Ramy Youssef

“Any useful diversion from someone’s attention to say watch this, listen to this — I take very seriously. If I’m going to ask them to take an hour to watch my special, or thirty minutes to watch an episode of Ramy, it better be worth it. I have to be providing a unique essence of something.

-Ramy Youssef, episode 333 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso

Today, we sit with comedian, actor, and director Ramy Youssef! At the top, he reflects on his experience during Ramadan (5:36) before diving into the third season of his Hulu show Ramy (7:49), a timely scene about the Israel-Palestine conflict (10:24), and the questions that shaped it (14:34). Then, we walk through his coming of age as a first-generation Egyptian-American Muslim in New Jersey (17:16), his early forays into film (22:07), and the sketch inspired by a life-altering Bell’s palsy diagnosis (24:10).

On the back-half, we discuss Youssef’s television debut in the sitcom See Dad Run (32:38), how he found his “essence” as a performer (34:12), and the politics of his stand-up comedy (37:02). To close, he describes the influences behind Ramy, from The Carmichael Show to Curb Your Enthusiasm (40:02), a philosophy that guides his work (48:27), and the future of the series (52:20).


Illustrations by Krishna ShenoiReference image by Julius Chiu.

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