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I REMEMBER WHEN I USED TO WATCH SHOWS LIKE COMEDY CIRCUS OR LAUGHTER CHALLENGE, I WOULD ALWAYS WONDER WHY PEOPLE LIKE ARCHANA PURAN SINGH WERE LAUGHING SO MUCH, WHEN I NEVER REALLY FELT LIKE LAUGHING. SO WHEN I GOT THIS SHOW, I DECIDED THAT I WILL KEEP IT CLEAN.
"Double-Meaning Jokes On TV Are Disgusting"
Shreyas Talpade Trashes Pun- Intended Comedy ACTS
The last few years have seen a surge of stand-up comedy shows on Indian television. There was a time when this genre was not given too much importance. But as of today, the comedians on these shows have become household names, as they entertain millions of viewers on different shows across different channels. Another trend that has slowly but surely become synonymous with these shows is 'the below the belt wit' aka 'the double-meaning jokes syndrome'. However cringe-worthy these gags may be, they have not only become a major chunk of every participant's performance but they also guarantee the laughs.
Amidst all this, if there is someone who has consciously been trying to keep comedy clean – it is the talented Shreyas Talpade, currently seen on the show Comedy Ka Maha Muqabala. Ask him why he has been making that extra effort to get out of the rut and pat comes his reply, "Somewhere, my team and I have the approach that we have to do comedy, but we don't have to get into the double-meaning space. I like clean comedy. Nowadays, most shows on comedy thrive on the double-meaning space and I am absolutely against it," he pauses, "I remember when I used to watch shows like Comedy Circus or Laughter Challenge, I would always wonder why people like Archana Puran Singh were laughing so much, when I never really felt like laughing. So when I got this show, I decided that I will keep it clean."
Considering the other teams on his show heavily indulge in double-meaning jokes, doesn't that give them a bit of an edge over his team? "Yes, sometimes when other teams on our show put those jokes in their scripts and get extra laughs for it, my team gets a little shaky. They feel like even they should do what everyone else is doing. But I always ask them whether they will be able to look at themselves in the mirror after they do it. Plus, there would be no difference between them and us, in that case. So, I make it a point to be unique. When people see Shreyas' team perform, they know that it will definitely be something clean. We might be a little naughty here and there, but our performances are for the family audiences on TV."
Shreyas also strongly feels that this trend shouldn't continue the way it is going. "I know clean comedy may not work every time, but what's the harm in at least trying it. A little bit here and there is okay, but one must know where to draw the line. Yeh sab kabhi excess mein nahin hona chahiye. Otherwise it becomes cheap and disgusting."
Another reason why the actor is all for clean comedy is because even children watch these shows. "When kids watch TV nowadays and come up to me and say certain things, I am really taken aback. I know today's generation is a little forward, but things shouldn't go to the extent where they forget their manners and say anything to anyone. Kids today are completely spoilt. And it's not their fault, technology is everywhere. So we can't stop that. But whatever we can stop, we should try and at least do that."
Besides being a versatile actor, Shreyas has always won accolades for his perfect comic timing. Ask him whether it was the genre of the show that made him take the leap from films to TV and he instantly replies, "Well, when you are doing films, you have to play a particular character. Yes, you can improvise and things like that. But you always have to keep your character in mind as you do it. Plus, your scope there is limited because it's a three hour film. Here, on this reality show, I was getting a chance to be creative, so that's what I really liked," he takes a breather and continues, "I remember, I was dubbing for a particular film wherein my character had to shout. As soon as I started rehearsing for those lines, meri awaz baith gayi. That really surprised me. I mean, I have done theatre for so many years, so my voice just going away like that didn't make sense. So I was contemplating doing theatre again, when this show came up. I knew that I won't be able to go all out while doing TV because it's a different medium, but because we would be working on the scripts, ideating and writing our own lines, I thought it would at least bring me closer to theatre."
So does it upset him when his scripts fail? "Nah, it's okay because at least you have the satisfaction of putting in that much effort. Plus, I like the idea of picking up contemporary subjects and coming up with punch lines on them."
In one of his interviews, the actor had categorically stated that television would never be his first love. "It was just blown up like that," he cuts in. "What I meant is that films will always be my first love. It's a different space altogether. Like I said, television just gets me a little nostalgic. And obviously, it's paying me really well. That's what truly matters. Plus, the reach that TV has today, is huge. I have seen how popular a few TV stars are, so I know," says the actor positively, "I personally believe that if an actor doesn't have a film releasing for quite a while, he should do television. Out of sight should never become out of mind. It really helps you stay connected with the audience."
Before Shreyas took up …Maha Muqabala, there was also talk of him being a part Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. "Yes, they wanted me to host the show," he asserts. "I was really apprehensive about it initially. But the only thing that kept me interested was the fact that Madhuri Dixit was a judge on the show. I am a huge admirer of her and at some point; I felt that this could be my only chance of working with her. I mean, I don't know tomorrow if she'd be willing to do a film or not or whether I would even be in it or not. So when they approached me, I was happy. But I didn't want to host the show. Anyhow, I decided to give it a shot. But the money they were offering me was very less," he says frankly, immediately adding, "I love Madhuri Dixit, but I wasn't willing to work for peanuts. I didn't think that was right." Uninhibited and honest – that's Shreyas Talpade for you. We're sure this attitude will take him a long way…
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