tweeted in Arabic. "This is the first time [the awards] are hosted by someone from the Middle East.”

The heart surgeon gained widespread popularity for his satirical show El-Bernameg on YouTube and then on television after the January 2011 revolution.

"Through his own show and his many appearances on the Daily Show, he has become a comedic force and important political commentator around the world," Bruce L. Paisner, president of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, said in a statement on the event’s website. 

The awards ceremony has previously been hosted by John Oliver and Matt Lucas.

In April, Youssef received a silver medal for his work as a television host from the New York Festival's International Television and Film Awards.

During former president Mohamed Morsi's one-year-rule, the ruling Islamists were often targets of Youssef’s biting satire. Morsi was ousted in 2013.

In 2014, Youssef suspended his show, which last aired on Saudi-owned channel MBC Misr, after coming under political pressure not to criticise the authorities.

Youssef is currently a resident fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. He has also been a recurring guest on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show.

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