Jon Stewart Appears On Egyptian TV, Talks With the Egyptian Jon Stewart, Bassem Youssef
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Jon Stewart Appears On Egyptian TV, Talks With the Egyptian Jon Stewart, Bassem Youssef

By Dustin Rowles | Videos | June 22, 2013 | Comments ()


Jon Stewart, who is currently in the Middle East filming Rosewater, his movie about Maziar Bahari, sat down for an interview on their version of "The Daily Show." In it, he discusses his film, Egyptian traffic, Fox news, and some of the differences between American political comedy and political comedy in the Middle East. It's an amusing interview, but it's also fascinating to get the liberal Egyptian perspective on Stewart, and to see the mutual respect between an Arab and a Jew in the Middle East. It's a 20 minute interview, and you're almost certain to get sucked into the whole thing.

I will say, though, that the arrangement of the set is odd. Why does the guest sit so far away from the host? Why are the names in the credits written in Arabic, but their titles written in English? There are several other things I'm also curious about from watching the video, but I dare not display my ignorance.

Anyway, for those of you jonesing for Jon Stewart while he's on hiatus, this should satiate you for a few days.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • e jerry powell

    Apropos of nothing, I'm amazed at how accurately Google Translate matches, English-to Arabic, the subtitling. It doesn't seem capable of that in too many other languages.

  • Leaf

    Bassem's English is outstanding. I just read that he works as a cardiothoracic surgeon when the show is on hiatus. This guy's a rockstar.

  • e jerry powell


    He should have Sandra Oh on in character sometime.

  • There'll Be Pancakes

    I was LITRALLY (one for the Parks crew) about to write the same thing.

    I loved him after he appeared on the Daily Show earlier this year and did heaps of internet stalking on him since then - extremely personable, highly intelligent and very similar to Stewart in style,and I love how the mutual respect and liking they have for each other is so clear.

  • BlackRabbit

    The subtitles are great. Johnstone! Also he gets the Imperial Death March.

  • ferryman

    All living organisms inherently yearn for freedom. Artificial restraints imposed by governments become onerous prisons that eventually collapse under their own weight.

  • ZizoAH

    It always surprises me to see people think that mutual respect in the Middle East between Arabs and Jews is something very uncommon.

    I'm an Arab, living in Israel, and my boyfriend of two years is Jewish, in fact, all my last 5 boyfriends were. My brother (named Mohammad, nonetheless) is married to a Jewish woman, and have two amazing kids. Also living in Jerusalem. I could keep going on and on and on...

    Well, blame the media, that is so full of shit.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I was pleasantly surprised on a trip to Israel in February to see so many mosques, and so little drama.

  • Guest

    Well, there was drama today, a guy admitted to the murder of two people in a center for homosexual teenagers 4 years ago, a bridge collapsed and a driver died, and a Sudanese immigrant stabbed 6 people in the Tel Aviv central bus station.

    Nothing politic though, bah...

  • koko temur

    hold on. Arent you the one who showed me those marvelous churches in iceland? Are you, like, on tour ? Tell us the truth, you are singing backup for ke$ha, dont you?

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I am, but I was in Iceland in 2008. I try to do an international vacay every other year. Btw, I did find MY Iceland church pix, so I have to show you this one. Because...RAINBOW!

  • koko temur

    trippy. and the rainbow makes it somehow trippier.
    All korea has to offer in the bizzare department so far had something to do with stuffed animals. im as dissapointed as creeped out.
    (See also the one i posted below. )

  • Maguita NYC

    I'm trying to understand this obsession... This and the fact that kitty cosplay is considered hot.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I did see the one below, and it (and above) is indeed creepy.

  • manting

    isnt that where Jonathan E plays rollerball?

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I haven't seen either of the Rollerball flicks, so alas, the joke is lost on me. It's a church here:ólmur

  • manting

    for the love of Jeebus do not see the remake - all you need to know is LL Cool J and Chris Kline are the stars.

  • BWeaves

    Thanks for de-lurking. I'm a Jewish atheist who grew up in a small Florida town where I was the only Jew in school. Everyone tried to convert me for a day or two and then decided I wasn't any different than they were. My current boss is Muslim, and we get along great. My husband is protestant. More of us need to come forward to show that we're all just normal happy-go-lucky people. Extremists are extremists. They don't reflect you and I.

  • Maguita NYC


    This is so exciting, here I am in the morning having my dose of Koko while buttering Zizo... Only on Pajiba breakfast could be this interesting. And I second Koko's welcome!

  • ZizoAH

    If I knew it would be such a warm welcome, I would've done it months ago!

  • Cazadora

    If it's not too much trouble, can you offer a bit of translation for the first bit? I can infer what Jon's doing, but it would be nice to know exactly. Thanks.

