Actor and comedian Ramy Youssef started his career in New York City's comedy scene. He frequented stand-up showcases, performed sketch comedy and took acting classes before landing his first major role in the Nick At Nite sitcom See Dad Run. He later had a recurring role in the USA Network drama Mr. Robot. In 2019, his hour long stand-up special titled Feelings premiered on HBO.
Youssef is the co-creator and star of the Hulu comedy series Ramy. Set in a New Jersey neighborhood, the show follows Youssef in a fictionalized version of his life as a twenty-something Muslim man. Youssef won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical Television Series in 2020 for his work on the show. Ramy's second season premieres May 29th on Hulu.
Recorded remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, NPR's Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton talk to Youssef about Ramy, working with Mahershala Ali and writing his dad book reports about Pokemon cards.
Then, Youssef takes a quiz on the history of sneakers.
On Shooting Around Mahershala Ali's Schedule
(Actor Mahershala Ali joined the cast of Ramy in its second season.)
"We had Mahershala Ali this season which was amazing. When you get someone like that you kind of have to work around a certain amount of time. We figured it out. I'm really proud of what we're making."
On Pitching Ramy To Hulu
"[Being] a person of faith of this generation is the most specific thing in this show. If I'm being honest, it's not exactly how we pitched it. I think we more pitched the show as...'I'm a Muslim-American, and I feel most like the hypen between these two words.' ...This isn't a story about separation, it's a story about synthesis."
On Acting On A Family Sitcom
(Youssef starred on the Nick At Nite sitcom See Dad Run for three seasons.)
"I booked...this family sitcom that moved me from New York to LA, so I was working half the year. We did three seasons of the show so I had this thing that never happens where I'm on a thing — but also it's a thing that no one watched, so it was almost the perfect scenario. I think that everyone is trying to make secret money, like, 'I don't wanna be known as the guy from that thing. I wanna find a way to be able to buy wifi on the plane without having a panic attack.'"
Heard on QuaranTV: Ramy, Space Force And Lady Dynamite.