Is comedy on Indian TV funny enough?

  • Debasmita Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 22, 2015 09:22 IST

Laughter is the best medicine, but an overdose can often have awful side-effects. Last year, the much-hyped comedy show on TV, Mad In India, was axed within a few months of its launch.

And now, sources say the popular Comedy Nights With Kapil has been snubbed, with its airtime reduced to once a week instead of twice. Reason — dipping TRPs and repetitive content.

The channel has kept the reason behind the change a hush-hush affair, and did not respond to our query on it till the time of going to press. Insiders, however, are sure that both Kapil’s beckoning Bollywood career resulting in his diminishing interest in the show, and viewers’ ­general ­boredom with drag dramas on the tube, are to be blamed for the decision.

"Kapil started shooting for Abbas-Mustan’s film in November last year, and it has been very hectic for him. He shoots all day for his film, and all night for his show. This was taking a toll not only on his health, but also on the quality of the ­content as he wasn’t able to dedicate as much time to the creative content. Things were getting a little repetitive of late," says a source from the ­production house.

Kapil did not respond to our text message to clarify.

Meanwhile, our sources also reveal that the show’s TRP dipped from an average of 6.3mn in its first few weeks to 5.5mn last weekend. "The TRP ratings were taking a blow because there was ­clearly a lull in the show, so the channel felt that it’s best to replace his slot with one of the three new shows, at least once a week," reveals another source.

Talking about the overkill, Naveen Prabhakar of Pehchaan Kaun fame says, "It’s not just about Kapil. Once a trend is set, people tend to stretch it like a chewing gum and chewing gum ka swaad sirf shuruwat mein hi rehta hai, uske baad nahi!"

Kapil's not the only one
Followed by the success of Comedy Nights With Kapil, a number of channels jumped on to the comedy bandwagon last year. Unfortunately, most of them failed to impress, including Sunil Grover-Manish Paul’s Mad in India and the political comedy Gangs of Hasseepur, both of which had to shut shop within three months of their launch due to poor TRPs.

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