When: Tue., March 21, 7 p.m. 2017
Bassem Youssef followed the standard path of any young comedian trying to make it in show biz. He went to medical school, graduated and went into practice as a heart surgeon. But Dr. Youssef lived in Egypt, where the government controls the media and the election process, and brutally stamps down anyone who stands in its way. Being a big fan of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Youssef decided to embark on his comedy career by creating a sort of Daily Show for Egypt -- where the same ruthless dictator who dominates the press could threaten, beat up and even kill everyone involved if he decided to do so (did anyone else hear Sean Spicer's boner spring into action just now?). And then a funny thing happened, just as Youssef planned: The show, Al Bernameg, took off, reaching an audience of 30 million people hungry for satire and the relief laughter brings. Documentarian and Daily Show senior producer Sara Taksler decided to make a film about the success of Youssef's comedy career in the film Tickling Giants, and her timing was excellent; she got to Egypt just as the government decided to really crack down on Al Bernameg. You can catch Tickling Giants tonight at 7 p.m. at the Landmark Tivoli Theatre (6350 Delmar Boulevard, University City; www.landmarktheatres.com) as part of "Meet a Muslim at the Movies" night. Tickets are $15.