Ramez Qalb Al Assad: Ramadan Prank Show
Celebrity TV prank shows have always been a regular mainstay
of Ramadan. This year is no different, and there are plenty of candid-camera-style TV shows pulling the most elaborate pranks and practical jokes on
One such show is Ramez
Qalb Al Assad (Ramez the Lionheart), which features actor Ramez Galal as the
host of a prank/interview show that uses lions as a prop to scare his guests. Mostly known for his charm and adventurous nature, Galal has regularly hosted
TV shows in the past few Ramadans, where he tours various
locations in the world and uses his trademark quips and childish humor to cast
commentary on exotic cultures and traditions.
However, in Ramez Qalb Al Assad, he abandons his globe-trotting for a much simpler (and low-budget) alternative.
The concept is simple: guests are invited to tape an interview, and as they
step into the studio elevator unaccompanied, the elevator breaks down suddenly,
and once the doors open, the celebrities find themselves face to face with a
Hidden cameras are placed inside the elevator to capture the
guest’s reactions, and Ramez continues to survey his victim through camera
monitors, often participating in the prank by answering the elevator’s
emergency phone using a fake voice and giving nonsensical advice. Ramez
eventually reveals himself to the guest by jumping on top of the lion’s cage,
and both proceed for an interview recounting the guest’s frightful experience
in front of a live studio audience.
The main highlight of the show is of course seeing how these
celebrities react when faced with a live lion. Most guests’ reactions usually range from a calm and reserved panic to resounding shrieks and
screams (or in the case of action star Ahmed El Sakka; a laughing hysteria). Some may feel that a a few of the reactions might be exaggerated, as the lion seems heavily sedated and placed inside
a cage within a considerable distance from the elevator doors, thereby limiting
any chances of inflicting harm on the guests. It almost drives you to ask if
the guests are genuinely frightened or are they just playing along.
The show has also raised concerns among animal rights
activists, condemning the use of live lions under heavy sedation for
entertainment purposes. As for Ramez Galal’s hosting capabilities; he’s no
Ashton Kutcher but he employs what charisma he has to make the show work. Let’s
just hope his next Ramadan show doesn’t involve dipping his guests into a shark
tank or something.