Imitation is known to be the best form of flattery. However, too many copies of a good thing often lead to an overkill, as is the case with the flurry of comedy shows on TV. Thus, two of the most talked about shows of recent times — Comedy Nights with Kapil and Sunil Grover’s Mad in India — appear to be grappling with similar issues.
While sources claim that actor Manish Paul of the latter show, is contemplating on walking out of the threeweek-old show owing to poor response, Kapil Sharma has apparently requested his show’s channel to go back to the weekly telecast of his show instead of twice a week.
Sources reveal that TRPs of Kapil’s show have also dropped, of late, possibly due to repetitive content. However, on being contacted, Sharma’s spokesperson says, that his health issues have led the show to be aired once a week. Manish and Sunil Grover’s Mad in India seems to be in bigger trouble. “The shoot was recently cancelled for three consecutive days, and the actors had to return after waiting for hours on the sets,” says an insider. When asked, Manish, however, maintains that he is still on board. “I have signed a 26-episode contract,” he says.
Besides these two shows, every channel seems to have a comedy show running. Recently, comedian Krushna Abhishek, too, said that he’ll launch his own entertainer on TV. Industry experts and actors feel that it’s possibly this overkill of comedy that’s now starting to bore the audience. “Once a trend is set, people tend to keep stretching it like a chewing gum... aur chewing gum ka swad sirf shuruwat mein rehta hai, uske baad nahin,” says stand up comedian Naveen Prabhakar, adding, “We used to write our own scripts but now all these actors have writers scripting for them. Weak content can kill your show.”
Apart from the overdose, men dressed as women, being used as a shortcut to tickle the funny bone, does not seem to be working any more. “It’s ewww! Most of it is not even funny,” says adman Prahlad Kakar. Agrees TV producer Rajan Shahi, “A guy dressed up like a girl is novel formula for laughter, but that should be done in limits.”
Viewers also feel that the practice of humiliating the live audience is in bad taste. “The comedians think that they can say whatever they want in the garb of a joke. That is just not done,” says Pooja Dixit, a viewer. Adds TV producer Sudhir Sharma, “TV is a medium that’s watched by kids, too, so one needs to be careful.”