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In one of the cooler tv moments I've seen recently, The Daily Show's Jon Stewart travelled to Cairo to appear with "Egypt's Jon Stewart", Bassem Youssef.

video via Albernameg, CBC

(McClatchy) CAIRO — Amid growing tension at the approach of the June 30 anniversary of Mohammed Morsi’s assumption of Egypt’s presidency, Jon Stewart, the host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” appeared on Egyptian TV Friday night, drawing laughs in a funny yet very serious tribute to the importance of satire in a free state.

Stewart was the guest of Bassem Youssef on Youssef’s weekly television show, “Al Barhnameg,” or “The Program,” one of Egypt’s most popular and most controversial shows. Especially since March, when Morsi’s government charged Youssef with insulting the president and Islam for, among other things, wearing a hat that mocked the one Morsi wore to a trip Pakistan.

Youssef was released on $2,200 bail, and Stewart has stood by him ever since, once devoting 10 minutes of his own show to Youssef’s case.

On Friday, Youssef introduced Stewart by saying that he had brought in one of the many feared spies of the regime. Stewart, wearing a black mask and led by two men in suits, walked in. As he lifted the mask, the crowd cheered.

Stewart deployed the little Arabic he memorized as he appeared on stage with Youssef, whose show is a weekly news roundup that looks like and is styled after “The Daily Show.”

“Shukran” – thank you in Arabic, Stewart said to cheers – and “khalas,” enough, as the studio fans gave him a standing ovation. “Oudou,” sit, Stewart told them, and “Ani regal basset,” or I am a simple man, followed by “Membaasaa al riftya” – I don’t want to be carried.

 

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Originally posted to Scarce on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 10:38 PM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges.

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