After giving us laughter riots and garnering a lot of accolades, stand-up comedians Ali Hassan and Irfan Malik, the winner of The Great Indian Laughter Challenge 2, are back with a bang. The funny men will be making their acting debut on TV with Doordarshan’s (DD) Yeh Zindagi Hain Gulshan (YZHG).
Directed by filmmaker Suhail Ilyasi, YZHG is based on empowerment of women in Muslim society. “We’ll be playing chacha-bhatija in YZHG. The show is popular in Pakistan. We are hoping to do well in India too. Through DD, we want to reach out to a lot of people,” Ali Hasan says.
Hailing from Karachi, Ali Hassan and Irfan Malik say they never thought they would become so popular in India. “Irfan and I were theatre artists in Karachi. When we got to know that the Laughter Challenge team had come in search of comedians, we wanted to give it a try. Since 2006, we have been performing together. India is our lucky stop as we’ve got tremendous love here,” Hassan, who considers himself a comedian from birth, tells you.
“I was a naughty child and used to crack a lot of jokes. My parents noticed my talent and supported me. What makes us a deadly combo is that we write our own dialogues and punch lines,” he adds.
But with all the tension brewing between the two nations, is it easy for them to be here? “The audience has accepted us. All Pakistani artists do well in India. We are getting regular shows and now we will be able to reach a larger audience,” Malik says.
According to him, there are many Indian artists who have been taking part in Pakistani TV shows and they have been appreciated for their performances. “Singers like Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik and actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and others have participated in reality shows on Hum and Ary channels. They have done well,” he states.
Doordarshan DG Tripurari Sharan says, the channel plans to launch more new programmes soon. “With the introduction of family programmes like Yeh Hai India Meri Jaan and YZHG, we want to offer a bouquet of all genres with a social message. The aim is always to connect to a large audience. We have re-launched Byomkesh Bakshi, starring Rajit Kapoor, which was made about two decades earlier and it’s running on a high TRP rating at prime time.
“We’ve been simulcasting shows like Saraswatichandra and Ramayan along with previous shows like Satyamev Jayate, Coke Studios etc,” Sharan told this correspondent.
(The article was published in The Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/small-screen/thaka-thak-are-back.html).