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Why Karan Johar cult show, Koffee With Karan, will never be forgotten

Karan Johar

In the official Koffee With Karan season 7 trailer, Ranveer Singh called Koffee With Karan a “cult show we all know and love” as he sat on the Koffee couch with Alia Bhatt… Where is the deception?

Karan Johar is a well-known name in the film industry. His name is so well-known that most people refer to him simply as Karan. The filmmaker is also a talk show host, albeit a witty one with a risque sense of humor. Season 7 of Koffee With Karan will see him return. Karan will remind viewers how he dominated the genre on July 7 with A-list celebrity guests playing Koffee Quiz and Rapid Fire.

Full disclosure: This writer has seen most, but not all, episodes of Koffee With Karan, beginning with the 2004 season starring Shah Rukh Khan with Kajol and Kareena Kapoor with Rani Mukerji and enjoys a Koffee binge-watch. And it never failed to keep her entertained.

For nearly 18 years, the chat show has captivated millions of viewers and has changed very little since its inception. In the Koffee With Karan season 7 trailer, which debuted on Saturday and quickly became a top trending topic on Twitter, actor Ranveer Singh explains why people continue to tune in. He called it a “cult show we all know and adore,” which was an accurate description.

Karan Johar is the host with the most, the man with whom every A-lister wishes to share a cup of coffee. Off-screen, celebrities may follow showbiz protocol and be businesslike and discreet. The on-screen vibe of guests on Koffee With Karan, on the other hand, is something entirely different: it’s like watching celebrities in their social habitat.

The show’s most obvious and triumphant USP is having two A-listers on the sofa at the same time. This seating arrangement has also frequently produced some unexpected bosom buddies. Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt appeared together in season 6 of Koffee With Karan in 2018. Their friendship resulted in one of the best episodes of Koffee With Karan. While Deepika was dating Ranbir Kapoor for a few years, Alia and Ranbir were dating at the time and married in 2022.

The impressive combination of Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra’s star power was also seen in season 6, which was not an outlier. Think of an A-lister from the last 20-25 years, and chances are they’ve shared the show’s famous Koffee couch with someone of equal stature. Rekha, who is still at the top of Karan’s wish list, is possibly the only major Bollywood name that has yet to succumb to his charms.

As a host, Karan understands that his role is to steer the conversation rather than completely dominate it, and to guide celebrities into revealing a side of themselves that you don’t often see during press junkets. His true genius, however, is seating each episode’s guests on the couch together, often from the start. If one guest clams up or demonstrates the personality of a potato, the guest on the other end of the couch will always keep the party going.

On Koffee With Karan, celebrities strip down to their underwear as they try to charm each other – Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh’s unexpected bromance was the highlight of season 5 in 2016. There are many instances where Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal appear to be genuinely excited about the prospect of being paired up with Katrina Kaif on the show, and you can’t help but wonder whether this is all a hoax or whether it’s all genuine. Of course, it’s true.

Because of Karan’s comforting presence and the occasional cup of coffee or two that guests enjoy on set, celebrities are more willing to share their innermost thoughts and feelings during her interviews. In the case of Kareena, who famously spoke about Priyanka’s ‘accent’ and even called John Abraham an ‘expressionless’ actor in earlier seasons of the show, perhaps a little too much. On the Karan Johar show, you’re never too far away from the embarrassing admission you’d expect to be taken to the grave – Sonam Kapoor said in 2011 that she was sorry for what she said about Ranbir on the third season of Koffee With Karan.

The latest season of Koffee With Karan, which will be available on Disney+ Hotstar for the first time, will feature a new lineup of guests. Ranveer and Alia, who will appear together in Karan’s Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani, make an appearance. Kiara Advani and Shahid Kapoor, who appeared together in the 2019 film Kabir Singh, are another on-screen couple who have shared the Koffee couch. Samantha Ruth Prabhu (with Akshay Kumar) and Vijay Deverakonda make their Koffee With Karan debuts (with Liger co-star Ananya Panday).

Given the likelihood that many of the actors he works with will end up on the Koffee With Karan couch, Karan’s show is criticized for being cheesy, staged, and borrowing from the legendary book “Rendezvous with Simi Garewal” by Simi Garewal (both talk shows are relentlessly A-list).

Koffee With Karan is all of those things, but it’s also light entertainment and smooth conversations with Hollywood’s biggest names. Unlike Simi, Karan’s interviews could be criticized for not being probing enough, but he always seemed to want to have a nice, long gossipy chat with his guests/friends. Sure, not every interview went as planned, and the icy exchange with Kangana Ranaut while she promoted Rangoon on Koffee With Karan season 5 comes to mind. But it’s easy to focus on the one that went wrong and forget about the many that went right.

READ: When Sonam Kapoor stated that just because someone appears to be ‘from the find does not mean they are a good actor: ‘It’s garbage.’