Laugh riot
(Posted on 10 August 2007)

When talent spawned by television returns to it after being lauded on the
big screen too, it's time to rejoice.

Ranvir Shorey and Vinay Pathak are by now, names to reckon with in the film industry. Both are known for their perfect comedy timing and both shone in recent hits like Khosla Ka Ghosla and Bheja Fry. The duo, close buddies in real life too, are back on TV hosting a show of their own called, what else, Ranvir, Vinay aur Kaun? They have little to do on the show but be themselves, and that they do splendidly.

All the episodes in the inaugural week were crafted to keep you glued to the sofa grinning from ear to ear. How many shows can do that nowadays at 10 pm? The first episode was by far the best. It featured Karan Johar, this time on the opposite side of the fence, as it were. The filmmaker gamely rewound to scenes of his childhood, when his mother overlooked his obesity and friends shunned him when selections for the football team were made. The beauty of the show is its apparent lack of a script or a format that it's expected to stick to. The two hosts lounge around with cushions and soft toys for comfort, banter in their trademark style and shoot questions that sound innocuous but in reality, manage to elicit some really interesting answers from the guests, who have loosened up enough to join in the banter.

If KJo was interesting to start the series with, Konkona Sen (surprise guest - since she's always denied any close friendship with Ranvir) was witty and spontaneous too, as was Rajpal Yadav in the following episode. The show is a good replacement for the Comedy Show Ha Ha Ha, which was becoming a bit jaded for want of good topics.

 

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Dutt, of course

Sanjay Dutt's safely behind bars at Yeravada jail in Pune, but that doesn't stop news channels from feeding off the story. Some good, some just ho-hum. NDTV's We, The People got together a good panel comprising activist Teesta Setalvad, former police commissioner MN Singh, TimeOut editor Naresh Fernandes, Farzana Contractor and others to debate whether Dutt was getting all the mileage while the other accused were getting a relatively raw deal. Anchor Barkha Dutt had a tough time managing her volatile guests, particularly Singh and Setalvad, who almost traded blows when Singh questioned the latter's integrity. The most sane voice of them all however,came from a youth at the end of the show, who said, "It's time we stopped blaming politicians and those in power, when, we, the people, do nothing to change the status quo." So true.

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On the other hand, on CNBC, Karan Thapar's guests N Ram, Mahesh Bhatt and supreme court lawyer KTS Tulsi were all in agreement when asked to debate over whether the I&B minister's comments in support of Dutt were an affront to the judiciary. Thapar himself admitted that it was a refreshing (albeit boring!) change to have the senior counsel too agreeing with Ram and Bhatt that Dasmunsi was probably only speaking as a fan of the filmstar and not in his innate capacity as minister. Ho hum.

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Credit needs to be given to the RKB show which manages to bring the right people on for an interview at the right time. Filmmaker Shyam Benegal, who has been honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke award, appeared the same evening on Sahara Samay chatting with RK Bajaj about his life and achievements.

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Couch potato tip - Sahara One is bringing back Malini Iyer and Prratima as re-runs. Those who missed Sridevi and Kirron Kher on the shows last time, can look forward to these again!

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