It started with a series of stand-up shows featuring actor Sumeet Raghavan, made solely for the Internet. Then last month, JayHind! made its TV debut on Colors as The Late Night Show. And starting May, their gigs will regularly be enacted live on ground, as they will perform at the Comedy Store in Palladium, Phoenix Mills.
“It should have happened a long time ago, but we didn’t have the time. Each show will be a two-hour segment with our own comics,” says Abhigyan Jha, co-founder of Undercover Productions, which produces the episodes. Featuring Raghavan and other artistes such as Rajeev Nigam, the shows will be scheduled on weekends and will cost patrons an amount that is yet to be fixed. “Even though they will be ticketed, we will be doing it pro bono, as there are only 300 seats and that isn’t enough to pay Rajeev and Sumeet,” insists Jha, adding that the intrinsic format of the show will remain similar even on stage. “It will take a little more space and is a bit more expensive than most stage shows, but it should be fun.”
Though a few JayHind! Nights have previously been organised in the city, this is the first time the gigs will become a regular feature. Admitting that until now defining the nature of his company has been tough, Jha finally seems to have found the perfect description. “We are a platform agnostic content company. We make the content, and then it is up to people how and if they want to deploy us,” says the entrepreneur, who organised the funny event, Sadma Awards, at the Store on Sunday.
With a team of 12 to 13 writers constantly working on the shows, over 100 minutes of new content is refreshed every week. And that’s also one reason why Charlotte Ward, the operations manager at the Store, is glad about the association. But ask her if the deal assists her in the task of finding new comics for the stage, and she denies it. “I get five to six comics every month. They might not all be very good, but they are added to the list of comics that spread the word about an opportunity being present. Abhigyan and I have a vision for the stand-up market, and that’s what we are sharing here,” she says, adding that the ‘Hindi’ element of the gigs will also be an interesting change for the audience.