There is a process a thing goes through before turning into a phenomenon. It goes from being branded as yet another cliché to becoming something slightly different. It goes from being ignored in cornered sections of the newspaper to appearing on almost all sections of it. It goes from being discussed between two friends to being discussed on almost all forums. Will I be wrong to say that Comedy Nights with Kapil is progressively moving on this path?
I personally remember my journey through Comedy Nights with Kapil. I had started with denouncing it in the first place as yet another cheap comedy show on Indian television. And yet there was too much I was hearing of it. Hearing from male cousins expected to like it, hearing from television sets of neighbors, hearing from friends used to laughing only at Russell Peters. It was sheer curiosity that made me sit in front of the television one day to test this guy’s caliber in humor. And it was the beginning of one full hour where I couldn’t stop laughing.
If one begins to wonder as to what it is about the show that tickles the nation’s funny bones then we have a number of justifiable reasons behind it in the form of an equally humorous supporting cast, a well etched script, dynamic celebrity presence amongst others. But to me it was the kind of relatibility Kapil brings with himself to the show. Somehow, when he cracks a joke it is never a deliberate attempt at cracking one. He will say the most hilarious lines in a conversational tone keeping a straight face. He is a constant reminder of some crass, tongue-in-cheek friend each one of us must have had at some point in life. It is because Kapil is so real that he is so dear to the Indian audience.
He has selected his cast smartly. All characters have been vaguely familiar to the Indian Audience through their previous stints on televisions. The Indian family setup of a nagging Dadi, an unmarried Bua and a pesky wife score obvious marks with the viewers. It’s the saga of each household with a humorous tadka to it. Ali Asgar has been absolutely brilliant in his hilarious portrayal of the hyperactive drunkard dadi. I am beginning to forget Asgar’s real face. I think for many years to come Indian audience will only think of this dadi as a reference image for him. My personal favorite is Sumona Chakravarti’s character who plays Bittu’s wife in the show. The husband wife bickering is an age old tried and tested formula for comedy and it works really well for the two of them too. I would like to see more of Sumona in the show though and more of such squabbles.
While the constant celebrity queue on the show is a testimony to its popularity, the best part is that the producers didn’t use sleaze to make their way through unlike previous comedy shows. It breaks the notion that you need cheap humor to make the Indian Audience laugh. Rather, the producers have stuck to witty one liners to have the audience going in splits. For once there is a comedy show which you may watch with your family without feeling guilty about the humor.
However the question is how long can Kapil sustain his soaring TRPs. The show can’t afford to get predictable and regular if it wishes to remain on top. The producers will have to make constant efforts at maintaining the freshness of the show. But going by Kapil’s sense of humor and his understanding of his audience’s pulse, I have a feeling he will do a good job of it.
Comedy Nights With Kapil – A Review