Two Satirists Solve the World’s Problems – Not Really

On Monday’s episode of Comedy Central’s the Daily Show with Jon Stewart the comedian surprised viewers with a very special guest – the Egyptian version of Jon Stewart –  a man named Bassem Youssef. Youssed used to host a show that was strikingly similar to Stewart’s Daily Show but in Egypt until the show was banned from the airwaves for being too controversial. The main topic of conversation was American involvement in Middle Eastern affairs and their conclusion is not something that neocons who think American military involvement is always the answer are going to like…

Be forewarned the conversation is sprinkled with some foul language and some potty humor.


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Stewart: Here to help us make sense of it, Egypt’s foremost political satirist, former host of a now-banned TV program, Bassem Youssef. Right now, the middle east is spiraling out of control, what should America do about this?

Youssef: How about nothing?

Stewart: OK, we haven’t tried that one yet.

Youssef: Yes, how do you think our region got this way in the first place? For decades America propped up a who’s-who of military theocratic dictators. They gave you what you wanted: oil, airfields, oil, security arrangements, oil. And let’s not forget a few torture black sites…

…and in return, the dictators got someone their people could hate instead of them. When the garbage doesn’t get picked up for a week, who do you think people blame?

Stewart: The sanitation department?

Youssef: Exactly, we blame America. So you see, everybody gets what they want. It is a win-win! Not for the people. For them, it is a lose-lose and then no garbage pickup lose.

The people? You don’t want them choosing their own government. What if they elect someone America doesn’t want? If you had a friend who was a manager at Best Buy, but he is always a total A**Hole, would you want him fired?

Stewart: I mean, if I would lose my friends and family discount– ohhh. Oh I see, the next guy might make us pay retail. That’s ok, if the people choose the wrong government, we’ll help them get it right. Some boots on the ground, some advisers.

Youssef: Are you listening to yourself? Let it go! Seriously, you can’t let it go. America is like a dog with a hot spot on its butt called the middle east. You think you have to keep licking it, but you are just making it worse…

Stewart: Wait a minute, you’re doing it too, you are blaming America! You’re pretending that we are responsible for all the middle east problems. That spot on our butt was festering long before we licked it… 

You see, blaming the dog! The metaphor was yours. Look, America didn’t create all the corruption that cripples the middle east. We didn’t establish the entire patriarchy or the medieval justice systems. It was all F***ed Up before we even got there.

Youssef: Let it go.

Stewart: I’ll ask you one more time, what should America do?

Youssef: We want you to F*** off and leave us alone.

Stewart: Done.

Youssef: But not right away. We could still use the aid money, and a few weapons, and some investments, what I’m saying is if you could F*** gradually off, that would be better for everybody.

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