Bengaluru’s popular radio jockey and stand-up comedian Danish Sait may not have imagined that one day an alter ego, that he created to prank his listeners on his show, would be made into a movie. Danish is currently busy churning out comedy videos and sharing them on his social media handles promoting his upcoming Kannada film Humble Politician Nograj, which is due in cinemas this Friday.
“I grew up in the political environment,” said Danish when asked how the seed of Nograj character germinated in his mind. “One of the characters I created was Nograj. I used to watch Family Guy and I was inspired by it. I made animation characters to make prank calls. These characters resonate with the parts of Mysore and Bangalore and the culture of areas that I grew up in. My surroundings generally influenced me in creating characters like Malayalee guy Chacko. One of the influences was this character Nograj.”
“I wanted to bring Nograj’s character into a visual form gradually. I believe audio in the country is still in the nascent form of entertainment because its consumption is not as much as video,” thus Danish made his progression from the radio to digital video platform.
Nograj’s accent and diction made Danish’s a big hit with Bengalureans. And a prank call to the office of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) even landed him a great gig with the IPL team. He started hosting the RCB “Insider Show” pranking the team players with funny questions as Mr Nags.
Danish used Nograj to make satire videos on social issues, which went viral on the internet. “I was in New York studying improv. One day I called up my friend Saad Khan, who is a filmmaker, and told him let’s make a film called Humble Politician Nograj,” he recalled.
“Saad and I sat together and wrote the film together. Now people have seen Nograj on YouTube videos, heard him on the radio. We had to bring in the characters like his PA Manjunath and wife Lavanya that he mentioned in his shows. We had to create a new world around Nograj,” he added.
He said he was lucky enough to get producers like Rakshit Shetty, Pushkara Mallikarjunaiah and Hemanth Rao as they were very supportive throughout the project. “Rakshit Shetty has already watched the film twice. Puneeth Rajkumar also enjoyed the film,” Danish revealed.
A team of comics have made and acted in Humble Politician Nograj, including Sumukhi Suresh, who plays Lavanya. “It is not a slapstick comedy. It won’t have quintessential romantic numbers,” Danish noted suggesting that film will be filled with situational comedy.
Danish is also quite excited about the response the response the film has garnered for its paid premiere shows. “We sold about 1200 tickets in 18 minutes on Monday, which was unheard of,” said Danish cheerfully.