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The stand-up comedian, who quit the show last year and has made a fresh entry as Bittoo Sharma's father-in-law, talks at length about his comeback and his new avatar.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q: You are back on "Comedy Nights With Kapil"?
A: Yes, we recorded my re-entry, if we can call it that, on Wednesday night. I had eaten the auspicious dahi-chini (curd and sugar) before leaving for the shooting. It was like coming home. But of course I was nervous.
Q: How did the audience react?
A: The audience broke into spontaneous applause. I felt very, very welcomed.
Q: How did Kapil welcome you?
A: We have been in touch all through the period when I was away from "Comedy Nights With Kapil". He welcomed me very warmly. Rather, I welcomed him, since I reached the set before he did. He came 15 minutes after me. When I saw him, I said, "Welcome to 'Comedy Nights With Kapil'." We sat together laughing, sharing jokes, chatting in-between shots.
Q: This sounds like being too good to be true?
A: In fact, it felt as though I had never left the show. The period in-between simply evaporated. I met Kapil like two friends who pick up the threads of their relationship after some time. He was very warm(gets emotional). Kapil is a sensible, decent man. We share a terrific chemistry. The minute we see one another we smile at one another.
Q: Why do you feel your re-entry may not be called a re-entry?
A: Because I never felt I had gone away. The 'Comedy Nights...' team has been and always will be a part of me. I may have gone away for a while. But I was never far away.
Q: What would your re-entry be like?
A: I'm playing Kapil's father-in-law, to begin with. We'll see how the audience reacts to that character and then take it up from there. If you're hinting at a formal re-introduction, I don't think that's needed. How they bring me back into the show is the channel - Colors' call.
Q: How do you feel about the show "Mad In India"?
A: When I did that show, I didn't do it with the intention to be one-up on 'Comedy Nights With Kapil'. I got the offer after I left 'Comedy Nights With Kapil'. I keep saying, 'Comedy Nights...' was not and is not a 'Gutthi Show' or a Sunil Grover Show. I am part of an ensemble cast. The show existed before me. It will go on after me.
Q: Why do you think "Mad In India" failed?
A: There are many reasons why a show fails. I worked hard on the show. But no point in brooding over the it. It's time to move on.
Q: How much time will you devote to "Comedy Nights..."?
A: I am now fully into the show. It will take up a lot of my time. And if Gutthi comes back, it will be even more time-consuming. She is a very demanding girl.I tell you!