A year-and-a-half after its launch, Jai Hind, the first full-length comedy show on the web, anchored by actor Sumeet Raghavan in Hindi, will now have one episode every month in English for its international audience. The subject will be chosen keeping the most recent happenings in the world. Sumeet will continue as the host on the international version.
Producer Abhigyan Jha from Undercover Productions confirms the news, saying, “YouTube’s parent web page in the US had once put up one of our webisodes on their home page. They ran it with subtitles. But it didn’t help the audience understand the jokes well. So, we’ve decided to have a version of the show for our international audience. It will highlight and mock at the ‘issues’ plaguing the minds of the first world countries.”
Starting May 19, an episode in English will be uploaded on the third Thursday of every month. The first episode ‘discusses’ the prediction of the end of the world by Harold Camping, a preacher from California, USA, who is the president of Family Radio and has conducted research on the Bible for many years. In a first-of-its-kind humorous take on the prediction, Jesus Christ, the Pope, anchor Sumeet and Camping (except the anchor, all played by other actors) will engage in an entertaining chat. In order to avoid stampedes and mass protests outside the sets, Jha kept the first episode’s shoot that was completed on the weekend, under wraps.
“I’m sure there will be a group of people who will hate me for making this episode. But honestly, I had to mock at this one because someone wealthy and educated from the first world is trying to convince everyone that the world ends on May 21, so they should seek forgiveness,” laughs Jha, adding that a lot of children have stopped going to schools and salaried people have come out on streets to create vigilance about the end of the world phenomena. “We’ve laughed enough at ourselves. Now, we’ll laugh at them. And seriously, there are enough takers for this.”
The plan to create special international webisodes, keeping all the elements of Jai Hind that have evolved over the years intact, materialised sooner than expected, thanks to the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. Jha asserts, “He was gunned down by the US rather dramatically. Photos of Barack Obama watching the action were circulated. That drew my attention to America, and I found that there was enough fodder that side to come up with an international Jai Hind every month, if not every week.”
Jai Hind started 18 months ago as a sequel of sorts to Movers and Shakers, inspired by The Tonight Show format.
A team of writers works on a sort of a disclaimer that changes with every webisode. Another set works on the gags.
The show has over two-dozen segments including one where a Savita Bhabhi look-alike takes over discussions.
Actors and stand-up comedians have been hired to act as different celebrities to make the show look ‘real’.
The show scored over 20 million hits in just five months.