Gaurav Gera, Ali Asgar, Sunil Grover: Why are male TV actors playing female lead roles?

Are Ali Asgar and Gaurav Gera not getting enough roles or substantial enough work on television as men? Is that why they are opting to play women on the small screen?

It’s not the first time that men in Bollywood or on TV have essayed the role of women – Aamir Khan in Baazi and in several ads, Riteish Deshmukh in Apna Sapna Money Money, Rishi Kapoor in Rafuchakkar, or the legendary Kishore Kumar in Half Ticketthe best have done it, and done it well. On the small screen, there have been many such portrayals too; in an episode of Sarabhai vs Sarabhai Satish Shah played a hypnotised version of his onscreen wife Maya Sarabhai and recently we saw the macho Karanvir Bohra dance to a lavani track dressed as Maharashtrian woman on Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 6.

Sunil Grover did a guest appearance as Deepika Padukone‘s cousin Seepika on Comedy Nights with Kapil and flirted with Shahrukh Khan. Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi actor Ali Asgar plays a crazy old Dadi on the same show. His character is not in disguise, but very real. This granny dances, flirts and goes crazy onscreen with the celeb guests. Gaurav Gera is the latest addition to the list. He plays a man disguised as a married woman in Colors’ new show, Mrs Pammi Pyarelal.

However, most of these actors have portrayed women only to add a comic flavour to whatever show they may be part of. While they’re doing a commendable job of entertaining audiences, it has left us wondering whether TV producers have run out of women to do a comedy role. Is this a sign of desperate times that need extraordinary measures? Or are actors like Ali and Gaurav challenging themselves and looking for work outside the…err…idiot box?

Ali’s Dadi character, for one, could easily have been played by comedienne Bharti Singh or his co-star in Comedy Nights, Upasna Singh. Both Bharti and Upasna are well known for their comic acts and have done crazy stuff like Ali is doing on the show. So, is Ali stepping in just to add that tadka? Whatever the reason may be, Ali is doing his job well. We like his presence on the show and viewers wait for his entry on Comedy Nights. But about other stars – Gaurav Gera included – we’re not so sure!