Thanks to his new television show, funnyman Cyrus Sahukar is bowled over by the mind-boggling ideas kids come up with
He’s donned the hats of a VJ and an actor with effortless ease. He’s been popular among the kids too for the children’s shows he’s hosted. And, there’s one more kids’ show he’ll be hosting — Teenovators. Cyrus talks about the show, the talent that kids possess and what else he’s up to. Excerpts from an interview.
Tell us about your new show Teenovators.
Teenovators is about looking for the brightest and the most innovative minds in the country. Not the smartest kid or the kid with the highest IQ, but the kid who has the most vivid imagination. We auditioned lakhs of children in various schools over six months and came down to 10 to 12 kids for the semi-finals. We gave them various tasks — making toys, coming up with various ideas... We brought in heads of various companies who told these kids the problems they were facing, and gave them time to research and come up with solutions.
What is outstanding is your favourite thing about the show?
First of all, it was lovely that the kids were spoken to and treated like adults. They came up with amazing ideas. I remember a kid who invented a toy where you could superimpose the face of anyone you dislike on it and beat it up. The whole idea was hilarious. There was an incident where an airlines wanted to increase the youth population travelling on its airline. These kids were actually able to come up with ideas! And then, one kid came up with a graphic comic novel — in just a couple of hours.
If you were a teen would you be likely to participate in such a show?
I don’t know how many as kids had really great ideas but are now stuck in jobs that take up all their time. You’re only this creatively honed when you are aged 10 or 12. Your teachers and parents too appreciate this sort of creativity at that age. I would have totally been one of those kids and had a blast on a show such as this. In fact, I was almost one of them. An NGO was trying to find ways out for rag pickers in the country, to generate income for them and I completely forgot I was the host and began to ideate with the kids!
You’ve done a lot of kids’ television
Yes, and it’s something I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. The kids today get a chance to become free thinkers. When I was growing up, we just had this one class called Moral Science where we were somewhat allowed to think a little out-of-the-box. I was almost an apologetic dreamer.
What plans next?
I’m hosting this show India’s Got Talent for which auditions are on. In the film front, I have one coming up in August. I’m also doing a short film.
Any more comedy shows coming up?
I’ve set up Humble Pie, an Internet company with a few friends of mine, and it’s been very interesting — I write my own content and put up my own ideas. It’s also lucrative to put it up on the Internet. There are always those seven things you can’t talk about as a comedian because it’s taboo, but on the Internet, I totally can! Were starting with a series of shows. One is a music series featuring offbeat comedy music. Another is a set of five-minute barbs where we show what an interview with a celebrity is really like — they can be rude and strange as opposed to seeming as amicable as they appear.