Johny Lever on rib-tickling mission

DUBAI — A riot of laughter will be unleashed on Dubai residents when Bollywood comedian Johny Lever goes on stage at Indian High School (football ground) today evening, the opening day of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF).

By Anil Kumar Vijayan

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Published: Thu 20 Jan 2011, 9:41 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 5:46 AM

Johny, the very mention of whose name can bring a smile to the average Hindi film-goers’ lips, will be performing in the city after a gap of three years.

He says the gap helps him to improve his onstage performance and come up with refreshing humour based on keen observation of incidents, people and their peculiar mannerisms.

Although he has acted in a lot many Hindi films since 1984 and has at least two or three major acting assignments in hand right now, he says onstage humour is much more satisfying because of the spontaneous audience feedback. He adds that he has become selective in his acting assignments.

An ardent admirer of yesteryear screen comedian Mehmood and playback singer-cum-comedian Kishore Kumar, Johny admits that their work has been an inspiration for him. But he is quick to add that these actors and their contemporary Johny Walker were fortunate to have full-length roles written for them. In the intermittent period between their era and the present,writers of comedy had almost disappeared, he said. According to Johny, in the 1980s, very often directors would ask him to add his own punchlines while shooting comedy scenes. Now, most filmmakers and actors are trying their hand at comedy and though there is a glut of humour-based films, new writers of comedy stand to benefit from the trend.Similarly, he is all praise for television shows designed to encourage new talents in comedy from across India. He says this hasproven to be a boon for many talented artistes from remote areas.

The veteran comedian is accompanied by singers Anubhav Suman, Sangeeta Kopalker and Pooja Nikam, several dancers and a live band. The show titled ‘Johny Lever Live’ will be hosted by actor Sanjay Keni.Tickets are priced between Dh60 and Dh500 with free entry for children below six yearsaccompanied by adults.

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