Sony Entertainment’s Comedy Circus now has a new competitor — Star Plus’ Comedy Ka Maha Muqabla. The contest features four teams comprising of four members each — two comedians and two actors. The mentor-judges on the show are Raveena Tandon, Shekhar Suman, Shreyas Talpade and Arshad Warsi, all actors famous for their comic timing.
Tandon, the only female mentor-judge on the show, says that she’s not nervous taking on the competition from her male counterparts. "I’ve learnt a lot about comedy from the kings of comedy in our country, Govinda and David Dhawan. Govinda is one of my favourite co-actors, someone I took so many lessons from. He taught me how to get my timing right, whether it was a tear-jerking scene or a ha-ha moment," she says.
Tandon and Govinda have been paired in six movies since 1998, starting with Aunty No 1, Dulhe Raja and Pardesi Babu (all ’98), followed by Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (’98), Akhiyon Se Goli Maare (2002) and Sandwich (2006). The actor’s first outing with humour was in Rajkumar Santoshi’s Andaz Apna Apna (’94), followed by David Dhawan’s Gharwali Baharwali (’98).
"Comedy seems to be simplest to perform. But actually, it’s the toughest. If I know comedy today, it’s thanks to Govinda. He’s so effortless and that’s the humour that works," points out Tandon. "Even my former sister-in-law, Rakhi Vijan, was a superb comic. I think without these two in my life, I wouldn’t have understood the nuances of humour, written or enacted."
The actor, currently judging a kiddie reality show on Disney, will judge acts on the upcoming comedy show, produced in singles, duos and groups. “A comic act has to be written in a funny manner and then enacted in such a way that I don’t have to force myself to laugh. Even when I was judging the Chote Miyaan series, I didn’t fake my laughter. I’m going to use these same benchmarks on Comedy Ka Maha Muqabla too,” says Tandon, who has worked on six reality shows in the past, including one on a Bengali channel.