Master of gags

Between dancers Sonali and Sumanth’s spellbinding performance and Kapil Sharma’s wicked comedy, yours truly was left bruised. Simply because people on either side were either clutching onto my hand in anxiety every time the young dancers did a jaw-dropping step, or they would swing between slapping the arms of their seat and my unfortunate arm as they laughed hard at Kapil’s jokes. Apparently it’s quite the norm to come back bruised after his stand-up comedy act…move over club brawls.

Non-Stop Masti with Comedy King Kapil Sharma held recently at Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall, had all the makings of a potboiler. There was dance, song, music, acting and a generous dose of comedy. The event also had singer Neha Bhasin sing quite a few chart-toppers such as ‘Crazy Kiya Re’, ‘Halkat Jawani’, ‘Disco Deewane’, ‘Dhunki…’ And when the reticent audience refused to get up and shake a leg, the singer kicked off her heels and danced by herself on stage.

A corner of the stage was occupied by Kapil’s band that played the music that it usually plays for his television show Comedy Nights with Kapil. Instead of funny quips Kapil chose to start off with a song — ‘Teri Deewani’. “I wanted to become a singer. Logon ne mujhe comedian bana diya (people made me a comedian). I used to participate in serious theatre in college. Then I participated in a comedy challenge show on a Punjabi channel in 2005. I won The Great Indian Laughter Challenge in 2007. That’s how my tryst with humour began. As the evening progressed, Kapil spared very few in the audience. He took a dig at everyone…photographers, late comers and most of all married couples. The ones being picked on, of course good-naturedly, looked sheepish while everybody around roared in delight. Each time a person/ couple walked in late Kapil waved out and said, “We are Indians...we deserve to come late.” There were double entendres, political incorrectness, hypothetical situations involving famous personalities and brilliant one-liners.

“Everything is written by me. I draw ideas from daily life. I look for humour in everything. You need to have that nazar. I do comedy that has mass appeal. Everybody should be able to enjoy the jokes,” said Kapil at a post-show interview. He has also launched his production house K-9 under which he started his own show Comedy Nights with Kapil. “I am delighted that my debut project is doing well. The channel had initially asked me to do 26 episodes. Seeing the popularity they extended it to 36 shows…then they said do 50 and now they have asked me to continue for a year,” he smiles. But comedy is serious business. Kapil was shooting for his show all night till 7 a.m. that morning before boarding the flight to Chennai for the performance. “I love live shows more than television. If you don’t do television people don’t recognise you. I just walk onto the stage and do my own thing. It’s rather spontaneous. Also, I love travelling and through my shows I get to see the world. For Deepavali I will be performing in Canada and a day before that I’ll be in Dubai,” he adds.

Not just the audience, Kapil too seemed to be enjoying his own jokes so much that he would occasionally burst into a laugh. For a man who makes everybody snigger who makes him laugh? “My mother is really funny. She doesn’t realise how humorous she is. There’s innocence about her. Every time I am back home in Amritsar, she keeps talking to me about my family and relatives and I keep laughing.”

“There are two famous people from Amritsar. “ Ek main hu aur doosra hamara pradhan mantra hai. Hum log ya toh kuch nahi karte ya toh humein seedha PM bannana hota hai!” (There are two famous people from Amritsar — myself and the Prime Minister. People from the city either don’t do anything or have to become the PM).

The last section of the show was reserved to display Kapil’s singing prowess. Near-perfect imitations of Jagjit Singh, Hariharan, S.P. Balasubramaniam, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and how it would be if they were asked to sing ‘Munni Badnaam Hui’ and ‘Sheila Ki Jawani’. “With due respect to the singers,” he said before he started mimicking them. The audience wasn’t so reticent this time around and many young boys ran up to the stage to dance with Kapil as he sang a mix of Punjabi and Bollywood hits.

He came as a comedian but left like a rockstar with crowds swarming around him and following him offstage.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 4:55:31 AM |

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