Still Game and Glasgow local actor Sanjeev Kohli says comedy is harder than drama


Still Game star Sanjeev Kohli called for comedy to be treated as seriously as drama – and claimed it was more difficult because people took offense at comedy they didn’t like.

Kohli, 50, said it was harder to be funny than to play serious roles on stage and on screen and said Scottish comedy was more criticized than drama.

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The actor has been a household name in Scotland for 20 years thanks to his role as merchant Navid Harrid in the iconic Scottish comedy Still Game.

Pictured: Sanjeev as Navid in Still Game

He called for comedy to stop being treated as a “poor cousin” to drama.

Speaking on The Cultural Coven podcast, hosted by actress Nicola Roy, Kohli said, “He’s a scarecrow to me.

“People don’t understand that comedy is drama and extra stuff.

“It follows all the same rules, you have to do the same leg work and, by the way, you have to make people laugh three times a minute.

“It’s not at all statistical, but in my experience, actors who can do comedy can also do drama. It’s not always the other way around.

“If you look at the way people react to comedy, they really get offended if they don’t like it, especially with Scottish comedy.

“I don’t think they get that way with the drama.

“The only way they take offense at the drama is for something local.

“With comedy, they are much more offended.

“I think it’s because it’s more subjective and the reason is it’s incredibly sophisticated. It’s almost at the forefront of our consciousness.

“My personal belief is that comedy is more difficult than drama and it bothers me that she is seen as the poor cousin.”

Kohli also shared concerns from the cast of Still Game over appearing in a theatrical production of the show at Glasgow’s Hydro.

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He said: “I got a taste for live performances doing Still Game on Hydro, but it was weird because we were almost creating a new genre there.

“I was the only one who hadn’t really done theater at all.

“I let everyone worry about it.

“The plain and simple fact is that until we did this first show, the day after the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014, none of us knew how this place was going to behave as there was no framework.

“Until we got that first standing ovation, we didn’t know.

“We had sold this place 21 times and if he had died on his ass it would have been a long month.

“Praise the Lord that it went well and behaved like any other place.”