“There’s a festival vibe,” he joked at TCA, where he answered questions about the show with exec producer Jerrod Carmichael and showrunner Bridget Bedard.
Ramy is based on the real-life experiences and comedy of Youssef. Co-created and co-written with Ari Katcher and Ryan Welch, the series takes viewers into the world a first-generation American Muslim who is on a spiritual journey in his politically divided New Jersey neighborhood. Ramy explores the challenges of what it’s like being caught between an Egyptian community that thinks life is a moral test, and a Millennial generation that thinks life has no consequences. The studio is A24 with Ravi Nandan also exec producing.
“I want to show that we’re human. For me, it leads by showing Muslims with flaws. Because we’re so underrepresented we’re always trying to apologize… I want to show that we’re dealing with real issues. It’s not an apology,” said Youssef.
The question of whether President Donald Trump comes up in the show was a major part of the TCA panel. Carmichael joked that “Trumpism” sounds like a “disease” or a made up word ala “fetch” in Mean Girls. The team said that the Commander-in-Chief is brought up once or twice with a “variety of opinions”, although Youssef said that he’s “not the source of the tension”.
“What we talk about is personal. We don’t go at him, it’s not something I think about too much. I think he’ll like the show. Can we get him a screener?,” he joked.
Youssef and Carmichael also joked about the title of the comedy. Youssef said it might have been called ‘Bad Muslims’ if “it hadn’t been for the Bad Santa movies”, while Carmichael joked the simple title ‘Muslims’ was pitched.
Youssef said he hoped that he will have “multiple seasons to show where the characters will end up. We’re really excited about presenting ideas and allowing them to grow”.