Shekhar and Sidhu are not at loggerheads : Pankaj Saraswat
His show has been a roaring success, but the man behind it chooses to keep a low profile. Meet Pankaj Saraswat, the man who created and developed, Star One's comic caper, The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. Now in its second season, the show has redifined the comic genre - now laughter is derived from the mundane, the ordinary and mostly from life itself. Saraswat's breed of comedy comes from the man's ability to observe life and its inherent follies. TellyChakkar.com caught up with this maverick of sorts to find out why his show continues to be a landmark in comedy programming!
What happens if Javed Jafri, Shekhar Suman and Sajid Khan are marooned on an Island!
I have been working on this concept for a very long time. One day Sameer Nair (COO, Star India), called me and said, Pankaj if Javed Jafri, Shekhar Suman and Sajid Khan were marooned on an Island, what would happen to comedy in our country! A valid question, I thought! So, this show is an answer to that! The gags are basically based on observation of silly things which otherwise we wouldn't even notice! I always noticed funny things in everyday life, from a very young age! Like things written behind a bus, pleasantries exchanged, election propaganda....these are things I note and they help me in my shows!
The greatest success of the show is that we have learnt to laugh at ourselves
TGILC has changed the way we look at comedy. The show has changed mindsets. Today, there are more standup comedians, obseravtional comdey has come into vogue. There's more aspirational value to the profession. We, Indians are a stuck up lot, we didn't laugh at our own faults....now we do!
Shekhar Suman and Sidhu are not at loggerheads
This is all hype! Why should they be fighting? They have equal weightage in every aspect of the show. While Sidhu's reaction is like the common man's take on the comedy on display, Shekhar judges the technical aspect! He looks at presence of mind and the quality of work. So there is clear demarcation there! Of course they sometimes have a difference of opinion...but obviously where there are two people working there will be a variety in opinion!
I had second thoughts about putting Pehchaan Kaun on air!
There are times when I thought that some of the jokes that were said was lewd, like the popular Pehchaan Kaun act. I had serious aspertions about putting that on air....But see even a crude joke can be presented in style. Now, no one remembers the act's lewd comments, they remember the fun bit - now it has become ringtones and even how people address one another when they call from landlines!
A lot of Indian humour is wicked
Indian humour has always been wicked. Like these - First friend: My father fell into a well.. Second friend: How did you know? First friend: I know because he was shouting Second friend: So is he okay now? First friend: I know because he stopped shouting!
Well, these are acts that are silly, but wicked! Then there are sarcasting jokes like- First friend:They are making roads broader by the day....
Second friend: Obviously, na, the way we are growing, in a few years time Indians are going to live there!"
This is just a sample of acts that we can do. We have to be social critics...that is true comedy!
The gags are crafted to sound good
The contestants who come in the show are very raw. They don't know what not to say! You can say that the scripts are heavily designed by us. They have to be taught when to throw punches....they have to be crafted to sound good.
Women don't have a sense of humour!
Women are stuck in their own world - the dignified, sexy and well poised persona that they have created. They think that jokes are bawdy and crude. They have to learn to laugh at themselves! Women are still to come out of their shells. That's why we don't have female standup comediens.
I have the greatest respect for Ekta Kapoor
It's difficult to work on television. There's a demand and supply pattern that you can't break through. I get tired. It's very demanding...I might be sick or surrounded by problems, but my show must be aired at 10:00 pm every Friday, no matter what! It sucks you down! That's why I have the greatest regard for Ekta Kapoor - the way she handles all her shows, I am amazed!