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Posted: 17 July 2006 at 5:22am | IP Logged

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Posted: 17 July 2006 at 5:23am | IP Logged

Thanks to Priya

Johnny Leverage for Zee
agencyfaqs!
MUMBAI, May 25</>
Stand-up comedies

have been a trump card for STAR One, be it 'The Great Indian Comedy Show' or 'The Great Indian Laughter Challenge'. Now Zee plans to follow suit and try its luck in that genre.

While there were quite a few imitative versions of the famous comedian entertaining the viewers in 'The Great Indian Comedy Challenge', Zee has decided to use the original, Johnny Lever himself, in a quest for more viewers. The new show, which will go on air in June 2006, is called 'Johnny Aala Re'.

The show will feature Lever in different avatars in every episode, but putting up a whole act in each one.

No doubt, Zee is keeping its hopes from the show high, considering the fact that artistes such as Lever come for a high price, but the question is whether Zee's effort comes too late?

Close watchers of the industry say that Lever certainly has the capacity to hold viewers for 30 minutes, at least for the initial few episodes.

They are all unanimous about the fact that Lever still has a huge fan following and his 30 minutes of laughs will not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

Quite a few people in the industry are gung-ho about the success of the show. As Praveen Tripathi, CEO, Media Direction, puts it, "If it's Johnny Lever, it's bound to work."

But Tripathi also puts in a word of caution. "The show has to be supported with good scripts to sustain itself in the long run," he says.

He adds, "Although there are quite a few comedy shows running on television, there is still a dearth of good comedy."

Amin Lakani, director, CTG, Group M, concurs with Tripathi. He says, "The real task for Zee would be to continuously reinvent and redesign the content so as to surpass the benchmark set by STAR One's 'Laughter Challenge'. Mere imitation of actors might not work for a long time, which is why avoiding monotony is of key importance."

Speaking in terms of the reach and audience the show will acquire, Premjeet Sodhi, senior V-P, Lintas Media Group, asserts, "Zee has a wide reach and, so, getting the initial viewers will not be difficult. Moreover, a leading comedian like Lever will draw audiences. So, even if Zee is a late entrant, it will find an audience."

Apart from its on-air promos, Zee has not promoted 'Johny Aala Re…' very aggressively. The reason, as the media planners speculate, is the unique format of the show, which does not need outright promotion; mere word-of-mouth will suffice.

On whether it will usher in the numbers for Zee in terms of channel share, Tripathi explains, "This one show cannot do wonders for Zee. It will get an initial sampling, but may not elevate Zee's share. It can definitely hold audiences around that time band and create awareness about shows before and after 'Johnny Aala Re...'"

Well, surely that means that till Lever runs out of jokes, Zee can leverage on his popularity

QH_DDEJ_Fan

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Posted: 17 July 2006 at 6:46am | IP Logged

Johny Lever's take on 'Mughal-E-Azam' Mumbai:

Johny Lever, the host of Zee TV's latest comedy show "Johny Aala Re", does a take off on veteran Dilip Kumar in Monday's episode rather interestingly titled "Mobile Phones In The Era Of The Great Moghul".

Conceived by producer Akashdeep, the spoofs and gags are set around the Dilip Kumar-Madhubala classic "Mughal-E-Azam".

Johny will be seen as prince Salim and Deepshikha will play his ladylove Anarkali. The producers erected a lavish set to shoot the episode, which also includes a list of parody songs.

According to a recent survey, "Johny Aala Re" has had a record breaking opening with 3.3 TRP rating on the 10 p.m. slot.

Going by Johny's past record, his talent assures a hilarity riot to its viewers.

anishma24

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Posted: 17 July 2006 at 7:17am | IP Logged
 

Do you know John Rao from Kamkam village in the Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh? Probably not.

But the name of Johny Lever, comedian extraordinaire, will surely ring a bell, if not wring a few smiles out of the most morose person.

Johny Lever is Bollywood's most sought-after comedian, with sold-out comedy shows across India and roles in several plum projects. He has become an essential part of every film today.


No film is complete without Johny Lever. He may be earning crores of rupees today, but has not forgotten his roots: He still goes to the jhopadpatti he lived in at King Circle.

So it all started in the bylanes of his village, and then in school where he would imitate his school teachers. Of course, like all kids, Johnny loved movies while growing up, though he was not allowed to see that many.

He started doing stand up comedy at the age of 10 years. Though Johny dropped out of school after Class VII, he got a job at Hindustan Lever, Mumbai, for 5-6 years and regaled his colleagues with stand-up comedy.

When the time came to perform on stage, he decided to retain the Lever bit and it caught on.

He got his first break in the movie Dard Ka Rishta, after the late Sunil Dutt saw him perform at a charity show organised by Kalyanji-Anandji.Though Johny has his own style, he draws inspiration from the late Johnny Walker,
Mehmood, Kishore Kumar and Jagdeep.

