Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The mere mention of his name brings a laugh in people and they start visualising his expressions. Short he may be, but in Bollywood, especially in the world of humour he is indeed a big name.

Here to shoot for ‘Kitkit + Cricket = Kirkit’, a Hindi-Telugu bi-lingual production, he says comedy is serious business. “These days, every hero and villain too, wants to make the audience laugh and hence they put on our shoes too. Therefore it becomes all the more important for us to innovate, keep dishing out new stuff for film buffs to laugh. And that makes it tough”, he says.

In a tinseltown career spanning 28 years, he has done over 350 films. “I have seen humour evolving from a traditional ‘thali’, a wholesome meal at its own pace, to fast food. Now more people prefer a ‘vada-pav’, a burger and Coke. So the need for improvisation”. However, he regrets, that in the process clean humour has been overshadowed over the years by ‘vulgarity’. “But people laugh at the double-meaning dialogues too. So I guess we have to live with it”, he says.

This man with roots in Kanigiri near Ongole in Prakasam district says that it was a good augury that in the past two decades directors and producers on one hand and viewers on the other hand, had begun accepting that comedians too, were good actors. “We have graduated from being considered just mimicry artists. And now it has reached a stage where everyone wants to do comedy”, he laughs.

Ask him the highlights in his nearly three decade-old career and he says he had two moments of absolute glory. “In 1987, my talent was recognised for ‘Jalwa’ and ‘Tezaab’. And then again in 1992 it was ‘Baazigar’ which actually showcased me as an actor”, he says.