Specials

The Content Hub: Education in comedy doesn’t exist in India

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/event-coverage/2014/12/04/content%20hub.jpg?itok=kOtOFCm2

MUMBAI: With the soaps and dramas ruling the Indian television screens, comedy to some extent has taken a backseat. A session on ‘Comedy Fix’  moderated by Indiantelevision.com's founder, CEO and editor in chief Anil Wanvari and panellists Neela Telefilms director Asit Modi, Optimystix Entertainment producer Vipul D Shah and All India Bakchod (AIB) co-founder and member Tanmay Bhat sought to find if the TV industry is seeing a dearth of writing talent.



Modi said that in the field of comedy there is not only shortage of writers but producers as well. “Our industry is not ready for new writers. We have a closed mindset when it comes to new writers and tend to only work with a particular set of experienced ones. We don’t give an opportunity to explore,” he said.



Bhat went on to reason why new writers are not accepted by the industry and what today’s writing lacks. According to him the current state of television writing is very generic. “Right from actors to producers to writers, I have seen ‘just-get-it-done’ kind of attitude where originality doesn’t matter but copy pasting does.  In my early days, when I used to meet television writers  one common thing that I noticed amongst them was that they all had a set pattern of writing in a number of shows,” he elaborated.  



All the panellists felt that in today’s time everything is scripted and agreed that the attitude towards writing is very poor which needs to be changed.



Shah highlighted right from the beginning there were no new writers created for TV but the ones making the films ended up writing for the small screen too. According to him, it is difficult to get innovative story writers because it is demanding. “Today, television writing, whether fiction or non-fiction, has a set of dos and don’ts because a channel can demand a change in the plot anytime and we as writers have to be also on our toes to fix it.”



He went on to say that western formats can never be adopted in India. “Our humour is completely different from the genre abroad. We can't present dirty comedy here because it will never be accepted. So, to bring the humour, which can be accepted by Indian audiences, we have to create our own talent, which is again very difficult.”



According to Modi, whose Taarek Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah has been running successfully for more than six years, writing a daily comedy is not only a challenge but a task. It is not only the writer's responsibility to make the show going but the entire teams. “You not only need a good writer but a good performer also. And after getting a good performer/actor, one needs a good producer who can bridge the gap.”



Showing the silver lining in the cloud, Bhat said that thankfully now humour has started getting the respect it deserves. According to him, comedy education doesn't exist in India. “We compare ourselves to the shows in the US. But we also have to look at the kind of education and training they have gone through. All writer/comedians one sees in their shows have all gone through a certain level of training. This doesn't exist in India.”



The panellists agree that Indian television has always accepted family comedies and this is what will continue in the future as well. From shows like Dekh Bhai Dekh to Khichdi to Sarabhai vs. Sarabhai, they all have catered to the masses.  



Is there fatigue coming in comedy? “No, not at all,” said both Modi and Shah. "There will be always space for comedy. Shows like Comedy Nights with Kapil, Comedy Circus, are making everyone laugh today. And everyone loves to laugh, so comedy is and will always be audience’s first choice," added Modi.



Wanvari further delved to find out that apart from family comedies if there is a room for sitcoms on television? “It will change, because comedy has just started its journey.  I am seeing a lot of scope as more comedy channels are being launched. In comedy more than the story, character development is important. So once the characters are developed, the task will be simple," said Modi.



According to Shah, whose Comedy Circus ran for seven and half years, a show never feels the fatigue. “Yes, at times a few episodes works and a few don't. Comedy sometimes backfires as well. But overall as a genre, there is no fatigue coming in,” he further said.



Coming from a digital background, Bhat feels that television needs to start catering to the youth a lot more. "They are still catering to the families and not the youth. So, young people will stop watching television at some point of time unless channels keep re-inventing.”



As for Bhat, re-invention should start from the writers’ room. “I don't see enough young people picked up from the colleges and groomed. It is essential to grab someone at 16 and groom them to get good comedy in place. Any college kid would want to write for television but there are no platforms."

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/05/07/ficci.jpg?itok=DCBtJjhj
FICCI - Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas releases FICCI Frames ‘Entertainment Law Book 2020’ Report

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, today released ‘Entertainment Law Book 2020’ report. The report highlights regulatory developments in the field of TV broadcasting and distribution, music, radio, filmed entertainment, and other segments...

Specials Event Coverage Ficci Frames
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/23/nepa.jpg?itok=RoQ0G9Yv
Research is important while creating content: Nepa India

MUMBAI: Research is a key ingredient before the launch of any product or brand. And creating content is nothing without appropriate research about the audience and their choices, explains Nepa India managing director Esha Nagar while giving a presentation at the fourth edition of The Content Hub...

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/19/content.jpg?itok=4mbPkOgp
Spontaneity, gut feeling are fundamentals of my direction: Badhaai Ho director Amit Sharma

MUMBAI: The director is like the manager of a film who brings talent under one roof and extracts it to create good content, said film director and producer Amit Sharma while addressing fellow and budding content creators at the fourth edition of The Content Hub 2020 organised by indiantelevision....

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/16/mrinal.jpg?itok=i2CPPY0K
Supernatural genre gives writers most creative liberty

Writers of the popular TV show Naagin, Mukta Dhond and  Mrinal Jha, explored the scope of the supernatural genre at The Content Hub 2020 organised by indiantelevision.com. Dhond said that the most exciting thing about fantasy is that it gives creative liberty to writers. As they say, anything is...

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/16/sameer-nair.jpg?itok=2JzVVlne
Applause Entertainment’s Sameer Nair on digital content creation, self-regulation and creative freedom

Creativity, freedom of expression, self-regulation and content quality are some of the factors that come into play for digital platforms. These topics were addressed in a fireside chat between House of Cheer founder and CEO Raj Nayak and Applause Entertainment CEO Sameer Nair, at Indiantelevision....

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/14/sooni.jpg?itok=g3qZuuEr
It's the golden age of content: Sooni Taraporevala

MUMBAI: Sooni Taraporevala, an Indian screenwriter, photographer and filmmaker best known for her work in Mississippi Masala, spoke on ‘The Golden Age of Content’ at The Content Hub 2020 organised by indiantelevision.com.

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/13/frank..jpg?itok=Hn6cXSBy
Writers are the key to great content

At The Content Hub 2020 organised by indiantelevision.com, Tulsea talent manager Radhika Gopal and Matter Advisors founder and managing partner Caleb Franklin discussed the importance of creating an ecosystem and a platform for writers.

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/13/2.jpg?itok=kPfBtKAh
Visuals go hand-in-hand with storytelling for compelling content

It takes massive effort, time and investment but delivers great result for producing high-quality content in terms of visuals, said Travelxp’s creative director Kamakhya Narayana Singh while sharing the advantages of 4K and 8K format during the fourth edition of The Content Hub 2020 hosted by...

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/03/13/cont.jpg?itok=3OaW3AyW
More localised stories is the way forward to connect with larger regional audiences

Regional GEC is the new focus area after Hindi GEC for broadcasters, OTT platforms and production houses as well. South market is the biggest market in the regional space; it has grown by 45 per cent with OTT platforms investing in regional content.

Specials Event Coverage Content Hub

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required