Johnny says he holds the role he played in Baazigar closest to his heart, because he feels that the audience saw him as an actor of substance.

He adds that he likes to work with directors who give him something new, something fresh and challenging and does not hesitate in turning down those who want him in their movies just because his name sells.

With his short stature, dark skin and a passion for mimicking people, this southern star does not quite fit the larger-than-life illusions Bollywood spins.

But Johnny Lever can not only carry an entire movie on his shoulders, but also attract sold-out crowds to his one-man stage shows.

At a show in Atlanta, Johny brought the house down with his impersonations of Michael Jackson and his spoof of Indians in the United States: 'You have a $3 billion budget for flyovers here? Our bribe budget exceeds that!'

He has an incredibly mobile face, a lithe body that he can still contort into incredible shapes, and is often touted as the Jim Carrey of India.

Johny Lever is the undisputed comedy king of Bollywood films and wants his son Jesse to continue his legacy.

You will soon see him in movies like Ek Haseena, Ek Deewana,Phir Hera Pheri and Saawan:The Love Season.

And of course, on your Television screen! Johny Aala Re airs only on Zee TV Monday to Wednesday at 10 pm.

*Shruti*

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Posted: 18 July 2006 at 6:52am | IP Logged

Johny Lever

Transcript of INDIATIMES LIVE CHAT with Actor, Johny Lever at 3pm on Thursday, July 13,
2006 in Mumbai

"If not an actor I would have worked with Hindustan Liver Limited..."

Johny Lever
Actor

Hiphop> Which artist you love to mimic the most?
Johny Lever> Sanjeev Kumar.

Naughty> What is the future of stand up comedians in India?
Johny Lever> The future is really bright for such artists. If the audience accepts them with open hearts, they will go places.

Fool> Your new show on Zee is not that funny. Do you plan to change or improve it?
Johny Lever> Is not that funny because of technical problems. But now we are improving it day by day. New things take time to settle. We are working hard on it. We want to reach out to people of all ages which take time.

Hiphop> What kind of roles are you getting in the future?
Johny Lever> I am getting the same kind of roles which I have already done. Therefore I have become choosy and very selective about my roles. I want to do something different which I have not done so far.

Sammy_Dude> Do you identify with any of your onscreen characters? Which one and why?
Johny Lever> I identify with my character Babulal of Baazigar because we both are partially forgetful.

Johny Lever> Hi sir, I am a big fan of yours and talking with you for first time.
Johny Lever> Johny Lever from now onwards the next time it will be second time. I will wait for it. Thank you.

Fool> Even after attaining so much fame, how do you keep yourself grounded?
Johny Lever> Which ever flight take off has to land back and there are so many people on the flight. But I am a just human and made to walk not to fly. So I am grounded (laughs).

Sammy_Dude> How did you feel when you were facing the camera for the first time?
Johny Lever> I got fever when I had to face the camera for the first time. I couldn't sleep the night before because of the fear. But I did a good job in my first shot (that was by mistake).

Suku> Johny do you have kids and would you like them to do become actors.
Johny Lever> Yes I have a son and a daughter. I would like my son to become a comedian but only after his graduation. My daughter wants to become a singer.

Ravi_Dam> Which media do you like the most - films or TV?
Johny Lever> Both because they are different from each other. Moreover I am getting to learn a lot in TV.

Ravi_Dam> Tell us about the off-screen Johny Lever. If not an actor then he would have been ?
Johny Lever> Off screen I am funny as well as serious. I am a little shy also. If not an actor I would have worked with Hindustan Liver Limited, where I was working before I joined acting. But I always wanted to become an actor since childhood.

Johny Lever> Film stars have less time to make holidays. Yet have you got chance of visiting our place in Delhi?
Johny Lever> Yes I have been to Delhi. Moreover it's the capital of our country, so who will not like to visit the place.

Ravi_Dam> Which is your favorite pick-up line?
Johny Lever> My favorite pick up line is Tussi Great ho! Tussi Toop Ho!

Pra123> Please act in other serials, your acting is awesome!!
Johny Lever> Thank you and if I get a chance I will for sure act in other serials. Why don't you produce a serial?

Jeet_Saru> What sort of portrayals do you personally prefer to do?
Johny Lever> Something similar to Mehmood portrayal in the movie Kunwara Baap.

Jeet_Saru> How did you started your journey and which was your first movie?
Johny Lever> I started with performing on stage. Then I joined music director Kalyanji anandji musical troupe (I was doing stand up comedy there). Through them I got my first break in the movie Yeh Rishta Na Toote.

