The funnyman turns a dare-master on the new show — Challenge Accepted
Troubling comedians is Cyrus Sahukar’s favourite hobby, and getting people to do what he wants has been a fantasy for long. Comedy Central’s upcoming series Challenge Accepted is giving him a free hand to do both.
Here, Sahukar will dare five comedians to do simple, yet absurd things in public, thus landing them in a series of embarrassing situations. The catch is that all the cameras are hidden, and so is Sahukar, who will beam funny instructions to the participants via an earpiece.
The challenge for them is to do the task, and earn points. The smartest of them all will walk away with the prize money at the end of the eight-episode series. But wait, there’s more. Celebrities such as Mini Mathur, Cyrus Broacha, Luke Kenny, Sameer Kochhar, and Amrita Puri will play host to the last of the four challenges in every episode.
The format is similar to Impractical Jokers, Key & Peele, and Whose Line Is It Anyway?, with a few changes. “It’s in the realm of the same international shows, except that the participants are not friends,” says Sahukar. The 35-year-old comedian and actor, who rose to fame in the 90s as VJ for MTV India, takes us through the fun ride.
Tell us about the five participants.
They are Dhruv Deshpande, Naveen Richard, Deep Chhabria, Utsav Chakraborty, and Cyril D’Abs. Deshpande is very lucky. He looks like one of those boys who can’t do anything wrong. I don’t know why, but old people hate Cyril. Then there’s Chakraborty, who drives me nuts. I have aged while dealing with him. He keeps saying “I can’t hear you”. Deep is a constant grinner, and girls really like him. Richard is my favourite. He gets away with his deadpan look.
The challenges of the show.
Though the team and I discussed the premise of the dare at length, we never know what will happen on ground, and how the people will react. For one of the dares, a participant had to ask a person in a white shirt to get up from his seat at a restaurant. Like simply get up. That person actually did! So it’s an extempore for me as well. I have to keep thinking of ways to keep the situation going.
A memorable dare.
We asked Richard to go to a supermarket and act like a physiotherapist. He had to get someone to do the Macarena step. Trust me, a person did that and said that his lower back felt better.
International names you would like on the show.
Louis CK, Aziz Ansari, or Kunal Nayyar.
A prank that you didn’t take with a smile.
A friend of mine once told me he sleep walks. One night, he came into my room, and was on my bed on all fours. I almost died of a heart attack. He was pretending.
Premieres on January 30, 8.30 pm on Comedy Central
— Barkha Kumari
On the Kiku Sharda fiasco: It’s a one-off freak accident. The guy was just doing his job. I am not going to judge the entire country with this.
When people confuse you with Cyrus Broacha: The best came from Johnny Lever. He asked us, “Are you guys twins?”. I said to myself, “Are you serious? This guy (Broacha) is a potato. I look like a carrot. And, why would our parents call both of us Cyrus, man”. He was just messing with us.
Your fix of comedy shows:
Louie, and The Big Bang Theory.
If you had your own comedy show: It would be a comedy drama about day-to-day lives. I won’t do sketch comedy for sure.
A New Year resolution you have been making forever: That I am going to hit a gym the first thing in the morning. I want to really do it this year. I want to be the new Rambo.
If you were Bill, what would your meme read: Bill goes home, and watches Challenge Accepted. Bill watches the re-runs. Then he chills around. Be like Bill.
Upcoming projects: I am rehearsing for a play now. I have also written a funny Internet series, which will go live after March.