Karan Johar is a name that does not go unnoticed. In fact, his name is so recognized that most know him as just Karan. The filmmaker is also a talk show host, and a witty one too; he also has a bold sense of humor. He returns with Coffee With Karan Season 7. Come July 7th, Karan will once again remind viewers how he dominated the genre with a parade of A-list celebrities playing Koffee Quiz and answering Rapid Fire questions. Read more: Watch Koffee With Karan Season 7 Trailer

Full disclosure: This writer has watched most, but not all, episodes of Koffee With Karan — starting with the 2004 season with Shah Rukh Khan with Kajol and Kareena Kapoor with Rani Mukerji – and enjoy the occasional Koffee binge watch. And it rarely left her less than entertained.

The chat show has captivated millions of viewers for nearly 18 years and has changed little since its inception. In the Koffee With Karan season 7 trailer that appeared on Saturday – and quickly became a trending topic on Twitter – actor Ranveer Singh tells us why people are still tuning in. It’s a “cult show that we all know and love,” he said.

Karan Johar is the host with the most, the guy every A-lister wants to drink coffee with. Off-screen, celebrities may adhere to showbiz protocols and be business-like and discreet. But the on-screen atmosphere of the guests at Koffee With Karan is something else entirely: it’s like watching stars in their own social habitat.

Having two A-listers on the couch at once is the most obvious and triumphant USP of the show. This setup has often raised some unlikely closest friends as well. Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt were seen together in Koffee With Karan season 6 in 2018. Their camaraderie made for one of the best episodes of Koffee With Karan of all time. While Deepika dated Ranbir Kapoor for a few years, Alia and Ranbir were dating at the time and later married in 2022. Read also| Koffee With Karan: Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor were too tired for ‘suhagraat’ after marriage

Also featured in Season 6, the impressive combined star power of Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra, who was by no means an outlier. Think of pretty much any A-lister from the past 20-25 years, and chances are they’ve shared the show’s famous Koffee couch with another of equal stature. Still at the top of Karan’s wish list, Rekha may be the only big Bollywood name to have succumbed to its charms yet.

As a presenter, Karan knows his role is to steer the conversation — rather than completely dominate — and guide celebs to reveal a new side of them that you don’t often see at their press meetings. His real masterstroke, however, is to couch the guests of every episode together, often from the start. Should a guest clap or turn out to have the personality of a potato, you can always count on the guest on the other side of the couch to keep the party going.

On Koffee With Karan, stars all shed their facades as they try to charm each other – Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh’s unexpected bromance was the highlight of season 5 in 2016. The show shows the star becoming the fan – Alia giggles about getting married with Ranbir or Vicky Kaushal and pretend to collapse with excitement after hearing Katrina Kaif they would look good together – and wonder if it’s real or just more schtick. But of course it is real.

Karan’s familiar presence, combined with the cup of coffee or two dudes drinking on set, also encourages celebs to be more open than they would in other interviews. Perhaps a little too much in the case of Kareena, who famously spoke of Priyanka’s “accent,” even calling John Abraham an “expressionless” actor in the show’s earlier seasons. You’re never far from the embarrassing confession you’d expect to be taken to the grave on the Karan Johar show – Sonam Kapoor said in a 2011 interview that she regretted the comments she made about Ranbir in Koffee With Karan season 3.

Known for its interesting guest combinations, the latest Koffee With Karan season – streamed for the first time on Disney+ Hotstar – will feature a new lineup. Ranveer and Alia, who will be seen together in Karan’s Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani, appear together. Another on-screen couple sharing the Koffee couch is Kiara Advani and Shahid Kapoor; they were seen together in the 2019 film Kabir Singh Making their Koffee With Karan debut are Telugu actors Samantha Ruth Prabhu (with Akshay Kumar) and Vijay Deverakonda (with Liger co-star Ananya Panday).

Since there’s a good chance that many of the actors he works with will end up on the couch of Koffee With Karan, Karan’s show is being questioned for its lack of diversity, not to mention being cheesy, staged and borrows from Simi Garewal’s iconic Rendezvous with Simi Garewal (both talk shows are relentlessly A-listed).

Koffee With Karan is all those things; but it’s also light-hearted entertainment and smooth conversations with the biggest names in the movie world. Unlike Simi, Karan’s interviews couldn’t be considered intrusive enough, but it always seemed like he just wanted to have a fun, long gossip with his guests/friends. Of course, not every interview went to plan, and the frosty chat with Kangana Ranaut while she was promoting Rangoon during Koffee With Karan season 5 inevitably comes to mind. But then it’s easy to remember the one that went wrong, and overlook the many that went right.

Koffee With Karan never forgets that it is primarily a talk show. Yes, there’s always a short opening monologue, but understand that sometimes the best way to hit TV gold is to just point the camera at celebrities and allow them to, well, talk.

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