By Priyanka Bhadani
“Isn’t one Arnab Goswami enough for India?” remarks funnyman Cyrus Broacha and there’s no pun-intended in it. He is just answering a question if there’s anybody else in today’s time who could become as big a cultural icon that the senior journo has become with his antics on the show, The Newshour. “Nobody can do things that he does,” says Broacha, who recalls Goswami’s ‘never ever, ever again’ episode with Meenakshi Lekhi, National spokesperson of BJP, as well as the recent one when Pakistan People’s Party Spokesperson Qamar Zaman Kaira left the show mid-way.
For Broacha himself, Goswami has become a subject many a times in his immensely popular show, The Week That Wasn’t that he has co-developed with long-time friend Kunal Vijaykar. In the last eight years, with the tongue-in-cheek humour, the two have tickled many funny bones. Not just Goswami, Arvind Kejriwal, Hugh Hefner, Rahul Gandhi, all have been a part of their show. From jokes on political personalities, cricketers and international icons to giving a pun to grim issues like corruption, everything has been on their radar.
Now, the partners of comedy have taken up the responsibility to bring the same fun to some of the lighter issues in The Week That Wasn’t on Comedy Central, which went on air last week as The Other Week That Wasn’t. Quiz Broacha about the change and in his trademark style, he says, “Nothing much is going to change. The clothing has changed. The tie too has changed.”
Jokes apart, Vijaykar remarks that while the series on the news channel was mostly a pun on the serious issues facing the country, this one’s in a lighter vein. “And since it has been eight years that we have been doing the show on CNN-IBN, the rhythm is there and we don’t have to scratch our heads hard enough,” remarks Vijaykar as he says that the new version on Comedy Central would focus more on news doing the rounds in the Bollywood, fashion and lifestyle industry.
While Kunal agrees that there is already a lot of coverage on the news from the showbiz with the online medium highly active on the front, there’s not much humour-based coverage. “We are trying to do that with the new version of the show. We will pick up subjects that are on the top of the public’s mind,” he says as he remarks that Cyrus will keep picking similarly on people.
With the style that he has, anybody would hardly get upset, but still one wonders if Broacha, rather the two of them, have ever fallen into any trouble because of their humourous take on people. “It rarely happens. Sometimes, someone calls and questions us,” replies Broacha ambiguously. However, he is sure of one thing that since he doesn’t want many people to take notice of what he does on television and thus, “I maintain a low profile,” he remarks as he jokes about his fear of getting calls from the people he has made fun of.
In almost 25 years, Broacha and Vijaykar together have seen comedy’s various twists and turns. From humour being intolerable to many to it being a quality to flaunt, it has changed a big deal. Broacha lauds the video that All India Backchod (AIB) did with Alia Bhatt in which she made fun of herself.
“Currently, comedy is at a very interesting stage. There was a period when we had no comedies at all. But shows like Comedy Circus, Comedy Nights With Kapil and so much happening on the online space with groups like the AIB, the genre has been rejuvenated,” says Broacha, who is planning quite a few interesting things with Vijaykar for the online space.