Last month I did a caricature of Kapil Sharma, the indisputable king of Indian comedy, who may soon debut in Bollywood too. He has an easygoing interactive style of comedy and a show that brings all the important elements of entertainment together.
If I summarize quickly, Kapil’s onscreen character Bittu Sharma has got a typical Indian family with atypically quirky family members and some very interesting neighbors. His Dadi, played by Ali Asgar, loves liquor and wants Bittu Sharma to provide the family with an heir. Pinky Bua played by Upasana Singh, is a pretty, slightly heavy-set middle-aged spinster and an incorrigible gambler. For every eligible bachelor who appears on Kapil’s Comedy Nights, she’s “Only Twenty-Two, Hot, young girl. How do you do? I am fine, Thank you!” Hai o Rabba!
Here’s Kapil in his characteristic pose.
For providing his show with Indian comedy’s most important ingredient called the in-law jokes, Kapil’s character Bittu is married to Manju, played by Sumona Chakravarty. Manju’s father (a street-smart but ragged bum played by Sunil Grover who also acts the hilarious character of Gutthi, and who had left the show earlier, but returned), her good-for-nothing brother appears on the show on and off, while her saucer lips and tiny frame are a running gag.
Navjot Singh Siddhu, former cricketer and cricket-commentator is a permanent guest on his show, livening it up with his contextual comments and shers (couplets). Then there are those pesky neighbors, the corpulent Palak and her mom Pankhuri Aunty both played by the same actor Kiku Sharda. Then there’s Chandan Prabhakar, the servant who also plays the occasional Chaddha Saab. Recently, the noted Pakistani actor and stand-up comedian from Faisalabad also appears in the show from time to time as Bittu’s ex-servant (who has now become rich by selling pakoras in Dubai.)
All in all, Comedy Nights with Kapil is one heady cocktail of humor, acting, singing, and of course, interviews of Bollywood and cricket celebrities.
Kapil worked as a telephone booth assistant in his home town, Amritsar, before he became famous as a comedian. He takes after his mom in looks. He is a fab singer. In fact, he always wanted to be a singer. Oh…and his biggest contribution to Indian popular culture is Babaji ka Thullu. This fascinating term actually means “nothing.” Literally. So, if you know more about Kapil and his show than I do, after reading this post, you could say, “I read the whole post, and in the end what did I get? Babaji ka Thullu!”
An odd thing happened when I was making Kapil’s caricature. After I had drawn his face, I thought of painting him wearing pathani-suit (loose bottoms with long shirt, usually worn by people of the mid-eastern regions, and also worn by some Indians, especially those who live in the J&K and Punjab region.) I quickly sketched the dress, but then I realized that if I painted him in t-shirt and jeans, wearing a jacket, that would represent him better, because that’s what our New English-twisting…er… English-speaking Kapil wears now-a-days.