Lebanese TV stations are now giving a lot more of their time, money and attention to comedy, and it's bringing out some of the best and worst in quality programming.

Here, we're breaking down our hilarious favorites and not-so-funny counterparts with our highly unscientific laugh-o-meter scale.


(Photo via the Daily Star)

TV Station: Al-Jadeed
Show airs every Tuesday at 8:40 p.m.
Laugh-O-Meter: 8/10

Chi.N.N is a weekly news show presented with tons of sarcasm. It highlights the local, Arab and international political, cultural and social happenings of the past week.

We've already told you how much we love this show, but if I'm going to be critical about it, I have to admit that some people might not find Zaatari (the show's creative producer and co-host) much of a comedian.

Chi.N.N's press reviews are almost always positive, like this Al-Akhbar article, or As-Safir's interview, so I think it's safe to say that the show deserves a good 8/10 on our Laugh-O-Meter scale (two points deducted for Nada Tarabey's awful and unrealistic sense of humor, sorry).

Impractical Jokers (A'awa Joker)

(Photo via the Daily Star)

TV Station: Al-Jadeed
Show airs every Sunday at 8:40 p.m.
Laugh-O-Meter: 9/10

This show is the Lebanese version of America's Impractical Jokers. Four hosts take dares to engage in public, often embarrassing pranks, and it's all captured on hidden camera. Take note: this is how a successful cast makes all the difference. With brothers Fouad and Tony Yammine, it is nearly impossible not to laugh at all the awkward moments that they manage to put themselves in. Tony magically works his way out of any situation while maintaining a serious face and a semi-normal story behind the toughest of missions. Shant Kabakian is a win, too. I'm taking a point off the Laugh-O-Meter for Elie Mitri's performance. I'm not sure he's the best choice as the fourth star. Waiting for season two, you guys.

Irbit Tinhal

(Photo via the Daily Star)

TV Station: Al-Jadeed
Show airs every Wednesday and Sunday at 8:40 p.m.
Laugh-O-Meter: 4/10

This weekly show uses sketch comedy to criticize the country's political situation. Frankly, it's like a lot of other comedy shows out there with lame, repetitive content and often just looks like another excuse to put the station's political affiliations on display. Plus, the show has been on for 10 years now and it could use a lot of changes in the format and the characters presented. But while its competitors on LBC (Ktir Salbe) or MTV ( Ma fi Metlo) have fallen into the racist content trap, Irbit Tinhal has managed to maintain its dignity.

Bas Meit Watan

(Photo via alkalimaonline.com)

TV Station: LBCI
Show airs every Friday at 8:30 p.m.
Laugh-O-Meter: 4/10

Bas Mat Watan is a political satire show. The show often brings on characters impersonating political figures and mocks political and security developments through ironic sketches.

Bas Meit Watan was a hugely successful show in the 1990's. It sparked controversy many times, two of which involved poking fun at Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah in 2006 and 2013 as well as the Prophet Jonah. In general, the show has become less and less funny over the years.

Ktir Salbe Show

(Photo via Facebook)

TV Station: LBCI
Show airs every Thursday at 20:30 p.m.
Laugh-O-Meter: 3/10

The show started on MTV as a socio-political satire comedy show and the cast (Fady Charbel, Elie Rahi, Dolly El Hello, Hussein Moukaddem and Joanna Karaky) later moved in 2012 to LBCI. While some of the characters deserve an 8 on our Laugh-O-Meter (namely, Mr. Chaaloube, Em Khaled and Al Atramizi), I'm downgrading the score to 3 because of the numerous instances of racist content employed by the show.

We just don't know when to stop, do we?

Douma Kratiye

(Photo via huetlaurent.com)

TV Station: LBCI
Show airs Monday through Friday at 7:45 p.m.
Laugh-O-Meter: 0/10

Douma Kratiye is a 10 minute "comedy" show featuring puppets of Lebanese political leaders reenacting the day's newsworthy events. But just because there are puppets involved doesn't mean laughs are automatic. It's like watching the news all over again. Fail.


(Photo via Facebook)

TV Station: LBCI
Show airs every Sunday at 21:30 p.m.
Laugh-O-Meter: 4/10

Comikaze is a new television show that pits renowned Lebanese comedians against one another in a competition. The rules of the game are as follows: two groups of three comedians present their best sketches during each episode. Each group has a supporting team composed of ordinary people who try their best not to laugh while their competitors present their comedy numbers. My big problem with it: it's all staged. I just wish this was more like "Who's Line is it Anyway" where the comedians would have to make up sketches on the spot.

Ma Fi Metlo

(Photo via Facebook)

TV Station: MTV
Show airs every Thursday at 8:45 p.m.
Laugh-O-Meter: 3/10

Ma Fi Metlo is a comedy show that critiques the current situation through, you guessed it, comedy sketches. Bonus points for being a little less political then its competitors, but the show still falls into racist territory as this video, posted by the Anti-Racism Movement, shows. I don't know why we still mistakenly think that being racist is funny. It's not. Ever.

Layle Jnoun

(Photo via Al-akhbar)

TV Station: MTV
Show airs every Friday at 8:45 p.m.
Laugh-O-Meter: 6/10

Layle Jnoun is a sketch comedy and improvised television show hosted by Mario Bassil where local celebrities lead two teams each week as they compete against each other in different games. The show is a remake of the french show, "Vendredi Tout Est Permis" which translates to, "Everything is Permitted on Friday." The Lebanese version is always filled with sexual and cheesy connotations that's earned host Mario Bassil a creepy reputation. Since when were Myriam Klink and Dominique Hourani considered comedians?

Hayda Haki

(Photo via Squarespace.com)

TV Station: MTV
Show airs every Tuesday at 9:30 p.m.
Laugh-O-Meter: 2/10

The comedy-oriented talk and variety show presented by Adel Karam makes fun of news, politics and celebrities. What could have been a healthy competition between the Jay Leno and the Conan O Brien of Lebanon (Chi.N.N and Hayda Haki, respectively) ended up showing how little Karam knows about late night shows and how hard it is from him to be genuine on camera and play himself, as opposed to a character.

Karam laughs when he's asked to, engages with people only when his script says so and interviews his guests with the questions he's assigned. Nothing more. And as both An-Nahar and Al-Akhbar have both recognized, Adel fails to reign supreme as the host of late night comedy in Lebanon. This video might convince you if you're still not sure.

Chi w Menno

(Photo via otv.com.lb)

TV Station: OTV
Show airs every Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.
Laugh-O-Meter: 3/10

This show, like every other show on Lebanese TV, is supposed to consist of comedy sketches that portray the social and economical news in the country.
An-Nahar's review of the show in October noted how boringly predictable and un-creative the material was, and I have to agree completely.

Mesh Ma3koul

(Photo via Facebook)

TV Station: OTV
Show airs every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.
Laugh-O-Meter: 3/10

Another comedy show that ends up being too political and not funny enough is Mesh Ma3koul. Alliwa's very critical review says it all: including the obvious Free Patriotic Movement political undertones.

Articles & Media

13 photos
In Defense of Lebanese TV Series Blog on Jan 9, 2015
Five Bingeworthy TV Shows Every ... Listomania on Feb 27, 2014


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Ziad Hachem on Mar 14, 2014 via web