CAIRO Complaints streamed into the office of Egypt's top prosecutor Saturday against a popular television satirist, less than 24 hours after he returned to air following .
Bassem Youssef,, mocked the new pro-military fervor gripping Egypt in his program that aired Friday night. He also took jabs at the country's powerful military chief, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, lionized in the Egyptian media as a hero.
By Saturday, at least four complaints had been filed with the country's top prosecutor, accusing Youssef of defaming the military in his show, a judicial official said. One of the complaints accused Youssef of using phrases that "undermine the honor and dignity of Egypt and its people" in a manner sowing sedition and spreads lies.
The official said no investigation into the complaints had started yet. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to journalists. Such complaints, common under Egyptian law, are often shelved until prosecutors decide to start an investigation.
During Friday's show, Youssef imitated the general's soft-spoken, affectionate way of addressing the public, turning it into a lover's romantic groove. In one skit, a woman named "the Public" calls into a love advice show raving about the love of her life who saved her from an abusive husband.
"He's an officer as big as the world," she coos adoringly, making a pun on a slogan el-Sissi uses in nearly every speech - "Egypt will be big enough to face down the world." Then she adds, "He does have a sovereign streak."
One complainant, well-known politician Ahmed el-Fadaly, referred to the skit of the adoring woman, accusing Youssef of portraying Egypt as a "dallying woman who betrays her husband with military men."
El-Fadaly, who heads an association of young Muslims, also accused the satirist of belittling the armed forces' efforts dealing with terrorism, and of misrepresenting the popular protests against Morsi as a coup.
In a copy of the complaint obtained by The Associated Press, el-Fadaly said the program contained phrases that undermined "the honor and dignity of Egypt and Egyptians and can only be characterized as ... blatant libel and insult that should enjoy no legal protection."
Youssef used satire to criticize Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, ousted by the military following popular protests in July. Morsi supporters also sued Youssef for insulting the presidency and Islam, leading to his brief detention.
Before returning to air after four months of absence, Youssef predicted that he will continue to be pursued legally by his new critics "who allegedly love freedom dearly - when it works in their favor," he wrote in an article.
His late-night Friday show caused a stir in a sharply divided country. Since Morsi's ouster,demanding Morsi's reinstatement. Attacks by Islamic extremists against security forces and Christians have increased. A nationalist fervor gripping the country has elevated the military to an untouchable status, leaving little tolerance among the public or officials for criticism.
For now, Youssef appears to be basking in the limelight. After Friday's show aired, Youssef took to Twitter to remind the public: "It is only an episode in a program, people."