TV time and surfing channels for interesting stuff – It’s the best I do when I watch TV apart from watching TV and eating, of course. The usual two-three prime-time channels are my mother’s favorites hence, I can’t help but go through the torture during our dinner time and there’s no way I get to multi-task when those amazingly disgusting soaps are being aired. (I think they should be called detergent soaps for the kind of dhulai they give to my mind…grr..) And at this very time, I am like a dying soldier in a battlefield who refuses to give up… to give up on letting the harassment by these extraordinarily ridiculous scripts take over me. Phew. (It makes up for a separate blog..hmm..)
So a while back I noticed the pair of Mantra and Bharti in a promo on Colors. Oh, so another comedy show? But, could they dare bring another one when the great Kapil Sharma and his super duper hit ‘Comedy Nights With Kapil’ is already a household name? Guess, not. So, what more? Before I could conclude in my mind, the promo ended with these two coming together for India’s Got Talent audition announcement. Ahaan! Another set of comedians turning anchors, is it? So, have Manish Paul & Cyrus Sahukar been shown the door for this season? Well, I know the answer to this won’t come easy. I would have to go through a round of tortures again at dinner time to know when is the reality show’s new season is kicking off and if the last year’s anchors have been retained. But then I ask myself, is knowing this bit that important to push myself into the most awesomely irritating background scores of similar-looking soaps? Well, the answer is out rightly the opposite of yes. (Hehe, you can hit me on this later!) And sometimes I just think why can’t we not have TV promos on TV. (Ya, may be I can also write 101 ways to escape saas-bahu shit on TV)
Well, be it in the newly-adopted role of anchors or stand-up acts, I think comedians are doing a great job on television. They are undoubtedly the most refreshing and are watchable just about any time of the day. I mean, be it the crappy news channels or rigged reality shows or needless to mention, the saas-bahutorture, stand-up comedians are a breath of fresh air. The recently-concluded (though rigged) dance reality show Jhalak Dikhlaa Ja had Kapil and Manish as anchors who made sure they put the audience, viewers, contestants, judges and who not in splits. Thankfully, their easy, spontaneous bits were not rigged at least. And not to forget, how these high-TRP shows are an easy fodder for the news channels who shamelessly have half-an-hour specials on these. (I don’t want to start on this!) Having said that, the likes of Gustakhi Maaf and ‘The Week That Wasn’t’ cannot be robbed of the tag of creative programming in the satirical comedy genre unlike their Hindi counterparts who unleash the slots for the most-watched comedy shows on entertainment channels, more or less looking like a repeat telecast with a TP (teleprompter) reader.
I remember the time when ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’ on Star One took the country by storm and how the pair of Navjot Singh Sidhu & Shekhar Suman became famous overnight. It brought forth some of the finest talents from India and its neighbours and one of these gems was Kapil Sharma. Then followed, ‘Comedy Circus’, that jumped in the popular category, challenged ‘TGILC’’s monopoly and picked up a timely advantage from Sidhu-Suman tiff. It also paved way for other TV actors to showcase their ‘comedy side’ in the show, which was first-of-its-kind in Indian television. Several other comedy shows made a parallel entry to take a bite of the untapped audience pie but couldn’t hold the fort like these two did for Sony and Star. So now it was time for Colors to try its luck. Having failed twice to lure the audience with ‘Chhote Miya’ and ‘Nautanki The Comedy Theatre’, Colors struck gold when Kapil Sharma decided to produce for them and together they launched his self-branded show ‘Comedy Nights With Kapil’.
At first, it looked like just another wannabe comedy show but like some songs, it grew not just on me but the entire country. One hour of pure mindless, effortless TV watching, superb! Weekend nights are never the same with Daadi, Bua, Guthi eagerly awaited for. From Daadi’s puppy to Guthi’s style of introduction, it’s all a hit! Clearly, Kapil, the anchor, the stand-up artiste-turned producer, the entertainer has taken it all away. I think Colors has also played smart with cross-branding by letting Kapil a free hand in publicizing CNWK in Jhalak Dikhla Jaa.
Evidently, with stand-up comedians turning anchors, it’s definitely good news for the viewers who get an extra dose of laughter where they earlier least expected but now look forward to. Could they probably also overtake some top positions and anchors of the hopeless Indian news channels, well, not a bad idea, I say…why not right away?!