MUMBAI: There was a time in the 80s and 90s that comedy shows like 'Hum Paanch', 'Dekh Bhai Dekh' and 'Zabaan Sambhal Ke' ruled the small screen. More recently, the likes of 'Khichdi', 'Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai' and 'Office Office' captured the audience’s imagination.
Speaking of channels, Zee TV had stopped dabbling in comedy for nearly a decade till it launched 'Bh se Bhade' not too long ago. While the show bombed at the television box office, Zee didn’t lose hope and is back with another comedy show titled 'Gangs of Haseepur', slated to replace 'Bh se Bhade'. With the nation in the grip of elections, 'Gangs of Haseepur' will reflect what’s happening around us in a funny, humorous way.
“Things that can make you cry will now make you laugh!” is how Zee TV programming head Namit Sharma sums up the new show. “So be it onions being expensive, our faith in our political system, corruption or mehengaai, these are the pain points in our lives, but let’s laugh at them. Since we cannot do anything about it, why not just laugh at it.”
Produced by Essel Vision Productions, the show will be hosted by Ragini Khanna. Contestants like Bharti Singh, Suresh Menon, Raju Srivastav and Krushna Abhishek will perform. Actress Tanishaa Mukerji, who shot to fame with 'Bigg Boss season seven', along with Mandira Bedi will judge the laugh-a-thon.
Nitin Keni of Essel Vision Productions says the concept is very different from other comedy shows running on television today. “It will talk about social issues, and comedians will pick an issue which the country is facing and make fun of it. It has been just 15 days since we finalized the concept of the show.” Currently in the scripting stage, shooting for the show will start from April 14.
Sharma says they wanted to time the show with the polling phase so as to reflect what is happening in the country. “Our endeavour is to make a good comedy show that reflects all the issues of society currently and that can poke fun at the everyday life of our country. On our channel, there was a lack of it, and there was a desire to do a comedy show. More importantly, there was a desire to reflect the mood of the country,” he says. “We do understand that men watch more GEC television over weekends. So, we are catering to the entire family.”
Won’t 'Gangs of Haseepur' get lost in the sea of comedy shows that have debuted on television of late? “Today, one wants to see clean comedy shows, no doubt it works as a stress buster at the end of the hard day, but good and differentiated content will be recognized,” says a media planner on condition of anonymity.