Saturday, August 7, 2010

Jaahil Offline, Enter Super King

You can generally tell where a media organization is headed by the kind of people it hires in a moment of crisis. And ARY - which has really suffered in the last year or so because of competition from newer channels like Dunya and Express - really seems to be plumbing the depths to snag the worst "talent" on offer on Pakistani television.




As if appointing conspiracy nutcase Dr S&M as President of the network were not scraping the barrel enough, ARY's latest "golden catch" is the amazingly insufferable Aamir Liaquat Hussain, formerly of Jaahil Online and currently spending his gap weeks selling ghee. The Haji seths of ARY seem to think the way to get Geo's viewership is to buy off their nutcases. (I wait with bated breath for Saleh Zaafir to make the transition.) The publicity hungry fake doc will begin his stint on the network in Ramzan.


Offline, but a jaahil nonetheless


But perhaps even more intriguing is how Geo managed to rid itself of the poisonous buffoon.

According to inside sources, there had been an ongoing tussle for quite some time between Geo owner Mir Shakilur Rahman (MSR) and his Karachi American School- and Babson College-educated son Mir Ibrahim Rahman (MIR) over Mr Jaahil himself. Mir Ibrahim was said to have been incensed particularly after Aamir Liaquat called Ahmadis wajib-ul-qatl (liable to be killed) on his programme and the strong denunciation that followed from civil society. However, MSR, for reasons best known to him, resisted his son's plea to remove him from the channel. In many matters of business, MSR just did not think the young MIR was experienced enough.

A couple of things seem to have made MSR finally relent. One was his discovery that Aamir Liaquat - who apparently used to snivel for raises every six months or so - was in negotiations with ARY. Secondly, the ratings of Jaahil Online had actually plummeted in the past few months, which made cutting ties relatively painless business-wise. A tangential element in the whole episode was probably that MIR, who had gone away for a year for an MBA a Masters in Public Administration course at Harvard, had come back and made his dad uber-proud with his achievements, the evidence for which was the almost full page of The News and Jang devoted to MIR's praise and graduation speech, among other things (nice to own newspapers, isn't it?). Simply put, son had earned the right to have his way.

Whatever the reasons for throwing a charlatan out, I guess better late than ever.

Meanwhile, guess who takes over Aamir Liaquat's duties to make money for Geo during special Ramzan iftar broadcasts? Believe it or not, host-of-his-own-show on both television and radio cum washing powder seller extraordinaire to housewives, Sahir Lodhi. In addition to being the brother of Dr Shahista Wahidi (the host of the morning transmission on ARY Digital) and thinking of himself as Shah Rukh Khan, this is how his biography on his own website describes Lodhi:



"Sahir heart throb of millions of people. Glittering face of Pakistan has a fan frenzy appearance, He is successful but his success story is as same as any run-of-the-mill around. Once while interacting with young students at a school ceremony, he expressed, “I pray for you all that one day you become Sahir Lodhi or better…” Sahir always articulates common man’s language. Over his life, he has always believed in making so many people one people. His fans, not cynically or ironically but with fervent and zealous love, refer to him as a Super King."


Super King Aalim Online?

Well, Super King seems to fulfil at least the super-size ego criteria that Geo's Ramzan programming hosts seem to need to satisfy. Seriously though, bizarre as it may sound, Sahir Lodhi's Jay Leno-inspired show on TV One has apparently one of the top ratings for its time slot. Could this be the precursor for a permanent shift to Geo? Can he manage to get the daagh on (at least some of) Geo's religious programming out as easily as he did while selling Ariel in the streets?

Meanwhile, even as Super King gives his Geo screen test, the search is on for a replacement for the programme now without a host. Some interesting (read: out of the box) names are also apparently in the mix. Watch this space.


23 comments:

Tazeen said...

Oh boy, from Amir Liaquat to Sahir Lodhi ... that is a new low for sure....

Hai Allah mian ji , kithay phasaya jay....

Shehrbano Taseer said...

Hahahahahhahahaha

Anonymous said...

Breaking News: Zardari ko Juta parda UK mein:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/7932304/Pakistans-President-Zardari-is-pelted-with-shoes-at-Birmingham-rally.html

rabia garib said...

