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NMSU to host screening of documentary about free speech repression in Egypt

The Communication Studies Department at New Mexico State University will screen a documentary titled “Tickling Giants” about a man known as the “Egyptian Jon Stewart” on Wednesday, April 25, in the Corbett Center Auditorium at 6 p.m. The screening is free and open to the public.


Poster of man holding a feather to a giant foot
Poster from the documentary, "Tickling Giants." The film recounts the efforts of Egyptian cardiac surgeon-turned comedian and his journey as the "Jon Stewart" of Egypt during a time of repression and revolution. (Courtesy image)

Bassem Youssef was a heart surgeon in Cairo up until 2011, during the Egyptian revolution. In May of that year, he started “The B+ Show” on YouTube, emulating Jon Stewart’s style of parody and satire. In three months Youssef’s show gained more than five million views.

After that Youssef, with funding from Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, started “Al Bernameg” on Egypt’s ONTV, which ran for three seasons.

The documentary “Tickling Giants” is about Youssef’s rise to Internet, then TV stardom – the first person from the Middle East to do so.

Throughout the filming of his shows, Youssef and his staff endured physical threats, protests, lawsuits and jail time all because of jokes commenting on hypocrisy in media, politics, and religion.

The film currently has 100-percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

For more information about the film, visit http://www.ticklinggiants.com.