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An internet sensation, in recent years Tabish Hashmi has become synonymous the word ‘comedy’. Starting his career with the stand-up comedy show The Laughing Stock, where he enthralled the audience with talking about different celebrities, politicians and things basically every Pakistani could relate to.

After such a successful venture, Tabish Hashmi went on to host Nashpati Prime’s talk show To Be Honest with many guests, directed and produced by Azfar Ali. Bringing out a new celebrity in each episode, Tabish yet again was able to take the internet by storm due to his quick wit and a unique style of hosting which used to keep the guest and the audience behind the screens entertained.

Pakistani’s were disappointed when TBH finished but now everyone was looking forward to the next thing Tabish was going to be part of. He talked about hosting a new show on GEO TV in Muzamil Hassan’s podcast TBT. From what we heard on the podcast, Tabish was about to bring something different to the table now. Apparently, he didn’t enjoy hosting the ‘To be Honest’ show and wanted things to change. With a promise to bring intellect and better comedy for the Pakistani audience, Tabish set out to release the first episode of his new show ‘Hasna Mana Hai’.

With a series of back-to-back successful comedy shows, Tabish was set to take center stage on one of the biggest media platforms of the nation and steal everyone’s thunder. This was about to become one of the best highlights of his career. It did become a highlight, but not for the best, probably for the worst.

What was promised as a different show which Is going to be captivating and different for the audience, seemed to be picked out from our neighboring country, India. To be more specific, the Kapil Sharma Show offers the same production as Hasna Mana hai. The setup is the same. An audience there to laugh and clap after specific intervals, some characters which are part of the stage who ‘try’ to engage with the guests, and the host, who has till now, interacted more with the gimmick characters than the guests.

The basic set of the show lies upon the host (Tabish), the guests sitting right next to him, the audience(who tends to laugh at oddly specific intervals), and a stage which is set as things are in stage shows. Where is the difference, where is the ingenuity? Even the guests didn’t seem to be impressed. Blatantly just trying to pass the time of the show, the guests ended up just watching the host interact with the stage characters with jokes that no one seemed to laugh at from their hearts.

The response to the show can be clearly seen in statistics. In the first episode, people were waiting in anticipation and the first episode hit 365k views and 7.4k Likes. There was a sheer fall in viewers in the following episodes, with 200k views in the second and 230k in the second. These numbers are staggeringly low as compared to his previous show of To Be Honest, where he capped his views at 7.4 Million and 195k likes.

In today’s day, when the media industry of Pakistan is striving and trying not to be overshadowed from Hollywood blockbusters, it was disappointing to see how such an internet sensation has stooped down to copy an Indian show. Maybe Tabish didn’t get his way to do things and this is just how the GEO channel works for their own target audience. Regardless, we need up our game and let our artists bring their ingenuity to their shows.

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Shaafay Zia
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