Jon Stewart used the "Daily Show" to implore Egypt's president not to lock up television host Bassem Youssef, a man often dubbed "Egypt's Jon Stewart."
Youssef, who Stewart described as a friend, was jailed on accusations that he mocked Islam and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi -- in part by making fun of a hat Morsi once wore, and his limited grasp of English. Youssef was released on bail.
"Making fun of the president's hats and less-than-fluent English? That was my entire career for eight years," Stewart joked, as a picture appeared of a cowboy-hatted President George W. Bush.
"And I'm sorry, you should hear what we say about the president we supposedly like," he said, before playing a montage of jokes about President Obama.
Stewart ended the segment by addressing Morsi directly, and telling him that, quite frankly, satire has frankly no power to bring down governments. Then he suggested Morsi lay off, reminding him that Bassem and others helped drive former President Hosni Mubarak from power.
"Without Bassem, and all those journalists and bloggers and brave reporters who took to Tahrir Square to voice dissent, you, President Morsi, would not be in a position to represss them," said Stewart. "For someone who spent time in prison yourself under President Mubarak, you seem awfully eager to send people there yourself for the same non-crimes. And just like you, they will only emerge from prison stronger and more determined."
"So," Stewart concluded. "All sending comedians and bloggers to prison accomplishes is lowering the quality of prison yard athletics."
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- Politics & Government
- Jon Stewart