YouTube is exploding with Arab content these days. We wanted to take a look into the most popular comedy channels in the region. We looked at the number of channel views and subscribers to come up with this list of the top ten comedy channels in the MENA region. Three company names kept appearing when we were doing our research on the best Arab comedy on YouTube – Telfaz, Sa7i, and Kharabesh. Each of these production companies has a wide array of online content in Arabic, most of which we weren’t able to explore on this list. What is so amazing for many of these shows is the quality of shows and the production given the fact that many of the shows are on YouTube only. It’s clear that the Middle East is rapidly growing in their ability to create high quality video on a limited budget.
Top Arab Comedy Channels on YouTube
1. EyshElly – 185,744,339 + views and 1,530,036 + subscribers
EyshElly also made our Top 10 Arab YouTube channels list. It has more uploaded video views than any other channel of its kind in Arabic. Badar Salah, who is famous for his long whitish gray hair and is Hejazi Saudi Arabian accent, hosts the show. The comedy show is filled with commentary on Saudi culture and short skits where Badar and his friends find themselves in humorous situations. There are also parts of the show where Badar comments on and makes fun of other video clips online. EyshElly is part of the UTurn lineup of YouTube shows.
2. Sa7i Channel – 150,248,976+ views and 1,045,110+ subscribers
Sa7i (pronounced Sahey) occupies the second position in our list of most popular channels. Sa7i has close to 20 different programs of which the “Broadcast Show” and “Wesh Tehs Boo” have the most popular clips. Both shows are also Saudi Arabian. The Broadcast Show is an insightful comedy show that focuses on funny issues, events, and attitudes related to Gulf Arabs and their families. Wesh Tehs Boo is hosted by a small boy, Hamad Naser, who pokes fun at adult Arabian society through absurd childish imitations. Sa7i has gained enough popularity that their shows have attracted sponsorships from global brands such as Sprite.
3. Al Bernameg – 112,605,891 + views and 1,566,697 + subscribers
Al Bernameg is a YouTube show that has become incredibly successful in the Middle East over the past two years. The Egyptian based show is extremely similar to the Daily Show hosted by Jon Stewart on Comedy Central and mostly focuses on humorous commentary surrounding politics and other regional topics. In fact the host of the show Bassem Youssef has appeared on the Daily Show and Jon Stewart has also appear on Al Bernameg in Egypt. From time to time Bassem’s offensive humor has gotten him and his show in trouble by the members of the Egyptian regime. Bassem is also currently hosting another show called Amreeka Bil Araby where he tours the United States meeting with various Arabs living there.
4. Al Temsah – 103,010,455 + views and 989,053 + subscribers
Al Temsah (translated the alligator) is a comedy show all about an alligator puppet that goes around meeting with and interviewing various people (some famous) in the Gulf region. Interestingly enough Al Temsah was a character on La Yakthar before it became a show in its own right. Now Al Temsah has more channel views than La Yekthar after a little more than a year. Telfaz 11 produces the show.
5. Lumink – 79,474,010 + views and 553,507 + subscribers
Lumink is the channel for a few popular Saudi Arabian cartoons on YouTube that are sponsored by different government organizations and companies in Saudi Arabia. The most well-known and popular cartoon on the channel is Masameer, a cartoon comedy show that examines and advises about various social issues in Saudi Arabia in a funny way. From an overview of many of the episodes of Masammer it appears that most episodes have a lesson or take away message. Despite the fact that the shows are to raise awareness and influence behavior in Saudi Arabian society they are actually pretty funny and entertaining in their own right.
6. La Yekthar – 69,543,616 + views and 545,670 + subscribers
La Yekthar is another Saudi Arabian show by Telfaz 11, which has had great success across the Middle East among Arabic speakers. The show is hosted by Fahad Albutairi a Saudi stand up comedian who got his start doing stand-up during his time studying at the University of Texas at Austin. The show, like others on the list, is only on YouTube and focuses on socio-political issues in Saudi Arabia. The show was also the launching point for the hugely successful Al Temsah show mentioned above. La Yekther in the Saudi Arabic dialect means “put a lid on it.”
7. Kharabeesh – 68,547,764 + views and 489,929 + subscribers
Kharabeesh is a YouTube channel that mostly provides cartoon-based videos that focuses on political issues in the Arab world. The channel content is created by a Jordanian based company with the same name. Founders of the company created it in answer to a lack of Arabic content online. Given that many of the political issues that are tackled in the cartoons on Kharabeesh are common and understood across the MENA region it has gain great popularity across the Arab world. Some of the channels cartoons actually gained some international recognition during the Arab Spring as well. The Arabic word Kharabeesh can be translated in English “scribble”.
8. Aala Al Tayer – 60,017,235 + views and 793,337 + subscribers
Aala Al Tayer is another show produced by UTurn. This show is another comedy that focuses on satirical commentary around current events and their relation to Saudi Arabia and the Arab world in general. The show takes a different format than some of the other UTurn shows in that it is presented as a news cast with an anchor person reading the headlines and making humorous remarks about them. Omar Hussein typically hosts the show in the role of the anchorman but other characters (many from other UTurn shows) join in on various skits through out the show. Aala Al Tayer is translated “On the fly” in English.
9. N2O Comedy – 49,725,963 + views and 280,478 + subscribers
N20 Comedy is another channel belonging to Kharabeesh. As opposed to much of the other Kharabeesh lineup this channel is devoted to stand-up comedy. The name is derived from the chemical code for nitrous oxide or what is commonly known as laughing gas. The show is led up by some of the best comedians in Jordan. There are a total of about 8 comedians that frequent the show but there are also several guest comedians that appear on the show. Most of the comedy focuses on commentary and satire related to politics and Arab culture.
10. Takki – 26,315,181 + views and 389,055 + subscribers
Unlike most the top shows and channels on this list Takki is actually more a drama than it is a comedy but it still has humorous elements to the show. This series focuses on Saudi Arabian youth as they are coming of age. A major theme of the show is the mistakes and challenges the youth deal with and how they face those challenges and eventually learn from them. The name for the show itself is translated “adapting” in English, which suits the shows content well. Takki is another show produced by UTurn.
What do you think? Which YouTube channel or show is your favorite? Are there other channels that should have made this list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.