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Funny by chance

tv Updated: Feb 11, 2009 16:01 IST
Anil Merani
Anil Merani
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Despite a mega launch and a colourful star cast, NDTV Imagine’s Ghar Ki Baat Hai hasn’t really caught on?
Comedy shows always get off to a slow start. I’m sure it’ll pick up eventually because it has the right mix. There’s nothing clichéd, farcical or over-the-top about the show.

Apparently, some of the episodes are amazingly similar to Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi..
I can’t comment on that because I hardly remember Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi even though I grew up watching it. Our producers have struck a deal with the makers of the earlier show. But I’m not aware of the details.

You’re playing the role of Satish Shah..
(Cuts in) Not really. I’m doing it my way. It’s a fresh take off.

Comedy seems to be your forte now?
The industry tends to typecast actors. I started my career with a comedy.. then did a series of the same. Ekta (Kapoor) took a risk and cast me in a serious role in Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki. After that I only got intense roles. Then Comedy Circus came along and now I’m back in the funny fold.

Is it easier doing comedy?
Comedy is serious business. I have had to do much more homework for my ha ha shows. In comparison, Kamal’s (Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki) role was a cakewalk.

But comedians rarely get their due.
They don’t. That’s because women are the major TV viewers and they prefer drama. When I started out, it would really hurt to see that actors from soppy serials becoming stars while comic actors went unnoticed.

So, do you plan to do more serious roles now?
Planning never works. Some projects look good on paper but then they blow up in your face. And there are some which succeed beyond expectations.

Like your reality shows?
Yeah, maybe. When I took up Comedy Circus, I wasn’t really excited about it. But with every episode my comfort level went up. Kashif (Khan) and I won the first season. Say Shava Shava may not have done well but it worked for me. I won an award for Best Anchor. Even Zara Nachke Dikha was fun. I’m not a great dancer.. but I’m not bad either.

So, reality shows are better than dailies?
It would be wrong to compare the two. You may be a superstar in a reality show but that doesn’t guarantee you success in a daily. Reality shows entail a lot of baggage.. you may be ridiculed and humiliated. But the money is good and they are a welcome break from regular dramas.

You are doing well on TV.. why do you do such insignificant roles in films then?
They maybe bit roles but they do have meat.

We know little about your family..
Ha ha. I like to keep them under wraps. My mother is my biggest critic.. always pointing out my flaws. My wife hates to see me dance but she likes my comic acts. As for my two kids, they are too young to have an opinion. They just love to see their abba on TV.

You are never seen on the party circuit.
I’m a family man. After working day-in and day-out with my colleagues, I prefer to spend time with my family.