Despite the massive success of his YouTube show, Bassem Youssef has tried to keep things simple with his new show on ONTV; as can be seen by the name ‘El Bernameg’ (The Show). His satirical online show ‘Bassem Youssef Show B+’, which he broadcast in five-minute episodes on YouTube, gained a huge cult following. If you’re not familiar with Bassem Youssef’s humour or his online show, just one episode of his new TV show is enough to convince you that this really is ‘the’ show.

The show itself starts with a disclaimer, distancing ONTV from the opinions and statements made by Youssef. So you already know you’re in for a treat.

The crux of the show isn’t his straight-faced humour, charisma and sarcasm, or even in the actual production of the show; the draw is Youssef’s unique take on and dissection of Egyptian politics. It’s difficult not to be charmed and swept away by him, and you’ll soon find yourself thinking in the same playfully sardonic way.

He is by no means a comedian, but his wit and the tongue-in-cheek methods of tackling political issues make them relatable and relevant. There are no jokes or real skits and sketches as such; Youssef’s main aim is to incite more and more political debate. He’s not afraid of confronting the most controversial issues either.

The first episodes of the show have seen Youssef address issues such as the Arab world's silence over the ongoing atrocities in Syria, wanted businessman Hussein Salem, sexual harassment, and the continuing ambiguity of the interim government. Perhaps one of the stellar moments was when Youssef tackled the controversy of Naguib Sawiris, coincidently the owner of ONTV and thereby Youssef’s boss; proving that no one is above his scathing wit.

It isn’t all just witty critique and satire, though. Youssef has featured new books on the show, and has hosted guests ranging from participants in the January 25th revolution to individuals working for the good of local communities. He also featured Bothaina Kamel, Egypt’s first female presidential candidate, as well as Essam Sultan and Cairokee. All his interviews stay true to style, and are light and entertaining.

Youssef has a very definite charisma and is obviously a hugely intelligent individual. He often peppers his show with medical knowledge to comic effect. 

While the show is a must-see, it is far from your traditional Ramadan viewing. Those looking to escape in the melodrama of soap operas have some forty shows to choose from, and while this show is heavy on political and social issues, it’s a unique and refreshing alternative to the standard talk show formula.

‘El Bernameg’ is shown on ONTV daily at 7:15PM, and is repeated at 2AM, 6AM and 12PM.