He thinks he's not funny...

Food writer and TV persona Kunal Vijayakar's quick wit leaves Bhumika K in splits

MALLEABLE Kunal  Vijayakar

For many of us, he’s the guy in gustatory coma, who chomped his way heartily through a lot of food on TV for nine years with The Foodie — With Kunal Vijaykar. For a lot many more of us, Kunal Vijaykar is a better Mayawati than former UP CM Mayawati herself, on the show The Week That Wasn’t. Food writer and columnist, actor and director, writer and TV persona — he slips into all these hats and many more on-screen with ease and a chubby-boy charm. Excerpts from an interview:

Every day, after shooting for your show, you and Cyrus Broacha spend time together? 

We do, actually. I have nowhere else to go. I’m a single man with no wife, family, or cook. So I go to his place for dinner. 

Is that why you guys are together for 13 years on one show? 

Well yeah, the show has been on for 13 years. But we have been doing work together for 25 years now, so it’s been a fairly long relationship. 

What’s the secret of your good friendship? 

I think it started with the love of alcohol, and now it’s the love of food. 

So your love of humour comes from where? 

Love of humour comes from… I don’t know. Sometimes I think I am not funny at all, I always think that Cyrus is funny and I am too serious. I lecture too much and I do too much of emotional talk. I think I am funny when I write. I am funny when I am not trying to be funny. Cyrus says that I am extremely funny, but I am boring if I try to be funny. 

So, between food and humour, what is the common thing that works for you two? 

Hmm, actually after we finish shooting, we don’t really laugh too much. We
discuss life, he bitches his wife out…it’s more of that. Actually, being funny with each other. 

Your take on politics, politicians, elections, and humour… 

Politics has been a perennial source of humour and whoever is in power or out of power, there is always some rubbish going on and there is always enough fodder for humour. I must say, though, that we have never fallen short of subject matter as far as humour is concerned. When it comes to Indian politics or current affairs, there is enough nonsense. There is always some joker or the other doing something really stupid. 

On the scale of 1 to 100, how funny are our politicians? 

They are zero per cent funny when they try to be funny, but when they are not being funny, they are 100 per cent funny.

So, according to you, they are a lot like you? 

They are a lot like me. Actually, you are right. You are the only one who has realised it that I am like an Indian politician. The other thing is that I’ve become typecast.... into playing female roles.

But you do that so well...

Yeah, but 13 years ago, I was an ugly-looking female, Now, 13 years later, I am an uglier old-looking female (laughs heartily).

What about you lends yourself so well to such characters? 

I don’t know. I think I have a face which is a bit malleable. That’s why I think I am better at
pulling faces than actually acting. It’s the elasticity of my face or whatever you want to call it. So, I won’t call myself a great actor, I am just great at pulling faces. 

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