Hey!! You could suggest an alternate title for the post as: Can Super King "Makeup" for the Jaahil Online with Overbearing Foundation and Honest Powder?

Zoe in Boston said...

Love the post (just discovered the blog via a NYT plug). You guys are fantastic.

Fact check: MIR did *not* go to Harvard for an MBA. He did a one year executive eduction program at the School for public policy. Not the business school. Pls correct.

Salman Latif said...

Rofl!!!
Man this is gonna be one hell of a show. I'm looking forward to his SRK-accented sermons and be inspired! :D
As for the Jang group, come on! Don't be so harsh on the guys, we always need a standard to measure the incapacity of intellect and Jang group is just that! :P

WHS said...

Any thing is possible when it comes to Geo. I remember they even got Indian actress Farida Jalal as co-host on their Ramazan transmission a couple of years back when Geo completely operated from Dubia :P

Ugly Shoelace said...

Aray wah! Sahir Lodhi. Dammit. Geo definitely has lost it.

And whoever refers to that retard as SuperKing needs a psych consult.

Ammara said...

nakli dr liakat shud be prosecuted for incitement , hate speech and consequent murder...

Newton said...

Ammiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii...

A colleague once remarked back in the 90's that The News, Karachi (in those days, i must point out) was actually the real Lucky Irani Circus. I think that metaphor is true for the TV news industry now :-(

CPM said...

@Tazeen and Ugly Shoelace: I don't know... I'd take Sahir Lodhi over Aamir Liaquat anyday.

@rabia garib: Haha. Nice one.

@Zoe in Boston: Thank you. You are absolutely right of course. Corrections have been made.

@Salman Latif and WHS: Yes, Geo may be the gold standard, but where would you put ARY now?

Umair J said...

Meri dil kee muraad pooree ho gai. Sahir Lodhi will now penetrate the hearts and minds of every Geo-watching Pakistani. Iss din ka mujhay kitnay saalon say intezaar tha. Tazeen, i hope you remember the time when we used to educate other people on twitter about the wonders of Sahir Lodhi. thanks to the wonderful guys at Geo, our job is now done.

Jeeyo aur na-jeenay do.

Qausain said...

ROFL .. Sahir Lodhi .. inhain koi or nahi mila?? :D

M. Ali Zahid said...

It is interesting to know that Ariel seller and radio-mirchi is now going to host Aalim Online. The programme was a total shame for us but now it will be Shams-ul-Juhla On-off-line. They are actually trying to put religion into funny scripts. The Harvard guy seems fine but rest are morons. I give you that.

Anyways a great write-up.

WHS said...

From AaAmir Online to
Sahir Online :P

@CPM:
why to blame ARY, first Dr.S&M and now Aamir Liaqat, they sell 100% gold remember??? :P :)

Bechara Pakistani said...

Let's see how would DAL (Dr A.L) would treat SL. Will he beat him like he had beaten one of the good actor of Hum Sub Umeed Sey Hein when he had copied him in his show.
It would be funny to see
DAL: Tum Mera Show Karo Gey (Dhinshoon)
SL: Ai ammi

Shahid said...

Sahir Lodhi is such a big queen. He should come out of the closet. Perhaps his bold initiative might liberalize the masses.

Tazeen said...

CPM,

May be you are right, actually I have never really seen Amir Liaqat except for totas, whereas I have sat through a episode of Sahir Lodhi Show where he decided to massacre a Kishore Kumar.

Umair,

Of course I remember that. All hail the drama queen.

WHS said...

BREAKING NEWS ON PTV NEWS!!!

Hukumat-e-Pakistan nie Sahir Lodhi ke GEO per anay ke peshay nazar
GEO per pavandi aid kerde!!!

:P

Wasie bhi Shaitan ko Ramazan mien band kerdiya jata hain :P

Danyal said...

@Tazeen...

'I have never really seen Amir Liaqat except for totas'

I'd be careful when using the word totas :)
you make AL sound like an adult film star. Not that adult film stars need to be ashamed when compared to Amir Liaqat :)

misspecs said...

I am rolling on the floor laughing... this gets, as they say, 'ridiculous-er and ridiculous-er' HA HA!!!

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