Suku> Would you ever act in an Ekta Kapoor soap opera, if given a chance?
Johny Lever> I will act but I will have to cry in her serial which I don't know how to do? Ask Ekta to teach me how to cry (laughs).

Jeet_Saru> One thing you never leave your home without?
Johny Lever> It is my mobile phone.

Fundoo> How do you feel after achieving so much success?
Johny Lever> I feel really nice and also scared at times of losing my fans love.

Devil_Dare> If deserted on an island whom would like to take along with yourself?
Johny Lever> I will take my wife along for my safety!

Fundoo> Can you narrate the most comic incident from your life?
Johny Lever> The most comic incident was when Mr Sunil Dutt was introducing me to perform in a shot and the camera man told me to move away. Dutt Saab corrected the camera man and told him that he is going to perform and not him. This incident happened in the year 1981.

Sign off Message> Thank you for all the questions. Be happy, be good and may god bless all. Take care. Johny Lever.

QH_DDEJ_Fan

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Posted: 18 July 2006 at 7:18am | IP Logged
Johnny Lever's Testimony

Johnny Lever - Humor Icon of Bollywood King of comedy, Junior Charlie Chaplin, India's gift to the nation, extremely talented Aslam bhai - these are the few words go by in addressing Johnny Lever. Covered more than 300 films he has 2 prestigious Filmfare awards to his credit.

Today Johnny is one of the most highly respected and highly paid comedians in Indian film industry. Johnny shares the goodness in knowing Christ in an exclusive interview with C.B.N India.

"I am originally from South India. My father used to work for Hindustan Lever Ltd so we got settled in Mumbai. My actual name was John Rao and I've done my schooling from Andhra Educational Society. Though I was not a very bright student I used to manage to get through my exams. Ours was a Christian family but as far as I am concerned I was just a nominal one. I was a Christian mainly on Christmas and Easter days. Jesus was just a friend for me, remembered only in times of trouble. Right from my childhood I was a very free and friendly person. I never took life seriously. I was more a social person and I used take every God as my God and every festival as my festival. Freaking out with friends was one of my favorite pass times and as a result my father found that I was slowly loosing track in life. So he put me in a job at Hindustan Lever Ltd as an employee. Even at my work place I was always making fun, cracking jokes and also used to do some plays for my co-workers at lunch breaks and other free times. Many used to watch me doing those plays and at the end they would all come and congratulate me. Most of them said 'Johnny you are extremely talented why don't you try your luck in films' this statement started to ring in my mind very often. I signed my first movie in 1975 and in the year 1981, I left Hindustan Lever Ltd. I changed my name from John Rao to Johnny Lever and from then I never looked back. Success after success followed and finally it became my surname. I made a lot of money and network. I have a status in the society. I along with my family live a costly life, enjoying every thing on earth. I had so much of network that once I did a play on National Anthem, which was actually against the law, and as a result I was arrested and put to prison, but believe me that I had a royal treatment. Many of my fans stepped in; the police received many phone calls from film and political celebrities asking them not to touch me. I personally received many wishes and flowers asking me not to worry. On the third day I got the bail and I was out.

After such incidents I always felt that my money, my status and my network of friends can help me at every situation of life. Every day we had a party irrespective of the reason. It came to such an extent that if I was out of work I was with a bottle. Life went on just the same with success and party but every thing got toiled on one node i.e. when my son Jesse was diagnosed tumor on his neck. I took him to every Famous Specialist but they all said if we operate we can't guarantee his right part of the body functioning. I was ready to spend every penny on my child but was of no use. My wife Sujatha went to different temples but they all said 'if you get your son operated he will die'. We tried every source but nothing was in our favor. The only that was left was to come on to our knees and pray to the Living God. We sent prayer requests to every church we know and every one started to pray for my child and at last the operation was successful.

Today, my son doesn't have even a trace of tumor in him. From then I slowly started to read the Bible, and every word I felt so strong and true that I repeatedly read it. Every word from the Bible seems to be talking to me. Slowly I started to examine myself in accordance to the Bible and slowly asked God to help me in changing my life style. God gave me grace and today I left my drinking habit. I had a big bar at my home, but today at the same place I conduct prayer meetings twice a week. During my travel I see that I carry the Bible and read it. Today we as a family have regular family prayer meetings. I just want to thank God for his goodness in our lives. We have a perfect peace in our family". "All that I would like to tell to every one is that the peace you find in Jesus you can never get in anything in the world – TRY JESUS!" Today, Johnny tries to reach out to every individual with the Gospel through the talent he has.

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Posted: 18 July 2006 at 7:27am | IP Logged
Bollywood Comedian expresses nationalism by singing and praying JOHNNY LEVER HAS LENT HIS VOICE TO SINGER ANIL KANT'S ALBUM

Bollywood Comedian, Johnny Lever's file photo

New Delhi - When Bollywood's king of comedy, Johnny Lever takes centerstage, one expects guffaws to follow.

