You tweeted about ending the show without consulting Colors?
(Sighs) I give my life and blood to the show. Even now as, I haven't slept for the last 36 hours. I'll never give up the show. I just wanted a break because I was exhausted.
The channel was taken aback by your tweet. What made you take that shocking decision?
Every show has it own profile and destiny. I did the Laughter Challenge, then Comedy Circus. They had their own unique format. The format on my Comedy Nights With Kapil required me to put together 26 episodes around the adventures of 6 family members. The 26 episodes stretched into 50 and then into a 100 episodes. I felt we needed to reinvent ourselves.
Why change something that is so successful?
It's not about the TRPs only. It's also about that creative satisfaction that every artiste craves for. Just being successful cannot be enough.
Did you quit because you felt the Channel was taking you for granted?
(Falls silent) I wouldn't like to comment about what goes on internally. This show means the world to me. I've been given up obscene amounts of money for other work to concentrate on this show…. Do you know, I gave up 6 film offers because I had no time for them Before I said yes to Yash Raj's Bank Chor I turned down some really good film offers including one by Sunil Manchanda the producers of Tere Naam. I really loved the story.I also said no Farhan Akhtar's offer. I felt really awful saying no to that one. Sajid Khan also wants to sign me. The Yash Raj film I signed was supposed to go on the floors in March 2014. Now it's June. I am still not able to give them my dates. Actors crave to be in Yash Raj films. And here I am, delaying the shooting. I don't want them to think I am arrogant. But I consider Comedy Night to be bigger than any film. The biggest of stars come on my show. Now I wonder when I do my first feature film I can't go on Comedy Nights With Kapil to promote. Where will I go?
Farhan's film was a a loss,?
I didn't see it that way.When Farhan made that offer I had just started doing Comedy Nights. I wanted to show to the world that I could run a successful show for a year . For me at that point of time getting the show on the right track was more important than anything in the world. For one whole year I've worked like a mad man.I don't even have time to meet my mother. For me no one is more important than my mother. Mere ko kisi channel ne nahin banaya hai. Mere ko meri Maa aur mere muqaddar ne banaya hai. Whatever I do , I do it for her. Ek saal se main show ke liye apni neend, chayan sab kuch kho rahaa hoon. I felt I needed a break.
The channel wants to build Comedy Nights as the Seinfeld of India and they have persuaded you to change your mind?
I don't know what Seinfeld, if they feel that way they should treat the show that way. The comedy shows in the West come in seasons. Let Comedy Nights also be seasonal. They should give me breaks. But breaks toh dur ki baat, they won't let me make the show weekly instead of by-weekly.
But the Channel can't afford to let you go because the ratings higher than all their other popular shows?
I know people wait for my show every week. I don't want to sound boastful but when I left Comedy Circus it lost its popularity. Comedy Nights and every member of my Comedy family have become popular. I want the show to grow. For this I need a break of a month at least. Main creative aadmi hook. I have grown from regional to national channels. Today by God's grace my show is watched all over the world. But we can't spread ourself thinly. You can't apportion daal meant for 3 people to 9 people. True, no show in the history of Indian television has remained no.1 uninterrupted for a 100 episodes. But I don't want to compromise on quality.
Is it true that you were upset when the show was aired very late because of Fear Factor and Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa?
The Kumar Sanu episode came on at 11.15 pm. People in smaller towns go at sleep at 10 pm. They stay awake for my show. I don't want my audience to suffer. When my audience is hurt I am hurt. Fans of Comedy Nights are like God to me. I can't have them insulted. During the IPL matches Comedy Nights was the only show to have got the TRPs.
Is this one of the reasons you had decided to leave?
I did 300 episodes of Comedy Circus. I am not the kind to abandon a show. Let me tell you, the offers that are coming my way are extremely tempting. I've no complaints against Colors. They've been wonderful to me.