Stand-up comedian Bharti Singh is all set to keep the audience in splits at the ‘Laugh Chennai Laugh’ show on Tuesday evening
In a world where most people are weight-obsessed and think twice before biting into a muffin, here's somebody who looks every bit unapologetic while tucking into her bowl of laddoos. "Main bilkul patli nahi hona chahti hu," says the plus-sized comedian Bharti Singh. Often known to make self-deprecatory comments, especially targeting her own weight, she says, "To be a good comedian, you need to have the ability to laugh at yourself first. We often target other personalities and people in the audience so before trying it out on them we need to first try the jokes on ourselves."
Foray into television
Having entered the television stand-up comedy circuit in 2008, Bharti has been a staple in almost every comedy show on air. Other than her hilarious acts, she is well known for her ability to create a gamut of voice impressions, the most popular being that of a little sardar boy. She says she was the funniest and the chubbiest one in her class throughout her school days. But she never expected to end up as one of India's funniest comedians. "My friends asked me to audition for The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. I participated, and was the second runner-up on the show. That's how everything started," says the 26-year-old.
The entertainer is now all set to perform in Chennai at Laugh Chennai Laugh. "I haven't prepared anything. My performance is going to be spontaneous. Hum bahut masti karenge," says Bharti. Each show, each performance throws up a challenge — connecting with the audience and making them laugh, and Bharti enjoys every bit of it. How does she manage to come up with concepts and jokes? "Actually, we have concept writers who write wonderful scripts for us. They deserve a lot of credit. Getting the delivery and comic timing right is up to us."
The entertainer is happy being a comedian and believes actors and models have a shelf life, but a comedian doesn't have such restraints. They never fail she says, giving the example of Johny Lever. "Being funny and having a good sense of humour is a god-given talent. You can send your children for singing and dancing classes, but you can't send them anywhere to learn comedy," says Bharti.
So what else can she do apart from being funny? Well, she can dance. A contestant on the recently-concluded fifth edition of Jhalak Dikhhla Ja, she was one of the top 5 contestants who battled it out, unleashing a range of twists, turns, lifts and pirouettes. "I was waiting for you to ask me about Jhalak," she laughs, adding, "it was a fantastic opportunity for me, and I wanted people to say that Bharati is an all-rounder. All credit goes to my choreographer Savio. We practised for eight hours a day." Not just providing entertainment through her dance, she also wishes to pass on a message to over-sized people who have always wanted to dance but were held back because of their weight. "Everybody can dance. Size doesn't matter."
Her popularity on the dance reality show ensured she got herself quite a few movie offers too. Bharti says she can’t talk about the movies she’s shooting for yet. Not just shooting for the camera, the actor was also a pistol shooter and archer in college. But she couldn't pursue these, as these sports turned out to be expensive. By then her focus shifted to stand-up comedy and she became well-entrenched in the television scene. Either way it’s been a good shot at success.
Laugh Chennai Laugh will take place on October 2 at Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall, Chetpet, 7.30 p.m. Tickets, priced at Rs. 2000, Rs.1000 and Rs.500, are available at the venue. Those interested may also call 98410-94948.