What You Don't Know About Ramy Youssef

Viewers of Hulu's Ramy may think they know Ramy Youssef, but Youssef's self-titled comedy series can only cover so much (in one season so far) For fans new and old, what else is there to know about Ramy Youssef?

As Youssef continues to see success in his career, which includes not only a number of writer and producer credits for Ramy and his television special Ramy Youssef: Feelings, but also several acting roles, The List is digging deep into just who Ramy Youssef is, and how he got where he is today. 

Ramy Youssef was born in March of 1991 to Egyptian Muslim immigrants and raised in suburban New Jersey. And while the character he plays in Ramy is somewhat lacking in direction, Youssef was not that way at all. In fact, he began making films as a teen and enrolled in a production class in high school. "I've been making things since I was 16," he told Hemispheres Magazine in April 2020. "I've always been the kid with a camera."

Ramy Youssef is a college dropout

After finding a passion for creating comedy, Ramy Youssef began writing and performing sketch comedy. Then, in an effort to focus all of his attention on his chosen career path in the world of entertainment, he dropped out of college and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting (via The Telegraph). Shortly thereafter, he landed a role on Nick at Nite's See Dad Run, which ran from 2012-14 (per IMDb).

While experiencing work on a sitcom, Youssef found that he was in need of some friends in L.A. and decided to take on a career in stand-up as a way to meet people. Right away, Youssef learned to appreciate the instant gratification he got while delivering jokes to a live audience. "You think of a joke in the morning, and you know at 10 p.m. that night if it has legs or if it's offensive — or if it's both, which is ideal," he explained to Hemispheres.

Ramy Youssef's parents supported his career path

While chatting with The Daily Beast in April 2019, Ramy Youssef said that when it came to dropping out of college to pursue a somewhat unconventional career path, his parents were extremely supportive of his decision. However, they were also quite certain that there was a good chance that their son would be faced with a potential lack of finances due to the unruly nature of the business.

"They knew I was making stuff and they were always really supportive. It was always like, 'Yeah, go do it, but also, what are you really going to do?' It wasn't 'don't do it,' it was, 'Ah, man, that's great. It sucks that you're going to have to stop doing it and make money.' That was always the attitude. Do it as long as you can, but you have to figure out what you're really going to do," Youssef recalled.

Ramy Youssef won a Golden Globe for 'Ramy'

In January 2020, Youssef won a Golden Globe for his work as a lead actor in Ramy and while accepting the award, he poked fun at host Ricky Gervais, who had mocked the actresses and actors who had thanked God in the years before him. "Allahu Akbar. I want to thank my God," he said, using the Arabic phrase for "God is great."

Then, backstage, Youssef said that when it came to his acceptance speech, he would have thanked God even if Gervais hadn't said what he did about the topic. "I was going to say it anyway," he assured reporters after the monumental moment. "I'm very thankful to God, and my show is about someone who believes in their faith, so I naturally don't always feel like I'm on the same page with the comedic styles of Ricky Gervais on that subject."

Ramy Youssef's father worked for Donald Trump

Also during his interview with The Daily Beast, Ramy Youssef revealed that his father used to work at one of Donald Trump's hotels

"It's really interesting because my dad knew him, my dad knew his family," he revealed. "He saw the way that he did business and I think my dad enjoyed working for him. I don't know that my dad saw all of the things that we now see. My dad started working at that hotel very shortly after he got his citizenship. I know for a fact that this guy's life is possible because of people like my dad, that immigrants are the backbone of his businesses."

Youssef went on to share his anger that it was people like his father, the very people who worked for Trump, that the then-president was trying to "exclude from the conversation and dehumanize." Yet he said that it was the work of these individuals that provided, in his mind, the "smallest shreds of dignity" the former president could claim.

Ramy Youssef is leaning on faith amid COVID-19

In May 2020, just months into the coronavirus pandemic, Ramy Youssef explained that because of his faith as a Muslim, he was able to get to a decent place mentally, despite the solitude he was often faced with while quarantining

"I know I have solace in spiritual connection. What a moment like this does is make your brain so loud. You could read every article. You could listen to every podcast. So in my spiritual practice it's like, how do I get quiet? How do I get to a place where I can just turn that off and have faith?" he explained to The New York Times

Youssef went on to say that while a lot of his peers in the business aren't believers, he doesn't really understand why they feel the idea of God is "illogical." "A lot of things are illogical!" he argued. "We're dealing with a virus right now that completely turned the world around in a week, and we're being led by a reality-TV-show star. So why couldn't Moses part the sea?"