Sony Entertainment Television brings back a classic comedy format to TV

New show India's Laughter Champion will replace The Kapil Sharma Show on the weekend.

Mumbai: It’s time to ROFL. Yes, roll on the floor laughing. Sony Entertainment Television (SET) is set to showcase fresh comedic talent on television with its new show called India’s Laughter Champion. Produced by Banijay Asia and Salman Khan TV, the show was conceived as the programming team at SET and producers at Banijay Asia contemplated about what to do after The Kapil Sharma Show went on break.

India’s Laughter Champion brings back the classic format of The Great Indian Laughter Challenge that aired some 15 years ago.

The new show will showcase a range of stand-up acts from comedians across the country who are anywhere between 22 to 80 years of age. The viewers will be exposed to a variety of comedy acts from the contestants whose ultimate aim is to win the coveted title of ‘India’s Laughter Champion.’

Hosted by Rochelle Rao, the comedic acts will be judged by comedic experts Shekhar Suman and Archana Puran Singh. A sneak peak of the show was presented before the media on Tuesday and showcased the hilarious performances of Nitesh Shetty from Mumbai, Radheshyam Bharti from Pragyaraj, Himanshu Bavandar from Ujjain and Bollywood boys Gaurav and Ketan from Mumbai and received hearty applause.

In the past, Banijay Asia founder & CEO Deepak Dhar has been responsible for producing The Great Indian Laughter Challenge during his stint as MD & CEO of EndemolShine India. He went on to produce another successful comedy show called Chhote Miyan – Jung Nanhe Hasgullon Ki that ran for three seasons.

“We’ve had a great track record when it comes to comedy,” Dhar told on the sets of the show located in Film City Goregaon. “It is only possible because of the team we’ve assembled. They know their craft.”

India’s Laughter Champion will have anywhere up to 50-55 contestants who’ll compete in terms of their comedic ability on stage and be judged by Suman and Puran Singh and audiences.

Dhar underplays the competitive element of the show saying that it is only a layer of the show to engage audiences. He said, “I don’t think the contestants on the show are coming to compete. They want to showcase themselves. Many years back we saw what happened to the careers of Raju Shrivastav, Naveen Prabhakar, Kapil Sharma and Bharti Singh when they appeared on The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. They all became household names. So, the contestants are really here to shine in the spotlight. The idea is to give these contestants a platform so that they can become posters of wit and humour,” elaborated Dhar.

Apart from skyrocketing the careers of comic talents that Dhar mentioned, The Great Indian Laughter also spawned other show formats such The Kapil Sharma Show and the Comedy Circus.

“The idea for us is to do something that brings back classic TV content,” noted Dhar. “We want to make the show as universally appealing as possible so everyone can sit and watch it. That’s why we’re adding as much diversity to it so it appeals to as many people as possible. To top it off, we’re bringing two judges who are well-known to understand wit and humour.”

The judges and producers of India’s Laughter Champion emphasised on putting on a clean show and veering away from the trend of explicit and vulgar comedy content observed on OTT and digital platforms. “We believe in mass clean comedy humour,” stated Dhar. “A show that I can watch with my daughter and my mother when I’m at home. It is important for us to make this show universally appealing so that people can watch it and appreciate it,” said Dhar.

While the urban stand-up comedy scene has shifted to conversations around millennial and Gen Z experiences, Dhar did not seem concerned that the format of India’s Laughter Champion appealed to a mass audience, including older audiences. He remarked “We’ll wait and watch how people receive it. I feel there’s always a hunger and thirst for clean comedy. That always stands out from the clutter. We saw it many years back and I think we’ll see it again.”

India’s Laughter Champion will begin airing on 11 June starting at 9.30 pm. SET has roped in Rajdhani Poha as a sponsor for the show.  

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