August 4, 2012
Posted: 2048 GMT
Egyptians are known for their humor even in the hardest of times, but it maybe too early for Egyptians to laugh off a prank like this.
Egyptian singer and actor Mohammed Fouad repeatedly hit the host of the show and Lebanese actress, Cyrine Abdel-Nour threatened to sue the program, after realizing that the kidnap they thought they were victims of was nothing but a prank.
Comedian and actor Ramez Galal, known for his extreme practical jokes, staged what looked like a terrorist attack on a tourist bus carrying the celebrities.
This was part of a comedy show “Ramez the Desert Fox”, a special series for the holy month of Ramadan on Egyptian channel Al Hayat.
The prank starts off with a group of men in a car chasing the bus and, after overtaking it, shooting and banging on the windows. Galal played the role of the terrorist, dragging his victims from the bus and blindfolding them
A bit too extreme? Some would agree. Especially for a country that is still recovering from instability, following last year’s revolution that toppled Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, after 30 years in office.
The country has been battling ever since to pick up the economy and restore security, a topic many thought too sensitive to be funny.
"The channel is aware that the program is a bit harsh, but it reflects the lack of security in Egypt and this is what makes it the most watched comedy show in Egypt," Mootaz Salah El-Din, a media spokesperson at Al Hayat TV channel, told CNN. "Egyptians are known for their humor. They deal with hard times through practical jokes."
El-Din says that an ambulance is always available on set but so far they did not need to use it. The program has pranked 31 celebrities, he said.
"We give the celebrity the option to refuse showing the prank on TV, but none of the pranked celebrities refused," said El-Din.
Ramadan, the holy month of fasting in Islam, is the peak of airtime for all TV producers in the region. Shows like this one is what families gather around to watch.
Galal had a similar show last year’s Ramadan where celebrities were stuck in an elevator with a lion.
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