Happy Birthday Salman Khan: A look at Bhai’s ‘dumdaar’ stint on the small screen

Sana Farzeen
salman khan bigg boss 13

Salman Khan is currently seen as the host of Bigg Boss 13.

Not just on the 70mm screen but Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has made his mark in the television industry too. Well, as the 'bhaijaan' of Bollywood turns a year older today, let's look at his journey on the small screen, which started with Dus Ka Dum in 2008. Interestingly, Salman has time and again confessed that TV is the most powerful medium, and it helped him become a bigger star.

At the launch of Dus Ka Dum last year, while talking to the media, Salman had opened up about his debut on television. Sharing that he was happy to know he was the first choice for the game show, the actor said, “In 2008, when it came to me, I had a very negative image in public. And I was indeed scared to project my original personality. But then I made my debut, and from then on I have realised that it is the most powerful medium.”

He also revealed that his father Salim Khan was the one who pushed him to take up the offer. “I was scared and so I asked my father whether I should do it because there will be the common man. I was scared of being me. He told me, ‘who do you want to be then? If people accept you, it is good. If not, you will need to change yourself.’ That’s when I decided to do this show.”

Much to the surprise of everyone, Salman Khan added that fans could associate with him better after seeing him on TV. Salman said, “I was shooting for Wanted in Panvel and as usual I was out for a run. That farmhouse has been there from the time Maine Pyar Kiya released, but suddenly I had an old lady come up to me and say, ‘Dus Ka Dum ho na?’ And during that eight kilometres of run, the entire town was clicking pictures saying ‘Dus Ka Dum’. I really felt great that day, and I also realised that people have forgotten my characters Prem, Raja, Arjun Samir and now know me by my real name.”

Dus Ka Dum

In 2008, Salman Khan surprised all by signing up for television show Dus Ka Dum. The game show on Sony TV had commoners and celebrities playing a fun game, where they needed to answer questions in percentage. The questions revolved around an ordinary Indian's life and gave contestants the chance to win a significant amount as prize money. Every now and then, Salman also hosted his friends from the industry, and together they brought the house down.

salman khan in dus ka dum

Salman Khan has been the host of game show Dus Ka Dum.

Dus Ka Dum managed to make its mark and in the same year even surpassed the ratings of Shah Rukh Khan's Kya Aap Paanchvi Paas Se Tej Hai? and Hrithik Roshan's Junoon – Kuch Kar Dikhane Ka. Salman's affable nature, connect with aam janta and his crazy sense of humour helped boost the show and made him an ace host. Khan went on to host another season in 2009, and the game show went off the air. Dus Ka Dum made a comeback in 2018. But with the audience's taste in content going through a vast change, the show could not manage to find many takers this time.

Bigg Boss

Who would have dared to step into Amitabh Bachchan's shoes than bhaijaan himself. Salman Khan took charge as the host of Bigg Boss from season 4, and he has become synonymous with the controversial reality show that airs on Colors.

At the press conference of the thirteenth season, indianexpress.com had asked Salman if he ever expected to last for ten seasons on the show. With a broad smile, he said, “Frankly no. Every year I feel like dipping out and that it's enough now. It has been so long. It is my tenth year. Sometimes it has been a damn good journey. But a couple of contestants sometimes mess things up. More than anything, the sad part is that they mess up their lives. But so far, every time we think that we are pushing it too much, or it is not going to work, the next season happens again. The format has worked for Colors and all of us or else, it wouldn't have been still around.”

Bigg Boss 13

Bigg Boss 13 airs on Colors.

Having understood how being on the small screen can change one's public image, Salman Khan persuaded good friend Sanjay Dutt to accompany him in the fifth season as the co-host. Sanjay, as readers would know, was under the scanner for the1993 Mumbai blasts. With two hosts on Bigg Boss for the first time, viewers realised that it's not everyone's cup of tea. Sanjay clearly wasn't cut for it as most of the time he stood clueless on the stage. Salman, on the other hand, with his inimitable style made things fun and exciting.

One would agree that Salman has an aura of a superstar, making him someone who can bring even other celebrities to task. Given the format of Bigg Boss, the host not only has to bridge the gap between the audience and contestants but also reprimand inmates when they cross their lines, give them sound advice, help them arrive at a truce during fights and even indulge in a lot of fun. And the actor, strangely, meets all the requirements making him the perfect host of the show. Most ex-contestants laud Salman's hosting skills, calling him the biggest contributor to the show's success.

Salman Khan's stint as a producer

Well, if hosting television shows were not enough, the Dabangg actor is now also a TV producer. Last year, Salman Khan made his debut by co-producing The Kapil Sharma Show under the banner SKTV. Comedian Kapil Sharma, who was looking at making a comeback after a low, could not have asked for a better backing. The Khan brothers Salman, Arbaaz and Sohail along with their father Salim Khan had even graced the opening episode of the show. Recently Kapil and his team celebrated the completion of 100 episodes.

salman khan the kapil sharma show

Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha and Saiee Manjrekar with Kapil on The Kapil Sharma Show.

Earlier this year, Salman Khan collaborated with Banijay Asia again to bankroll Nach Baliye 9. It was on Salman's insistence that the format was tweaked to have former lovers also participating in the dance show. While the drama and fights led to disappointment among fans, thanks to all the controversies, Nach Baliye 9 did manage to make a lot of noise.

After producing non-fiction shows, the Bharat actor also has two fiction series in the offing. The biopic of The Great Gama was announced a couple of years back with Sohail Khan in the lead, but the drama series is yet to see the light of day. Also, another mini-series based on Mumbai cops has already been shot. Starring Mukul Dev and Pooja Gor in the lead roles, the show will be launched sometime next year on Sony TV.

After Bollywood and TV, we wonder what's next for Salman Khan. Here's hoping that Bhai will soon announce his digital debut. Happy Birthday, Salman!