Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef, a former heart surgeon, grew to prominence by hosting the satirical news program “Al-Bernameg” in Egypt, which captured the world’s attention during the 2011 Arab Spring. With 30 million viewers per week, the record-setting show earned Youssef recognition that crosses languages and nationalities. He has been proclaimed the “Jon Stewart of the Middle East,” named one of Time magazine’s “100 most influential people in the world,” and profiled by “60 Minutes.” Youssef has amassed an enormous following that includes over 7 million followers on Twitter (@DrBassemYoussef). Still, his show was deemed a threat and taken off the air under pressure by Egyptian authorities—and he left Egypt for the U.S.
In “The Democracy Handbook,” Bassem travels across America to learn the lessons of our esteemed democracy. Between corporate lobbying, lax gun laws, rampant racism, and a slew of other problems in the U.S., he discovers that democracy here is one hot mess. Each of these 10 digital episodes explores a different theme of our troubled democracy.
Episodes will be available in their entirety on Thursday, July 14 at FUSION’s website, Apple TV, and other OTT providers. The one-hour “Democracy Handbook” television special premieres Sunday, July 17 at 9PM on FUSION’s cable network. Individual clips will be released Mondays and Thursdays to Fusion Comedy’s Facebook page and FUSION’s YouTube channel.