Post the success of his debut movie – Humble Politican Nograj & its subsequent release on Amazon Prime Video, The Opinionated Indian caught up with Bengaluru’s favorite comedian Danish Sait. Here are the excepts of the interview
TheOpinionatedIndian: Hi Danish! Thanks for coming on our show. First off, congratulations on the success of your new movie. It is one of the first few kannada movies to be available on Amazon Prime Video Library.
Danish Sait: Thanks! I believe there are only two other kannada movies. Both of them were made in 70’s.
OI: Danish, you are probably the only RJ whose character now has a standalone film. Tell us about this fantastic journey.
DS: You know I never thought it would turn into a full fledged franchise or that it would actually turn into a film. When I started off, I was a huge fan of Seth Macfarlane of The Family Guy. In all honesty, it was my dream to have my own series with recurring characters. Little did know, that 8-9 voices that I do would become popular. As time went by, I realized youtube was becoming big in India. Digital content was becoming big on the internet. I remember putting up my first prank call was & years ago on Soundcloud & Facebook. This whole concept of viral digital entertainment was new to India. From there to have a full fledged film is pretty cool. Along the way RCB happened. RCB was a big deal. This character with the funny hair, bad moustache. It was about giving the audience a taste of the character & what was to come in the future. It was all done without an eventual goal. Al lot of people invest in future without living in the present. With every character i did it without investing in the future, I did it in the moment. The moment worked for me.
OI: Apart from your own character, which is your favorite character in the movie & why?
DS: In the movie, I look at the way the character has evolved then i think Manjunath’s character was something that really stood out for me. We always knew that Manjunath’s character had to special. Nograj & Manjunath were like Batman & Robin or Beavis & Butthead or Laurel & Hardy or The Undertaker & Pallbearer. I aways knew he was somebody who had character as well. It was very pivotal. I am glad that all of it worked out & it looked great. I think, with Manjunath Vijay Chendur really stood out. I look back & think all of them have done a good job. Sumukhi as Lavanya or Roger as Arun or Srinivas Prabhu Sir as the VP or the secretary, all of them have done a fantastic job.
OI: In true blue Nograj style can you say something about the Nirav Modi scandal?
The way he ran is faster than Usain Bolt. Nobody is able to catch him. In the 11000 crores & he is gone man!I can’t get out of Coffee Day with paying ADD. Then there are people running away with 11,000 crores with so much security, intelligence, loan recovery. Everybody is like “OMG! We didn’t know!” I think it a joke at multiple levels on the society to be honest.
OI: Sumukhi Suresh is playing your wife Lavanya in the movie. How was it working with her?
DS: I have actually known Sumukhi now for 6-7 years. We started doing improv together a long time ago. We were on the same team. When I hear people asking me, How is it working with Sumukhi? Sumukhi has always been the most diligent, hardworking talent I have come across. She knows what her limitations are & pushes harder to be better at what she does. Sumukhi is perfect example of there is no shortcut to success & hardwork is the only route. She is one of the most diligent workers I have seen. She doesn’t take things easy. We share a great rapport. we are friends. I appear in the first two episodes of her show ‘The Beauty & The Beast’ on Hotstar. For me I have great respect for this girl, who was a food inspector riding on a bike, coming to do improv with us. From asking me after the show “Hey, was I good?” to inviting me to Bombay where managers on sets used to tell me ” Sir, you will have to wait, Ma’am is shooting”. For me that just sums up her entire story. She is just fantastic.
OI: Have you had the time to watch your sister Kubra’s new web series – FourPlay on ALTBalaji & your mom’s acting in Sumukhi’s webseries – Pushpavalli?
DS: I have watched Pushpavalli. I have watched Going Viral. Fortunately or unfortunately I haven’t subscribed to ALTBalaji, I will be very honest with you. Now that you mention it, I will check it out.
OI: Danish, You are an emcee, RJ, TV show host & now also an actor. What do you enjoy doing most & why?
DS: I enjoy all platforms. These are all outlets to my creative ability. I have always enjoyed performing. I have enjoyed being on stage. When I stay stage, I don’t literally mean stage. I mean the platform I am on. I enjoy all of them equally. Though each experience is different. Radio – you are building equity inside the system, it is more of a corporate setup. Events – You are building equity with a thousand odd people who are sitting right there & with one event home. While we do comedy we are building equity inside your team. The better the equity the better it shows outside.
