The Badshahs of comedy :Rajesh-Rajeev
They are Akbar and Birbal of the 21st century. Talented actors Rajesh Kumar and Rajeev Nigam depict a totally different version of the historical icons in Comedy Circus 2 as well as in Dekh India Dekh. Relaxing on the sets of Dekh India Dekh both enjoyed a brief chat with Tellychakkar. Read what they had to say about their jodi, present era of comedy and about their characters.
Since you share great on-screen chemistry is it long since you know each other?
Rajesh: We both met during Comedy Circus 2 for the first time. Initially I was supposed to do the show with someone else but it didn’t happen and I had to search for another partner. On the other hand Rajeev was also facing the same trouble. I had heard about Rajeev and his mind-blowing performances in Laughter Challenge, so I thought that we would make a great couple.
Rajeev: I am happy that it was the right decision.
Whose idea was it to portray the funny side of Akbar-Birbal?
Rajesh: It was basically Rajeev’s idea to bring the witty side of both the legends. Also everyone knows that they both shared a great chemistry and there are so many tales about both of them, so we thought that we could do a lot if we pick these characters.
Rajeev: Our first act in Comedy Circus 2 was appreciated hugely. So in Dekh India Dekh the channel insisted that we carry the same characters in the show and see they are still working.
What is needed to be a good comic jodi?
Rajeev: The most important thing is that both should have a great chemistry and they both should be able to portray it well on screen. Also there should be a mutual understanding so that there won’t be creative differences between them.
Rajesh: But the most essential is that both should be married and have to have a kid. (Laughs).
Why is Akbar still limited to the late Prithviraj Kapoor?
Rajesh: Actually he personified Baadshah Akbar so well that people were totally convinced that Akbar must have been like Prithviraj ji! Today if an actor gets innovative people still expect him to touch Prithviraj ji’s level which is very tough. Earlier I thought I would give Akbar a new voice and look but couldn’t because of some reasons, so I too thought that it would be safe to imitate Prithviraj ji to remain in the race. But here we are also showing the comic side of Akbar and Birbal. They are sometimes funny, at times they also flirt and they speak different languages, which make them 21st century’s dudes.
Akbar was a Mughal king. So did you ever face any trouble from any community?
Rajesh: No we haven’t faced any problem by any community. I think Akbar is too big to fit into one community. He was the greatest Mughal emperor who gave every religion the same respect as he used to give his own. We knew that some of our comments could hurt a specific community so we never did such kind of acts. We just put Akbar and Birbal in different situations every time and that too in a very funny way so that people can be entertained and I think they are enjoying our acts.
Do you all think that comedy is getting vulgar nowadays?
Rajesh: First of all that the time slot of the show is such when generally kids go off to sleep and the second thing is that every character and comedy act has its own essence and we don’t think that in our act we have ever shown anything vulgar.
Rajeev: But we would also like to say that there are some acts in every comedy show that need double meaning dialogues to entertain people, but since it’s comedy we all should take it in a very funny way.
What is the common factor that binds both of you?
Rajeev: We are very alike. We both are very calm by nature and this is very essential.
Gay sex has been legalised in India. What’s your take on that?
Rajesh: (Both were sitting hand in hand but on hearing the question they quickly moved apart) To each it’s own!
Rajeev: India is a democratic country so people can live their life their own way.