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My Summer Lair featuring May El Calamawy (Ramy)

My Summer Lair featuring May El Calamawy (Ramy)

Sammy Younan

Published on: April 16 2019

My Summer Lair Chapter #112: Who is Ramy?

Hulu’s latest tv show is Ramy which is like a Middle-Eastern Atlanta…the Donald Glover show? Similar non narrative style but set in New Jersey with lots of middle eastern people. (That tone is becoming a trend: Atlanta, Barry on HBO and even Orville which is far more narrative but balances violence with absurd comedy.)

I reached out to Hulu and Ramy Youssef was busy (he’s shooting a comedy special for HBO should be out soon!) so the nice Hulu people suggested I speak to the actress who plays his sister on the show: May El Calamawy.

So she and I talked on the phone. About a lot of things.

AND…this is so interesting. Ramy is about a Muslim family…so we discussed the double standards in the Egyptian culture towards women: if culturally you don’t know what I am talking about check out the tv show for basically a Wikipedia snyposis. Yet.

YET it occurred to me and I pointed this out to her our women are strong…they are oaks. Consistently stubborn, bullheaded, independent and I mean all those as compliments.

Somehow and bizarrely that double standard produces a tough hard woman. I never connected that before. I realize how on the surface that sounds like a careless observation but May is far better at expressing this sentiment as well what working on this show has done for her as a Middle Eastern woman/actress.

Bonus? Ramy’s friend on the show is Dave Merheje who has been a My Summer Lair guest and one of it’s executive producers is Jerrod Carmichael whose stand up special 8 is sublime. One of the best stand up specials from easily the last 10-15 years. Up there with 3 Mics.

Ramy premieres on Hulu on April 19:

 Host Sammy Younan W • T • F

Ramy @ W • T • F

Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu
Recorded: Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 6:00pm at We Work