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Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani on their upcoming comedy series ‘LOL: Hasse Toh Phasse’

It is the local version of the streaming platform’s original international series called LOL, and will feature 10 comedians

“I promise you a good laugh,” says Arshad Warsi. He adds, “something to break the stress of this pandemic.”

The actor will be seen with Boman Irani hosting LOL: Hasse Toh Phasse, a comedy reality show releasing on April 30 on Amazon Prime Video. It is the local version of the streaming platform’s original international series called LOL, and will feature 10 comedians — Aadar Malik, Aakash Gupta, Aditi Mittal, Ankita Shrivastava, Cyrus Broacha, Gaurav Gera, Kusha Kapila, Mallika Dua, Sunil Grover and Suresh Menon.

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“We won’t be judging who is funnier. Instead, the participants have to make others laugh while making sure that they don’t even smile at the jokes of others for six hours. This is a new format of comedy for me,” says Boman. Anyone who smiles or laughs will first get a ‘yellow card’ warning. The next mistake will incur a ‘red card’ and they will be out of the show. “The goal is to be the last one laughing in the room; the person who keeps a straight face for the longest will eventually win the game,” explains Arshad.

Laugh, and you lose

LOL: Hasse Toh Phasse will have six episodes, each spanning around half an hour. “We were the lucky ones in there. All we had to do was to sit on a couch and keep an eye on them while laughing at their jokes. But for a comedian, not receiving any reaction from the audience could be very unnerving,” says Arshad.

The set had multiple cameras set up to observe each contestant. “Many of them would have smiled at a joke without realising it, and when we go to them with the card they would be surprised. We had to tell them which camera picked up the laughs, and show them the clip,” explains Boman.

The duo has earlier worked together in movies like Munna Bhai M.B.B.S, Jolly L.L.B and Lage Raho Munna Bhai. Boman says, “We share a bond and deep respect for each other. We know that the other person will not take offence at the jokes but understand it in the real sense. That is very important.”

Both of them agree that comedy is necessary, especially now amid the pandemic. “It is not just a stress buster, but like a medicine. Be it to deal with the happenings at work, family or marriage, I think a sense of humour always helps,” says Boman, who has been spending lockdown at his home taking online sessions for aspiring screen writers.

“The initiative is called Spiral Bound and I have taken 350 classes so far. I am a person who likes to be on the run, and this has helped me remain engaged,” he says.

Arshad on the other hand enjoys being at home. “It has been a while since I got this much time to hang out with my kids. Usually, everyone goes in a different direction early in the morning,” he states, adding “This isolation is important to tide over the pandemic, and this show will be our contribution to society as artistes.”

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