As India grapples with Covid-19 pandemic, the biggest comedians of the country have joined hands to entertain the audience with Amazon Prime’s latest show LOL- Hasee Toh Phasse. Sunil Grover, Gaurav Gera, Aditi Mittal recently joined NewsX on its special series NewsX India A-List to speak about the show. In the exclusive interview, the trio not only spilled the beans on the format and USP of the show but also shared their opinion on ever-increasing craze around comedy in India.
On bringing smiles amid such tough times, Sunil Grover said, “I feel very lucky to be a part of this show because there are a lot of tensions. People are worried. Of course, everyone knows the reasons. So, it is a good thing that people will be at their home, laugh, stress will reduce. I feel happy that we could bring this show at this time. However, when we were shooting the show, it was difficult. Everyone got tested and we maintained all precautions. We were almost in a bio-bubble. For us, safety was the priority. Fortunately, we could shoot the show at that time. The show is coming at the right time, especially at a time when we need a show like this. I feel happy that I am a part of it. We weren’t allowed to laugh but we hope people will.”
Gaurav Gera said, “I don’t know many shows, which are reality comedy shows. You always have audience around you, who acknowledge, who say that you are funny. They laugh back at you. This show is of a different kind. Here, you have a fiction reality show, where you don’t even know because the people around you are telling you that you are not funny. It is very exciting and I feel that it has never been done before in India. I don’t know if something like this has happened before.”
When asked about the USP of the show and what made her do the show, Aditi Mittal expressed, “I would never get on a conference call with Gaurav Gera and Sunil Grover if it wasn’t for this show. I have already got my work’s worth in this entire process. Having said that, it is a beautiful study. It is an interesting psychological experiment to put these people, like 10 of us, who are so needy for validation that we decided to make a profession out of it. We are then put in a room where nobody is giving us validation. It was truly like it could either go really well, which will be hilarious, or very badly, which would be hilarious.”
Over the years, the standard and craze of comedy is rising, which is visible in the emergence of so many comedy shows. Sharing his opinion on the reason behind this, Sunil said, “There are a lot of reasons behind this. I feel that the first reason is that mediums have increased. People have a lot of platforms to express. People are also doing comedy on social media. There are various tools and apps where even a normal person can also showcase their talent. By normal, I mean people who have not explored their talent yet. So, these people can showcase their talent, become famous on social media and other platforms. Now, we have a lot of material and choice. Things get viral. Because of that as well, people get to know about more people. Of course, mediums that were there earlier, are still there like TV and Films. With OTT, comedy has got a push. People have improved access. They don’t need to venture outside. They can watch content within the comfort of their house. Experiments are happening, which I really like a lot. For example, this show. Just like Aditi was saying earlier, it is an experiment with human emotions on a psychological level. This cannot be done in a film or television. We can explore new content on OTT. I also feel happy that I got a chance to work on a new subject and a new universe.”
On a parting note, the trio shared their ‘one message of hope and caution’ to people amid such a difficult situation. Sunil Grover said, “I don’t know about Dr Gulati but what I understand is that everyone should wear masks. If it is not important, don’t go out of your home. This is my request to everyone. And of course, everyone should maintain hygiene.” Gaurav Gera added, “Only go out if necessary. Otherwise, it is not worth it. We are all in this situation together. It is tough times. You should give hope to people who are isolated. When you are unwell, your mind keeps running so you have to learn how to distract as well. Rest, something is supposed to happen, will happen. So, just stay hopeful and stay cautious.”
Urging people to extend help to the needy, Aditi Mittal finally added, “Mask up, stay home and don’t step outside unless it is absolutely urgent. My request would also be that we are privileged enough to extend a helping hand to someone. If we can do that in these difficult times, whether it is financial or emotional help to anyone, then we should do it.”