Wednesday 31, August 2016

Cairo – MENA Herald: Saturday nights just got better, as Saturday Night Live Bilarabi returns to OSN, the region’s leading pay-TV network, for another rollicking season of quality comedy. Following the huge success of the show’s launch season, the smash sketch comedy show, which is an Arabic version of the long-standing US format, will air exclusively on OSN Yahala HD.

Co-hosted by zany comic duo Khaled Mansour and Shady Alfons, who are also part of the lead writers on the show, the first season saw SNL Bilarabi quickly become one of the most talked about programmes in the region, and a social media sensation. The brand new season promises fans even more laugh out loud moments.

The weekly show will be co-hosted by a star-studded array of Arab A-list celebrities, including Rania Youssef, Nelly Karim, Asser Yassin and Haya Alshuaibi to name a few. All this, in addition to the signature live sketches and storming musical performances that make the show such a hit.

Emad Morcos, OSN’s Chief Content Officer said: “Saturday Night Live Bilarabi has been a great success on OSN and further bolsters our position as the destination for the best in entertainment from around the region. SNL Bilarabi brings together the region’s best Arabic comedy talents, with leading names in music for a truly unique production. We are delighted to have the new season only on OSN, and its success reflects our continued commitment to deliver relevant content that resonates with our audiences.

“SNL Bilarabi has given a platform to an incredibly talented cast of scriptwriters, actors, and comedians and the programme has set a new industry benchmark in Arabic entertainment, once again defining OSN as the go-to network for compelling and nowhere else content.”

Up to 15 writers work on the show, including cast member Khalid Mansour a comedian, writer, and lawyer by trade; Shady Alfons, a comedian, and actor who had his big screen acting debut in Emirati movie From A to B; and George Azmi, popular standup comedian who has a large loyal youth fan base online, who made his name with his witty observations on Arab life.

Shady Alfons stated: “SNL is such a great show to be part of – the rush you get from performing live and creating great fresh material and sketches every single week is the life blood of entertainment – it’s what we do this for. I’m confident fans of the show will love the new season even more – we have some serious comedy lined up.”

Following the footsteps of the original SNL, which is credited for launching the careers of many American comedians such as Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and Seth Meyers, the line-up for SNL Bilarabi’s new season sees the return of promising and prominent talents who will take to the stage for a series that vows to be just as impressive as the last.

Comedians scheduled to feature in the new series are: Nancy Salah, Mahmoud El Leithy, Tony Maher, Islam Ibrahim, Nour Qadry, Mirna Gamil, Hazem Ehab Alwi al Husseini, Yara Fahmy, and Ahmed Sultan. With star-studded performances by popular trendy bands like Black Theama and Masar Ejbari, and singer Nessma Mahjoub.

Khalid Mansour commented: “Comedy is having its moment in the spotlight in the Middle East. We have a crazy and creative cast and we all work incredibly hard to bring this show to life and put the Middle East on the map for comedy entertainment.”

Remaining true to the Saturday Night Live formula, SNL Bilarabi is filmed in front of a live audience. The recently renovated 100-seater Masr Theatre in Cairo, is home to the show. Prior to season one, the theatre was given a full make-over not only restoring the auditorium but also equipping the venue with the best cameras, lights, seating to take it up to international standards and ensure every nuance and hilarious moment is captured.

There are currently 10 international versions of SNL following its original success on NBC in the US. Debuting on the network in 1975, the multi award-winning and most Emmy-nominated show ever, is now in its 42nd season. With versions in France, Korea and Italy, the recent deal with OSN and NBCUniversal International Formats further highlights the show’s worldwide appeal.

Watch the brand new highly awaited new season of SNL Bilarabi exclusively on OSN Yahala HD from September 17, 8pm (KSA time). Viewers and fans of the show can also catch up on Season 1 and watch Behind the Scenes footage which will be available On Demand and on OSN Play.