On his birthday, Joshi talks about TMKOC, which holds a Guinness World Record for the longest-running TV sitcom.
Last Updated: 01.34 PM, May 26, 2022
Dilip Joshi is fondly known as Jethalal from the hit TV show Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah in the Indian homes today. The actor celebrates his birthday today and he decided to keep it low-key, due to the rising cases of the COVID-19. But the actor opened up about his 14-year-long journey as Jetha in the show.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, the actor said he is unable to believe all the love the show is receiving and thanked God. He said he feels surreal and that he is dreaming. "It’s surreal how people are still loving us. We are just blessed,” he said. The actor recalled how it all started. He was friends with the creator of the show, Asit Kumarr Modi since his college days. He did not have to even audition for the show as Asit was aware of his acting skills. He was given an option to play either Jethalal or Champaklal in the show as Asit thought he will be able to play both the roles well. As Joshi was not sure of Champaklal, he picked Jetha. "Even this character was quite different from what we had read in the Taarak Mehta columns. Asit ji conceptualised and designed Champak in a very different light, and set the show in society rather than a chawl," he said, adding that the highlight of the show is that the maker got the right actors for each part and everything fell in place. And the show managed to create magic.
The show has received the Guinness World Record for the longest-running TV sitcom. The show is completing 14 years now and Dilip Joshi said he cannot complain about the long journey as he has been having a lot of fun playing Jetha even today. "I get to sing, dance, fight and even have dream sequences. I am doing everything a Hindi film hero gets to do, every day. We have celebrated each festival and occasion with so much zest on the show. What more does anyone want?,” he asked.
The actor feels he has offered it all and there isn't any role that he hasn't played in his career, spanning decades. He was part of theatre for almost 25 years before he took up TMKOC. Hence, he does not feel the need to do something different. "I don’t think kuch baki reh gaya. Also, as an actor, to be able to do the same thing again and again, and yet keeping the interest alive is a bigger challenge. Playing Jetha keeps me on my toes,” he said. He does not mind being known as Jetha rather than as Dilip Joshi. He finds it ‘satisfying’ that his character has become a household name and feels assured that he is doing a good job when someone addresses to him as Jethalal.
Though there is a huge following for the show, there are also some in the audience who do not enjoy it anymore as they feel there is ‘no fresh content’ and ‘forced humour’. There are now also demands that the show should end. Sharing that creating content is not his job, Dilip Joshi said that the team continues to strive to deliver the best and he tries to do justice to the script he receives. "All of us toil hard every day. By God’s grace, neither I nor anyone on the team has taken success to our head. We still go on set each day to work hard and entertain our fans,” he told the portal. He added that it is the love and support of the fans that keep them going and is very thankful for it.
The show is also available to stream on SonyLIV.