"I often joke that the money offered for this show was great,” says Shreyas Talpade, who is a mentor-judge on Comedy Ka Maha Muqabla on Star Plus. “I love the format of this show as I get a chance to perform a stand-up act with my team once in every episode. It’s an opportunity not every show provides you with.”
The actor, who flagged off his acting career with theatre, returns after six years to the small screen. He was first seen as the leading man in a Marathi daily soap, Abhalmaya, followed by his Hindi movie debut Iqbal. In December last year, Shreyas was offered to anchor Jhalak Dikhhlaa Jaa 4, which he declined. Actor-comedian Sumeet Raghavan eventually took up the job. “Honestly, this show paid me better than Sony Entertainment’s Jhalak Dikkhla Jaa 4.”
“The kind of money stars are offered now for TV amazes me because when I was a TV actor, I used to be paid peanuts,” Shreyas recalls. “Today, channels pay very well, depending on how established a name you are. Whatever I draw from Comedy Ka Maha Muqabla should be credited to whatever little success I’ve had in movies.”
The actor, over the last two weeks, has been juggling his Joker schedule in Chandigarh and the show’s shoot in Mumbai. “The last two weeks have been extremely crazy. I would give my takes in Chandigarh, take a flight to Mumbai, rehearse, go home, have a bath, and run for the shoot again. I’ve not spent even an hour with my parents and wife,” sighs Shreyas. Shreyas is also completing a schedule of the film Chemistry, which he’s co-producing.
Does he plan to return to TV as an actor or producer after the comedy show? “It’s difficult to say whether I’ll return to TV as an actor. But I can’t rule out the possibility of turning a producer. Till then, I’d like to cherish my return to both my roots, the stage and TV.”
Comedy Ka Maha Muqabla competes with Rohit Shetty’s Comedy Circus show on Sony Entertainment, considering that the slots and the genre are nearly the same. “Rohit doesn’t know anything about my show, although I like his show a lot,” says Shreyas. “But whenever he watches it, I’m sure he’ll feel it’s a laugh riot.”