By Samuel Burke & Claire Calzonetti CNN
‘Egypt’s Jon Stewart’ faced his toughest crowd yet on Sunday.
Bassem Youssef, host of the satirical Arabic-language news show 'The Program,' was interrogated for five hours at an Egyptian prosecutor's office, as part of an investigation over complaints that his comedy material insulted Islam and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy.
During the interrogation, Youssef says, he was forced to watch evidence against him – his own television programs.
"Basically we were going through the punch lines," he told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview on Monday. "Answer questions, line by line, phrase by phrase and joke by joke."
The comedian was released Sunday on $2,200 bail in response to three lawsuits filed against him, the prosecutor general's office told CNN.
President Morsy's office says that the public prosecutor operates independently of the presidency and that the president respects free speech.
The popular TV host told Amanpour he expects to be further questioned over other episodes of his show and also believes the prosecutor will attempt to take the case to a court to see if there's evidence for a trial.
"If there is no case, hopefully I'll get my bail money back. If not, I'm just going to go to trial and see what happens," he said.
President Morsy is not the only problem, Youssef said. "It's the problem of the people who are basically behind the power, the Muslim Brotherhood."
Despite the charges, Youssef said he isn't intimidated and will not change the tone of his show.
"I'm not intimidated; I'm just exhausted by this," he said. "So I'm not going to let this drain me. I'm just going to continue and continue with the show, continue with the same high tone of the show. I'm not going to back down."
Youssef called the law being used against him antiquated and ridiculous. "These are actually the foundations of a fascist regime."
In spite of the circumstances he finds himself in, Youssef sounded optimistic about Egypt’s future.
"The problem now is with the rhetoric of the government. They are blaming everything on the media for talking about problems instead of actually solving the problems," he told Amanpour.
"Now it is the time for the political powers to actually step up and show us if they're actually truly moderate and they're truly democratic and they believe in democracy."
He said he is like many practicing Muslims: moderate and not fond of people who represents what they call "political Islam."
Youssef said that his idol, American comedian Jon Stewart, has been in touch with Youssef throughout the ordeal.
Previously Youssef told Amanpour that his mother had always been afraid of him being locked up for his comments.
"Going to jail is a risk that we have to go through. But you know, with big shows and big programs comes creative responsibility and maybe bigger risks," he said. "So I think we just have to accept that this could happen anytime."
Despite the complaints against him Youssef said this is the best time to have a political satire show in Egypt.
"Everything happening around us is surreal," he said. "If you don't make fun of it, you'll just like wither away and die."