Tickling Giants

Best Documentary Feature
Tribeca Film Festival
Like 'Rosewater,' 'Tickling Giants' acknowledges that political satire carries much higher stakes under a repressive regime.


Tickling Giants

TICKLING GIANTS tells the story of Bassem Youssef. In the midst of the Egyptian Arab Spring, Bassem makes a decision that's every mother's worst nightmare... He leaves his job as a heart surgeon to become a full-time comedian.

Dubbed “the Egyptian Jon Stewart,” Bassem creates the most viewed television program in the Middle East. He has 30 million viewers per episode compared to
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’s two million. In a country where free speech is not settled law, Bassem comes up with creative ways to non-violently challenge abuses of power. He endures physical threats, protests, and legal action, all because of jokes.

No unicorns or falafel were harmed in the making of this film.

"There's a lot to laugh at, and to learn from, in "Tickling Giants," a documentary that starts off by telling the story of one man and ends up speaking volumes about satire, freedom of expression and political pressure." Ken Jaworowski,
New York Times)
Not Rated
Documentary, History, World Affairs
Arabic, English
Sara Taksler
Bassem Youssef, Miral El Desoki, Tarek AlQazzaz, Hend Radwan
Nominee, Best Documentary Feature, Tribeca Film Festival
Owen Gleiberman, Variety

I would argue that the way we watch political documentaries has changed in the last two months. Before that, if I had seen a movie like “Tickling Giants,” an ebullient portrait of Bassem Youssef, the heart-surgeon-turned-comedian who became known as “the Jon Stewart of Egypt” (or, at least, he did ...

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