No Laughing Matter: Shekhar Suman says there’s a dearth of clean comedy

Mumbai, June 11 (IANS) Actor and TV personality Shekhar Suman, who is appearing as one of the judges of the upcoming comedy show ‘India’s Laughter Champion’, explains why a clean comedy show can revamp the viewership of TV.

Even though he started his career on television, and he enjoyed the golden era of TV in the ’90s, Shekhar said that in the last one decade people have stopped watching TV as much and shifted to digital platforms because of the substandard content.

In conversation with IANS Shekhar said, “Look, the problem is not in talent but in content and where we are putting the content, meaning, the medium we are choosing. Since the digital platform and social media is accessible to everyone, viewing pattern has also changed. For comedy and humour, since there is no censorship, on OTT we see how some of the jokes are vulgar, explicit and certainly not in good taste. Such content is toxic. There is a dearth of clean comedy.”

He went on adding, “With our show, where participants are coming from every city, be it Bihar, West Bengal, Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Maharashtra and more, we are going to celebrate the diverse culture of India with humour. That idea will make the show a family viewing, and bring back the community viewing experience of TV. One can use abusive words to create humour but it needs an educated, creative mind to write a script and perform sarcasm, subtle humour which is funny and intellectually stimulating at the same time.”

Shekhar believes such reasons are good enough to hold relevance for a comedy show for television even though there are digital avenues for youngsters to put out content.

The show ‘India’s Laughter Champion’, also co-judged by Archana Puran Singh, and hosted by Rochelle Rao, is starting on June 11 on Sony Entertainment Television.