There are two types of Salman you always get to hear about in the film industry.
One is Salman, the creative, loving, dildaar superstar. And the other is the paaji, shaitan Salman, prone to mischief and fiery bursts of temper. His repution is such that the worst is said about him in his relationships, yet there is no denying the fact that Salman also lands cosily in the laps of primo babes.
And much to my entertainment, both Salmans were on display during his appearance to shill for the upcoming Yuvraaj.
First let me congratulate the producers of SRGMP. Why? Well, Salman - clearly trying to outdo the recent hair missteps of Shahrukh Khan and Abhishek Bachchan, but in one fell swoop - showed up looking tame and strutted on stage casually. No sooner had he settled down in his seat that SRGMP regaled him with a montage of his cavalier and sharaarati behavior during previous appearances.
In essence, SRGMP was priming the pump. And with his engine warmed up thus, Salman went hammer and tongs at everything thrown at him with much gusto.
What I absolutely love about Salman is the way he talks when he's in the mood (catch a couple of episodes of Dus Ka Dum when you get a chance). Salman's speech is like a train wobbling on a narrow guage - he demonstrates scant respect for Hindi as it was meant to be spoken. He breaks his sentences in all the wrong places - prompting me to start quick family room pools as to whether he will finish the sentence at all. He's positively Christopher Walken-like in this regard. (For the record, I love both Salman and Walken.)
So it was that Salman provided bharpoor entertainment by engaging with the contestants. And here is where that other Salman showed up in flashes.
One of the first things he did when the show started was ask about how the contestants from previous years were doing. SRGMP minimized it by playing a laugh track over it, but I can't remember someone returning to the show who stopped preening enough to ask about some acquantainces from years past.When told that everyone seemed to be doing well, Salman happily settled back in his seat.
And it was in the way he played along with the singers that gave you glimpses as to why he is such a people's superstar (certainly the press and parts of the industry would have liked him to have gone under long ago). Nothing was off limits with him. He regaled Pratibha, dispensed relationship advice to Soumen (Chowmein, if you know whats good for you, avoid!), sparred verbally with Asma and in general did things that many would consider below their celebrity.
When his costar from Yuvraaj, Katrina Kaif showed up - looking simple and whip smart - things got a bit more interesting. She showed little patience for Salman's gallivanting. Eye rolls ensued. At one point she slapped Salman's hand. Yet again she picked up the mike and asked Salman and Asma to zip it. When she is genuinely tickled a vein pops on her forehead - its a bit endearing. She told Head that Udit Narayan was her favorite singer and had him sing a song for her.
No Salman appearance would be complete on SRGMP without a pangaa with Himesh, of late dumped by the shirtless one in favor of Sajid-Wajid.
When Asma finished essaying an arabic song, Salman told her she had made a huge mistake because Himesh would now copy that song. Himesh muskuraya and said "When have I ever copied a song?" Some sparring ensued with Salman. Inexplicably Himesh blurted out: "I copied only that one song when you insisted! That Santana song - for which I had to take so much shit from everyone!"
Hilarity! Now, what would Salman go after Pritam too? Sadly Salman only braises the ones he loves (kind of like the Drift) and so Pritam escaped with a minor reprimand: "your singing is all wrong!"