But, when Lever walked up to the stage at Shah Auditorium on Rajpur Road, New Delhi, recently, there was a pleasant surprise waiting. Instead of cracking jokes and making the audience break out into peals of laughter, he broke into a song.

Lever, who has lent his voice to singer-producer Anil Kant's album Pray for India, was in the city for its launch and he didn't fail to please the audience with his singing prowess.

The album, which was released at a Gospel singing programme organized by the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, also features the voices of noted ghazal singers Jagjit Singh and Pankaj Udhas. The Bishop of the Church of North India, Rev. Karam Masih, released the album.

''I believe it is very important for everyone of us to pray for our country and its people. When Kant approached me for the album, I immediately agreed to sing,'' said Lever, who has made his maiden entry in the world of music albums with this one. ''I've lent my voice to a couple of background film scores earlier, but this was definitely the best experience,'' he added.

Lever sings the title song, Pray for India (which also features Udhas), in the album that has been produced by Kant's Trinity Sounds. A music video of the title song too will be released soon and has been directed by Vimal Oberoi of Collective Efforts.
The album is presently available with the Catholic Archdiocese and different churches in the city and will soon be available in leading music stores across Delhi.

Before returning to India and settling down in Mumbai, Kant had spent a number of years in Indonesia. Kant's Trinity Sounds has cut three devotional albums before Pray for India.
''Spreading the message of love and brotherhood is my mission in life from now on. And I'm thankful that so many big names have come forward to help me in this endeavour,'' said Kant, who has composed the background score for the album too. Jagjit Singh has sung three songs in the album that also features Kant's daughter Shreya.

Besides the singing, the event also saw Lever regale the crowd with his trademark brand of humour. But he didn't forget to end each joke with a message that did not fail to find its mark.

Besides Lever and Kant, a choir from the Good News Centre, Janakpuri, also sang some Hindi devotional songs that had the crowd joining the chorus.
So, is Lever interested in going overdrive with his vocal chords? ''No, I think that most things should be left to the experts. Singing is for professionals. This (Prayer for India) is just an expression of nationalism,'' he summed up.



lachi

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lachi

Joined: 22 August 2005

Posts: 2707

Posted: 18 July 2006 at 7:55am | IP Logged
Bollywood Comedian expresses nationalism by singing and praying JOHNNY LEVER HAS LENT HIS VOICE TO SINGER ANIL KANT'S ALBUM

Bollywood Comedian, Johnny Lever's file photo

New Delhi - When Bollywood's king of comedy, Johnny Lever takes centerstage, one expects guffaws to follow.

But, when Lever walked up to the stage at Shah Auditorium on Rajpur Road, New Delhi, recently, there was a pleasant surprise waiting. Instead of cracking jokes and making the audience break out into peals of laughter, he broke into a song.

Lever, who has lent his voice to singer-producer Anil Kant's album Pray for India, was in the city for its launch and he didn't fail to please the audience with his singing prowess.

The album, which was released at a Gospel singing programme organized by the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, also features the voices of noted ghazal singers Jagjit Singh and Pankaj Udhas. The Bishop of the Church of North India, Rev. Karam Masih, released the album.

''I believe it is very important for everyone of us to pray for our country and its people. When Kant approached me for the album, I immediately agreed to sing,'' said Lever, who has made his maiden entry in the world of music albums with this one. ''I've lent my voice to a couple of background film scores earlier, but this was definitely the best experience,'' he added.

Lever sings the title song, Pray for India (which also features Udhas), in the album that has been produced by Kant's Trinity Sounds. A music video of the title song too will be released soon and has been directed by Vimal Oberoi of Collective Efforts.
The album is presently available with the Catholic Archdiocese and different churches in the city and will soon be available in leading music stores across Delhi.

Before returning to India and settling down in Mumbai, Kant had spent a number of years in Indonesia. Kant's Trinity Sounds has cut three devotional albums before Pray for India.
''Spreading the message of love and brotherhood is my mission in life from now on. And I'm thankful that so many big names have come forward to help me in this endeavour,'' said Kant, who has composed the background score for the album too. Jagjit Singh has sung three songs in the album that also features Kant's daughter Shreya.

Besides the singing, the event also saw Lever regale the crowd with his trademark brand of humour. But he didn't forget to end each joke with a message that did not fail to find its mark.

Besides Lever and Kant, a choir from the Good News Centre, Janakpuri, also sang some Hindi devotional songs that had the crowd joining the chorus.
So, is Lever interested in going overdrive with his vocal chords? ''No, I think that most things should be left to the experts. Singing is for professionals. This (Prayer for India) is just an expression of nationalism,'' he summed up.

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