It is a tough job for a TV show to sustain high TV ratings, but it is tougher to star in a comedy serial for seven years. TV star Dilip Joshi, lead actor of the hit comedy serial, which completes seven years of success next month, admits it is taxing. Here, he wishes comedy shows in India had seasons to help generate better content, and engage the audience.
You’ve recently lost a lot of weight…
I have been trying to lose weight for the past few years now. I was getting lethargic and wanted to be healthier to be able to work 12 hours a day. This year, I stuck to my resolve, and lost about 9 kg. I stopped eating fried food, and walked an hour daily for a month. So, it worked.
You even got a compliment from Salman Khan for it.
Yes, that was a pleasant surprise. I met Salmanji at an awards function, and was surprised when he complimented me. It’s a big deal for me that he noticed the change in my appearance. Since he remembers me [from my show or the films I have done with him earlier] as plump, now with my missing paunch and defined jawline, he was quite surprised.
You have worked in films like Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) and Hum Aapke Hain…Koun! (1994). But you didn’t take up any more film projects. Why?
I didn’t get any good offers, as the heroes ended up doing everything in films — from action, romance, comedy and drama to negative roles. There isn’t much left for others to do. Moreover, I am not ambitious or glamour-struck. Back then, there were no small-budget movies that gave actors a chance to showcase their talent. And now, when I get offers, I am too busy with my TV show to take them up.
What has been the most challenging thing for you during your stint with this show?
The biggest challenge is to sustain our momentum and not get complacent. We have managed seven years without taking a time leap in the show. While TV shows go off air in months, and even many super-hit shows come to an end, we have maintained our standard, and the credit goes to our producer, Asit Kumar Modi. Perhaps, our simple and plain humour has struck a chord with the audience. It’s a blessing that we are still sane as it’s tough to shoot 12 hours a day to bring out a daily episode.
Why do you think very few comedy shows have been able to sustain audiences for this long in India?
Writers eventually run out of good stuff. To churn out a funny story daily is tough. Channels should chalk out plans for seasons, so that writers can work out better stories, and get a break too.