With movies, you are dealing with a lot of people. They come from different walks of life. You don’t really know them. They come & they go. They work on ten different projects. Movies are a lot more difficult. You are not dealing with people, you are dealing with egos. Egos are more fragile than porcelain cups. So making movies is a lot more difficult.
OI: You are an excellent comedian yourself. But who is your favorite comedian?
DS: My favorite show has to be Family Guy. Seth Macfarlane is cold on standup. You would never associate him with a standup comedian. But he has written films, he has a created an animated series, roasts & a bunch of things. He is one of my favorite creative people. If you are creative, you can be funny, you can have emotions, you can have different stories told. Most comedians are great storytellers. Seth Macfarlane is my favorite comedian. I would love to work on The Family Guy as a show. Besides there are so many new ones, like Dave Chappell. On Netflix, India is watching them. There are so many of them. You watch all these people & you realize, each one of them, their experiences are different. It is about connecting with experiences. Being an entertainer myself for so long, every creative person & performer comes from his own experiences, upbringing, society. I can’t say one is better than the other. Everybody has an audience of their own. But I like Seth MacFarlane the most. He done versions of Frank Sinatra’s songs & I actually like his versions more! I like him that much.
OI: Danish, you come across as an extremely funny & goofy prankster in your YT videos. But who is the real Danish Sait? How are you off the camera? Are you goofy & funny even normally among friends & family or are you a serious person?
DS: You can ask my friends who are with me in the car.
Friends: He is funny all the time.
On calls, i am heightening the madness, I am exaggerating it. I am going bonkers on calls. I would like to believe I am witty. It is just the quick wit with a streak of madness. i also have a sensitive side, which likes to listen, observe. As a person, i am just like any other person Yaar.
OI: Comedians tend to complain about the pressure of having to always say something funny when they are in public. Do you feel the same?
DS: Sometimes, it does get to you, man! People don’t realize. We were having this discussion half an hour ago. I said “Nobody really likes me”. You will not like me, if you don’t know me. People confuse the personality with the person. They want you to be funny all the time. They walk up to you & say ” Tonight you better be funny”. The guy who told me that could be a civil engineer or a banker. They have shitty days as well right? Suspense is the name of the game. Especially in a country like ours, they know I am a comedian, but they don’t know there are twenty forms of expressing comedy as well. Every comedian is not a standup comedian. Of all the interviews that I have given, you are the first one to address me as a comedian & not as a stand up comedian. Even big publications get it wrong. i can’t hold it against people, because the realm that they live in that’s all they know.
OI: Which is Danish Sait’s favorite holiday destination?
DS: New York.
OI: Any recent memory or anecdot about New York that you would like to share?
DS: My most recent memory of NY is standing on Times Square’s Regal Cinemas & a fold out board of our film. If you know about Times Square on 42nd street, I spent 30-40 days last year. I went around that block, I went there to study comedy there. I studied improv at this school called UCB. I spent so much time walking around that block looking at the theatre, without really knowing that one day my film would be at the same place. NY is pretty, the vibe is great. So much personality, so much character. It starts from the moment you go to take a cup of coffee & the moment they say good morning to you, even if you have had a terrible start to the day, it is the energy of the people which wakes you up. It makes you tell yourself that Hey, this is a competitive space & you need to put your best step forward.
OI: Danish, when can we expect the Nograj sequel?
DS: I don’t know. I will be honest with you. Now, it is better to put it up to rest for a bit. I want to work on a couple of other things. Sequels in general aren’t the most successful products to make.
OI: Before we wrap up this wonderful conversation , please tell us for our lady fans whether Danish Sait single?
DS: No. I am not. I have been in a relationship for 8 years. Her name consists of four letter. I call her WORK!
OI: Namma kannada listeners goskra yennaro hellotira? ( Any message for our kannada listeners?)
DS: Nanna hesaru Nograj antha. Thank you very much, naa madiro prank calls share maadi, naa maadiro YT video share maadi ( Do share my prank calls & YT videos). I keep saying I don’t have fans, I have stakeholders & people who genuinely care. Dhanyavaada(Thanks). I hope to entertain you. I hope Neeva asthe preeti inda nanna kelsana support madtira, share madtira ( I hope you also like & share my work & support me). Thank You!
OI: Thanks Danish!
We are not sure about Nograj, but Danish Sait is definitely humble! We do hope he continues to entertain us for several years to come through his YT videos, prank calls & movies.