Jon Stewart appears on Egyptian satirical TV show
FILE - This Feb. 20, 2008 file photo shows Jon Stewart, host of the 80th Academy Awards, posing for a photo at the Kodak Theater in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. The U.S. satirist appears Friday, June 21, 2013 on a talk show with Bassem Youssef, known as Egypt's Jon Stewart.(AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)
CAIRO (AP) — Jon Stewart took the guest's seat Friday on Egypt's top satirical TV show, modeled after his own program "The Daily Show."
Stewart was brought to the set wearing a black hood and introduced by host Bassem Youssef as a captured foreign spy.
Stewart, wearing a scruffy beard, spoke briefly in Arabic as the studio audience gave him a raucous welcome.
"Please sit down, I am a simple man who does not like to be fussed over," he said in Arabic to laughter.
Youssef, host of the show "Al-Bernameg" and one of Egypt's most popular TV presenters, has been questioned by prosecutors on accusations of blasphemy and insulting the president. Stewart defended his counterpart and friend in one of his monologues after Youssef was interrogated earlier this year, and Youssef has appeared as a guest on the popular New York-based show.
Stewart, who is on a summer-long break from anchoring the Comedy Central fake newscast is in the Middle East making his first movie. He expressed admiration for Youssef in Friday's episode, which was recorded earlier this week during a visit to Cairo.
FILE - In this Sunday, March 31, 2013 file photo, a bodyguard secures popular Egyptian television satirist Bassem Youssef, who has come to be known as Egypt's Jon Stewart, as he enters Egypt's state prosecutors office to face accusations of insulting Islam and the country's Islamist leader in Cairo, Egypt. U.S. satirist Jon Stewart appears Friday, June 21, 2013 on a talk show with Bassem Youssef, known as Egypt's Jon Stewart(AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)
"Satire is a settled law. If your regime is not strong enough to handle a joke, then you have no regime," Stewart said, adding that Youssef "is showing that satire can be relevant."
True to form, Youssef began the weekly show with a series of jokes about Islamist President Mohammed Morsi's appearance and address at a rally last weekend hosted by his hard-line Islamist backers.
The president, Egypt's first freely elected leader, announced at the rally a complete break of diplomatic relations with the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Youssef, however, criticized Morsi for remaining silent and wearing a stone face while one of the rally's organizers denounced as non-believers opposition protesters planning massive, anti-government demonstrations on June 30, the anniversary of the start of the president's term.
Stewart said he was overwhelmed with the generosity of Egyptians but took a jab at Cairo's horrendous traffic. "I flew in three days ago and I have just arrived to do the show," he joked.