Johny Lever set to tickle ribs on telly
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Johny Lever set to tickle ribs on telly

The Bollywood comedian is making his TV debut with Johny Ala Re, a tri-weekly stand up comedy show starting on June 5.

india Updated: Jun 01, 2006 13:41 IST
Kshama Rao (HT Style)
Kshama Rao (HT Style)

First things first: Johny Lever makes for a good entertainer than when it comes to giving interviews. But then we think most comic actors seem to reserve their best for the camera.

He’s making his TV debut with Johny Ala Re, a tri-weekly stand up comedy show starting this Monday at 10 pm.

Produced by Akashdeep, Johny Ala Re will have gags, jokes, little interviews and a Main bhi Johny segment which will give an opportunity to anybody to show their talent.

We chat up with Lever just be fore his formal meeting with media, which seems to be playing on his mind.

So is he nervous? “Yes, I am. Because we have tried to put in our best efforts and since making people laugh is a difficult job, I am curious to know how the viewers would take it.”

Having done stage shows where audience reaction is instant and right there, wouldn’t he miss it on a TV show? “Yes, that was something I thought about but since my show has a studio audience, I do get to know what they like and don’t.” So what is going to be the USP of his shows and him as a comic actor? “I would definitely want the entire family to see my show.

Comedy should cater to all the classes of society and whereas I am concerned, a lot of people have appreciated the nuances in my performance, the little things I have picked up by observing people around me and that I think works in my favour.”

Ask him why it took so long to bite the television bait and he says, “TV today is no less than films. I have been planning this for about a year and a half and didn’t want to jump into it till I had enough time on hand. I didn’t want this to be a half-baked attempt."

"I wanted to come up with newer jokes and gags inspired by different things. I wanted to be very sure before doing this.”

In the promos of the show, he’s made a dig at everything that’s currently on TV — saas bahu soaps, laughter shows, game shows etc.

He just smiles, “Oh those were just to give the viewer an idea as to what not to look for in the show.” People who make him laugh? “Paresh Rawal, Sajid Khan and Suresh Menon.”

His favourite joke? “Jokes are not like a song which you can remember forever. You just laugh at that moment when somebody cracks a joke or says something funny, if you don’t, then the person has to try harder or wait for a better time.”

First Published: Jun 01, 2006 13:18 IST