Social media was taken by shock when Irrfan Khan, who is known for his power-packed, character-driven performances onscreen, shook a leg in an item number for All India Bakchod's (AIB) new video. The stand-up comedy group's member Rohan Joshi says the idea to get the actor onboard was to make him do something unexpected.
"I think it was something which you wouldn't expect him to do. We wanted to do the song with someone who is off the radar for party songs, and he agreed," Joshi said here at an event for the announcement of "Comedy Hunt on YouTube" here on Wednesday.
Irrfan, who has been critically acclaimed for performances in films like “Maqbool”, “Paan Singh Tomar”, “Haasil” and “Haider”, is seen in an item number for the first time in the almost seven-minute video.
"I wish there was a deeper story, or struggle, but there wasn't. There were no tears," he quipped when asked about how they managed to rope in Irrfan for the video.
Talking about Bollywood actors like Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor's involvement in AIB's infamous roast, which was enmeshed in controversy on account of excess verbal abuse, the group's co-founder Gursimran Khamba said the actors understand this style of comedy as they grew up watching it.
"What is happening right now happens to any generation, where you see certain people from Bollywood who intrinsically understand comedy and parody. There is another section, which is conservative and doesn't get it. Arjun, Ranveer grew up watching it," Khamba added.
Khamba also believes that there is a "definite shift" in terms of how film studios view YouTube videos now.
"We wanted to do a parody of 'Dhoom 3', but Yash Raj Films didn't allow us. But it is standard practice of movie producers now to get in touch with us to promote (their films)," Khamba said.
However, he quickly added that AIB doesn't "promote" or "plug" films.
"We don't promote films. What we do is, we are willing to work with them to produce content for them, but we don't plug them. There is an entire different audience which you could engage with. People have started taking YouTube way seriously," he added.
Khamba and Joshi were in the capital for OML's "The Comedy Hunt on YouTube" along with Kanan Gill and Biswa Kalyan Rath of The Pretentious Movie Reviews channel on the online video-sharing platform.
The hunt saw participation from all over India -- with 1,578 entries from over 60 cities across India and 40 contestants shortlisted for the winning slot.
The three-week call for entries saw participation from standalone creators to large group participating in the hunt. The entries were not limited to just metros like Mumbai, Delhi but also from smaller cities like Bhilai, Kanpur, Silvassa, Hoshiarpur, Haridwar and many more small towns.
Entries ranged from creators showcasing really random dance moves, to enacting funny dialogues of popular movies, to vox pop, skits, spoofs and sketches.