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Ramy Youssef’s Boldest Quotes on Ramadan, Prayers and Gaza From SNL

Ramy Youssef made his highly-anticipated SNL debut this weekend, with a monologue that has taken the internet by storm for many reasons.

ramy youssef snl monologue

Photo: Courtesy of NBC

Ramy Youssef may not have made history as the first Arab or Egyptian to host Saturday Night Live or SNL (his namesake Rami Malek beat him to it in October 2021), but his monologue will be one to remember for years to come. The Egyptian-American comedian, actor, writer, and director took the coveted position as host of the popular live show this weekend and delivered a speech that combined the best of his humor, notes on cultural identity, as well as an important message about Palestine. Below, some of his most memorable monologue snippets.

On Ramadan

“This is an incredibly spiritual weekend,” began Youssef as he arrived on stage to a roar of applause. “We’re in the holy month of Ramadan. Tomorrow is Easter. And yesterday, Beyoncé released a new album. There’s just so many religions celebrating all at once. I’m doing the Ramadan one,” he added. In line with his signature stand-up material that touches upon stereotypes and changing the negative narrative around Islam and Muslims, the Poor Things star went on to say, “I love Ramadan because I love hanging out with Muslims. We’re so loving and I feel that people don’t know that about us. We love to love, we’re so free with it.”

On the power of prayer

Following a couple of more punchlines and jokes about his experience as an Arab in the USA, Youssef went on to address a more serious topic. “I’m out of ideas. All I have are prayers. That’s all I can do right now,” the 33-year-old said, before sharing that among his friends, he is the only one who prays. This is why, Youssef says, he gets asked to pray for things on their behalf, with requests ranging from a friend wanting to win custody of his dog, to another from Ahmed, wishing for a better life for his family in Gaza.


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On Gaza

“‘Ramy, they’re suffering, I don’t know where half of them are. I don’t know what to do, please pray for them. It’s the only thing we can do’,” Youssef says, quoting his friend. “I’m like, ‘Dude, I got you’,” he said. “So that night, I go to pray, and my prayers are complicated. I’ve got a lot to fit in. I’m like, ‘God, please, please help Ahmed’s family. Please stop the suffering. Stop the violence. Please free the people of Palestine, please. And please free the hostages, all the hostages, please.'” Youssef’s call for a ceasefire and a free Palestine was not only met with cheers and applause by the audience but has also made waves around the world.

Youssef has been vocal about his support for a lasting ceasefire in Palestine and is also one of the many public figures who are a member of Artists4Ceasefire. Sporting a red pin representing the collective at the 2024 Oscars, Youssef told Variety on the red carpet, “It’s a universal message of, ‘Let’s stop killing kids. Let’s not be part of more war.’ No one has ever looked back at war and thought a bombing campaign was a good idea. To be surrounded by so many artists who are willing to lend their voices, the list is growing. A lot of people are going to be wearing these pins tonight. There’s a lot of talking heads on the news, this is a space of talking hearts. We’re trying to have this big beam to humanity.”

Read Next: Ramy Youssef on His Creative Journey, Cultural Pride, and Career Milestones

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