  • ZizoAH

    Bassem in the beginning says that they succeeded in catching a Spy (one of the biggest problems in Egypt), and then Jon Stewart enters...

    The Jon goes in Arabic
    - Thank you, thank you, enough, enough (Shukran = Thank you, Khalas = Enough)
    Sit Down, enough, sit down.
    Thank you, I'm a simple man.
    I don't like when people praise me (it's an expression when people Oprah-shout when you enter a room)

    (He keeps saying the same sentences all the time, thank you, enough, sit down, I don't like to be "praised")

  • Cazadora

    Thanks so much!!!

  • ZizoAH

    I'll do it tomorrow at work (I have plenty of time at work), right know I'm going to go to see The Bling Ring!

  • Maguita NYC

    "I'll do it tomorrow at work (I have plenty of time at work)"

    If this statement right here does not show just how much in common we have, then I don't know what else could.

  • koko temur

    Hey! High-five! Thanks for de-lurking for this.
    And much love to you and your family!

    (from non-jewish israeli from jerusalem. Life is gorgeously more complex here)

  • ZizoAH

    My pleasure, and thank you! (from a Gay-Arab-Atheist from
    East Jerusalem who lives in Tel Aviv)
    I've been addicted to Pajiba for months now, about time to de-lurk!

  • Mrs. Julien


  • koko temur

    Shit, If i was currently in Israel, you would be my new best friend... Maybe next year. I hope you will keep posting. Im pretty sure pajiba has a much bigger international following, but most of us just lurk. And its a pity.

  • ZizoAH

    I've been actually looking for a new best friend, all of mine moved to Spain.
    And you will have to kill me to not to post.

  • koko temur

    I'm a little offended by your surprise that a jew and an arab can express mutal respect in the middle east. Its not as hate fueled place as you think. Its the extrimists voices you hear the loudest, but isnt it the case everywhere? Its like if i had watched fox news a lot and then be very surprised that pajiba openly likes NPH. Weird.

    Goverments hate each others. People? Specially people who appose those goverments and this kind of hate - why wouldnt they be respectful of each other? They fight against the same thing, after all.

  • koko temur

    Also, about the titles written in english in the credits - its a common practice in civilizations that predate (by a lot) the western tecnology. In egypt, china, korea, israel, the language was formulated thousands of years before, so it doesnt have a word for "line producer".
    transcribing it with your own letters is too much pain in the ass and the sounds rarely match perfectly anyways, so english words are commonly used instead.

  • Wōđanaz Óðinn

    Please continue! You are on an absolute roll.

  • koko temur

    Errr... Something something CapAss.. Damn it, Pajiba!
    I get political and/or indignant only about 15 minutes per day. (Only way of keeping your mental health in the middle east)

  • Maguita NYC

    Loves me some political Koko indignation in the morning!

  • koko temur

    On unrelated note - are you on facebook? Can i stalk you there? I will send you a creepy picture from korea as a present. Oh, who am i kidding - this need to be shared with all, but there are more where this came from. Just for you.

  • e jerry powell

    Is that thing wearing heels?

  • koko temur

    Yes. Platform.

  • Maguita NYC

    I'm in "reconstruction" right now and will definitely befriend you when done. You could use your picture with the baby seal (it was you, right?) as intro, so no pet-stalker could go through... Unless you were it..?

    And that Teddy in shining armor had me wondering WTF was in my koko???

    *Looks suspiciously into cup

  • koko temur

    I had the same reaction, and i seen it in bright daylight with 5 other people. We had a class dinner yesterday and it was chilling in the room above absolutely normal and respectable family restourant... With teddy fireman, teddy wonder woman and teddy american airforce officer. I thought i was sooo high.

  • koko temur

    Why did you edit your comment? it was beatifully written...

  • Maguita NYC

    Thank you but would rather not open the conversation to opposing views on the whys, and placing blame for our current uninformed state.

    I will strive to have a fun unpolitical week-end, starting with a Gilmore Girls marathon while consuming gross amounts of pop-corn and wine.

    Have a great w/e!

  • e jerry powell

    Popcorn and RED wine, thank you very much.

  • foolsage

    That was everything I hoped it would be.

  • Julia

    How can one person be so intelligent, funny, fucking BRAVE, and compassionate? I mean, seriously. If only he were the template for the rest of the human race. Love him.

  • Maguita NYC

    "If your regime is not strong enough to handle a joke, then you don't have a regime".

    Jon Stewart might just singlehandedly bring down embarrassing prejudice past political coalitions have erected between us and the Arab world. For no one was more apt at showing us how open and generous Egyptians truly are, and how closely they are watching our own struggles for Democracy.

    I hope to see a lot more honest portrayal of the Egyptian people, and less of the extremists journalists tend to cover. Thank you very much for this Dustin, and I love you Jon Stewart so frigging much!

  • TCH

    This is surprising.

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