‘What the Duck 2’ – where cricket gets comedy boost

Digital-only shows are gaining traction. OTT originals and web series are garnering their own share of audience base. One such digital show, ‘What the Duck’ has been bringing in the laughs. Presenting a quirky blend of cricket and comedy, ‘What the Duck’ is into its second season and is aired on Viu, an OTT video-on-demand service from Vuclip. 

Hosted by cricket presenter and stand-up comedian Vikram Sathaye, ‘What the Duck’ presents the Boys in Blue in a different light and encapsulates the lighter side of cricket that includes dressing room secrets, sledging stories, and cricketing trivia. 

Launched on June 5 this year, ‘What the Duck 2’ features cricketers like R Ashwin, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Parthiv Patel, Hardik Pandya, Cheteshwar Pujara, Kapil Dev, Sir Viv Richards, and KL Rahul. 

In a quick chat with Adgully, Vikram Sathaye speaks about the show’s concept, blending entertainment and cricket, creating content for the digital ecosystem and more. Excerpts: 

What is ‘What the Duck’ all about?
The concept for the show emerged from the wonderful stories of cricket that I got to hear while I was on tour – stories by Sachin, Dravid and Ashwin. So, I thought why not share them with the world. The concept for the show was to chat with cricketers and share interesting off the field stories about their personal lives which cricket fans all over India will enjoy. While we were creating series One, I presented the idea to Viu, which they liked a lot, and now we are at Season 2 of the show. 

Season 2 of ‘What the Duck’ has 13 episodes of 22 minutes each, which are aired thrice a week. Season 1 had 10 episodes. 

Primarily, the show targets cricket and non-cricket fans who want to know what goes on behind the scenes in the lives of cricketers and the game of cricket. 

How is ‘What the Duck’ different from the other comedy shows hosted by you?
Typically, a chat show is all about finding the personality of a guest, but ‘What the Duck’ explores the wonderful world in and around cricket. Usually, in chat shows they play games, have fun and party, but here there is no actual storytelling. The key difference between ‘What the Duck’ and other shows is that it explores stories of the guests in the form of movie scripts, where they share their real life incidents, and since India is a land of stories, this inspired us to come up with a storytelling based format chat show. 

How did you come up with the idea of blending entertainment and cricket?
There is a world beyond cricket and entertainment which is more interesting. Being a ‘cricket comedian’, I was already doing stand-up comedies on topics related to cricket and entertainment. I just made this chat show format, because people like to hear different jokes around it. 

Why launch the show on the digital platform and not on television?
Television has its own programming ideas. Typically on mainstream television, one will find live cricket, but not such interesting chat shows with cricketers. With the development in digital media, I thought about conceptualising some unique ideas for the digital savvy generation and Viu was the OTT platform for it. We started with digital media because it has given me creative freedom to create what I had in my mind. In future if any television channel would like to work with us, we don’t have any problem in sharing the content with them. 

What more are you working on?
There are 3 projects in the pipeline. We are planning to come up with Season 3 of ‘What the Duck’. We are also in the process of creating another series on ‘Viru Ke Funde’. The third project is about music, but it is still in the conceptualisation phase. I am also a part of the band with Shantanu Moitra, Shreya Ghosal and Swanand Kirkire, called ‘Bawaraas’, where we do various concerts. We are planning to create digital content with Viu App. 

How do you manage to juggle so many roles?
As a stand-up comedian, I have done over 1,500 corporate shows for Pepsi and Coca-Cola. It has become a part of my life now and I don’t treat it as a separate hat. At present, I’m focusing more on digital chat shows that I do one ball at a time. Though I am not a multi-tasker, I manage to juggle these roles, with holidays in between!


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