After the success of his Spotify podcast Andar Ki Baat, comedian Amit Tandon is taking his talents to an OTT platform. Part of a new slate of comedy shows announced by Sony LIV earlier this year, Chalo Koi Baat Nahi—which releases on 20 August—is a satirical series conceptualised and co-created by Tandon and AIB co-founder Gursimran Khamba last year. Each episode will feature sketches that highlight the various problems faced by the common man on the daily. Hosted by seasoned actors Vinay Pathak and Ranvir Shorey, the show will premiere on Sony’s streaming service Sony LIV.
Having two completely different styles of standup comedy, the first challenge that the comedians had to overcome was collaborating on the writing process and getting used to the limitations of writing a show as opposed to a standup special. “Khamba and I were working together for the first time and we came from very different schools of thought in terms of comedy,” Tandon told DeadAnt. “So getting together to write something that both of us find equally funny was a challenge,” he said.
“The number of times your ideas and your jokes get rejected is crazy. Sometimes you’ll write a great piece or a good sketch but it doesn’t fit into the production budgets you have available. So you have to dump a good sketch, which is extremely painful,” he added.
The show—which was originally supposed to be 8 episodes long—was cut down to six episodes because the team didn’t want to compromise on the production quality of the series. “Although we created a variety of sketches, there was a set which we had to leave behind because they couldn’t fit into the structure of the show,” he told us. “So we had to write way more than what we finally ended up creating. In that sense, it was a very interesting experience.”
A cocktail of Tandon and Khamba’s sensibilities, the writers expect to deliver a clean comedy with sharp satire to their viewers. “There are a variety of sketches on the show. And there isn’t one single tone across the show. You’ll see a number of different people doing numerous things,” said Tandon.
“The most memorable moment for me was the first shot of the show because I had never written anything that was mouthed by someone else,” he said. “The entire experience of shooting under COVID-19 restrictions was another challenge.”
Tandon also threw in some cheeky gossip with, “I can’t name them but there were challenges that we faced when we hired actors and we realised on set that they aren’t fitting in. So the last-minute adjustments we had to make to the scripts to accommodate new people and cut out people were some fairly memorable moments,” laughed Tandon.
In addition to Chalo Koi Baat Nahi, Tandon has many more exciting projects in the pipeline. “There’s a movie, there are two-three different series that I’ve written. They are still in the pitching stages and there are production houses that we have partnered up with. Let’s see what happens in the coming months. My fingers are crossed,” concluded Tandon.
Readers may remember that Khamba was accused of sexual misconduct in 2018, as part of the #MeToo movement. He was eventually removed from AIB after he refused to participate in the company’s investigation, citing procedural lapses. Despite the lack of further information on the case, at least in public, Tandon’s decision to work with Khamba may raise some eyebrows.
“The record speaks for itself, this isn’t the right forum for this,” Tandon told DeadAnt when we brought up the accusation. “We really hope you like the show.”