Dr. Bassem Youssef the famous satirist is crowd funding a documentary through the famous website Indie Gogo. The documentary is titled “Tickling Giants”.
Tickling Giants is a feature-length, exclusive, independent documentary about Bassem Youssef, the so-called “Egyptian Jon Stewart”. Tickling Giants is about one man standing up to an entire regime with no weapon but his biting wit. Facing great opposition, Bassem and his staff risk their safety to tell jokes.
I was drawn to this story because this is a group of people who do the same sorts of things I do as a Senior Producer at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, but with much higher stakes. As we’ve seen in recent events, it is horrifying to see how dangerous it can be to tell a joke.
Sarah Taksler, The Producer.
Here is the Trailer from Indiegogo:
At the start of the Arab Spring and in need of a laugh, Dr. Bassem Youssef leaves his job as a heart surgeon to host a comedy show. You know, as one does.
- Bassem’s show, an unprecedented Egyptian satire, had 30 million viewers per episode. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart averages 2 million viewers per episode.
- While many in Egypt are expressing themselves with their fists, Tickling Giants, is about people who make even louder statements through satire. This film explores how free speech and non-violent protest can make an impact. And it raises the question of whether a power structure that is threatened by a comedy show is really all that powerful.
- Bassem models his show after The Daily Show and studies every move of his idol, Jon Stewart. Tickling Giants shows how Bassem gets a chance to meet Jon, is invited on The Daily Show, and makes it his goal to get Jon on his show.
- Bassem shows that comedy can be both cathartic and dangerous, and Tickling Giants follows his attempt to remain on the air, keep his staff safe, not get arrested, and let those in power know they’re being held accountable. Oh, and he has do it all while being funny.
- The cast includes a writer who is a revolutionary, a woman who protests vocally despite concerns from her family, an impoverished poet inspired by the show’s message of free speech, an Executive Producer who leaves the country after his father and brother are arrested, and a few people who really, really, really don’t like Bassem.