It took Kapil Sharma three years to become a household name with Comedy Nights with Kapil. And one big fallout with the channel the show aired on, to move on. Replaced by Krushna Abhishek and Bharati Singh, his show was rechristened Comedy Nights Live. He now returns to prime time Indan TV with his new show — The Kapil Sharma Show — beginning April 23 on Sony TV. In a quick chat, he explains how the demise of CNWK only proved beneficial for him and finally gives a response to all the backlash against him from the rival channel and the show’s actors.
You are set to return…
Bas yahi hai! People have loved us right from the beginning, so it is our responsibility that we should do something for the people. So we are making a fun show this time.
Would you miss Comedy Nights with Kapil?
Not really! Everybody is here with me, except Bua, who could not join because of some contractual issues. But now coming to think of it, acha hua show bandh ho gaya. Abhi kuch naya karne ko milega. (Laughs) There, you have a fixed set, you know what are the characters, so aadmi mehnaat karni chhod deta hai. Now that we are beginning this new show, there’s a new sense of josh in everyone. All of us are excited to start this one. Pehli baar, sab thode thik-thak bhi dikh rahe hain. When I saw Ali Asgar today, I could not believe it was him. While shooting for CNWK, he used to come, go to his van, get ready as Dadi and come on floors. It’s after three years that I’m getting to see him as his real self!
Anything new that you plan to bring to this show?
Well, it’s a new channel (Laughs).
But obviously, there will be a lot of new things on the show. The biggest challenge is to make people laugh. When we started off CNWK, it was the same feeling. We didn’t know if people would like the show, but then slowly and steadily, we got in the groove. The same team is here. So it should happen the same way. And when you make a show like this, you have the basic funda in place. Like my strength is doing gags, stand-up. Sunil can play six-seven characters because he’s a master of disguises. Now, we are trying to build new characters. We will use their strengths and play on them as well. We discuss it every day. But nothing is fixed as yet.
Will it have the same family format?
Yes, but there’s a twist to it. Ismein alag-alag family honge. This isn’t a fiction show. So we don’t need to fix someone to play the saas and make him/her continuously do the same role. It will be a mohalla with a few families.
Is there any pressure on you to make this show perform better than CNWK?
No, I don’t feel any such pressure. People have always had a certain amount of trust on us and from the very beginning. One thing that we have strictly followed is that we do only clean comedy. The entire family can watch it together, so we will make them laugh and make sure it doesn’t go below the belt.
There’s so much been spoken about you leaving CNWK. Colors and Krushna too have been spiteful. Did that affect you at all?
You know in life, there comes a certain age or maybe, after a certain amount of experience in life, you don’t give too much value to such stuff. That show was not suiting me, so I left that.
Now, we are doing this show. There’s nothing to be angry or upset about. Woh bachpana hota hai. Log kuchh bhi bol jaate hai!
There were talks that you left CNWK because you were insecure of Comedy Nights Bachao’s rising TRPs…
I don’t know why Krushna is getting involved in all this. He is an artist like me and I don’t have any issues with them. I had a tiff with the channel and there were some disagreements over a few issues. That’s it. Previously, Krushna and I have done six seasons of Comedy Circus and I have been a winner too. Toh abhi yeh sab ke baad, all I can say is chalo insecure hi bol do. Koi farak nahi padta.
Krushna said that you were insecure because stars started going for his show as well…
Yeh shuru kisne kiya tha? Earlier no actors would go on comedy shows. When I was a part of Comedy Circus, if you follow all the acts I did, you’ll notice that I have never done a single double-meaning joke. But there were many others who did it, so I would be associated with it, even though I was not a part of it. I wanted to get out of that, so I produced my own show. Now too, we are back with another show of my own. So there’s no rivalry.
How is your relationship with Krushna now?
I don’t know why people keep asking me about Krushna. It’s like Modi saab election lad rahe hai aur log Rahul Gandhi se hi unke baare mein pooch rahe ho. Main sachchi mein itna popular ho gaya hoon kya?
They even took several digs at you in the first episode. Did you see it?
Yes, I did watch that episode where they made digs at us. Everyone has their own ways of presenting their products. But we won’t resort to such acts on our show. We won’t take any dig at them.
Is SRK a guest for the first episode?
I have been reading about that. So I guess officially they are in talks. I just saw the song from Fan, so I had called up Shah Rukh bhai today morning, but he didn’t pick up the call. Aa aayenge toh achcha hai because we are shooting the first episode in Delhi and that’s his city.
Anyone you want to get on your show?
Meri badi dil ki tamanna hai ek. I was watching the Valentine’s Day episode where Mr Obama came on Ellen DeGeneres’ show. If he can go, then why can’t Modiji come on my show? I feel, today, our country’s politicians should also come on such shows and talk to the general public. If Modi saab comes on my show, it won’t be the usual debate where one political part is blaming the other. He is an inspiration, so I will invite him if we meet any day.
CNWK had over 200 episodes. How many have you planned for The Kapil Sharma Show?
It will be a series of 26 episodes. We are making it a seasonal show. So we will go on a break after these 26 episodes and come back with another season, hopefully this one works well. We had initially planned the same with CNWK also. But then, it started doing really well and we decided not to take any break. Abroad, there are such shows which come in seasons and they are running for 15-20 years now. But yahaan agar kuch chal jaati hai, hum log us hi ko khichte hai sirf. But abhi, we want to work with ease. Zyaada bhag-daud nahi chahiye, thoda aaram ke saath kaam karna hai!