Say it with a smile

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By MOHUA DAS
  • Published 22.10.06
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Laughter, clearly, is the best medicine. Proof of guffaw power lies in the TRPs, on national and regional small screens. No wonder the first major comedy show on Bengali television, Mirakkel on Zee Bangla, is ready to undergo a flashy makeover and emerge in a new avatar with jokes, parodies, one-liners and gags galore.

At the centre of the revamp is the first laughter challenge on Bengali TV. The Mirakkel Akkel Challengers will pit 16 contestants against Mir with their witty one-liners, mimicry and more, from October 23, every weekday from 10 pm to 11 pm.

A pool of around 5,500 contestants was first shrunk to 550 and finally frozen at 16 challengers with no previous performing experience. “After grilling celebrities on our show, our current attempt is to get closer to the masses. Our objective is to create a bridge between people and the stage and give performers a suitable platform to showcase their talent. We especially want to give a boost to women capable of making a mark as comic artistes,” says Mir, who has been piloting the show since it started in June. Actors Paran Bandopadhyay, Sreelekha Mitra and Rudranil Ghosh (in picture above by Aranya Sen) will judge four performers in each episode culminating in elimination rounds through five weeks.

Mir, who had made it to the top ten of the Great Indian Laughter Challenge show on Star One, is keen on “drawing elements of humour from daily life” on Mirakkel Akkel Challengers. “The contestants will have to perform to impromptu situations and have been asked to pick on humour based on actual experiences to keep things real,” reveals the popular radio jockey and compere.

The contestant profile promises to throw up an eclectic mix of fun elements. For the funny finalists include a ventriloquist, a sweeper, a housewife, a teacher and even a 12-year-old boy from Durgapur.

The set of 16 went through an extensive grooming session for over two months conducted by the three judges, along with Mir. They were trained to “face the camera, speak articulately and present their jokes to a larger audience”. Members of Bandage, the live band on the show, will bolster the contestants with the right kind of musical back-up for parodies and limericks.

Apart from a bag of goodies, the top eight challengers will win a chance to work on several Zee Bangla projects, while the winner will sign a contract with Zee Bangla for regular performances on Mirakkel. “After the first leg, we plan to do out-of-stage shows to reach out to people and pick potential performers,” signs off Mir.