In March this year, Kapil Sharma and Sunil Grover had a fall out that gained excessive media attention. Kapil had allegedly hurled abused at Sunil, on a mid-air flight. In retaliation, Sunil left Kapil’s show and according to rumors, he might make a comeback on The Kapil Sharma Show again. Yes, again.
While we’re at it, let’s reiterate the fact that this has happened already. Sunil had left Guthi’s role (arguably the only thing that could have made me watch the entire show in one sitting) in 2014, to star in a stint called ‘Mad In India’.
Read More: Sunil Grover v/s Kapil Sharma
Unfortunately, it did not enjoy the same viewership as Comedy Nights with Kapil and had to be discontinued a month later. Following this, he returned to CNWK playing the character of Dr. Mashoor Gulati and Rinkoo Bhabhi.
Kapil is no stranger to controversies himself. Apart from being called ‘vain’ and ‘hot-headed’ multiple times, he’s had differences with multiple channel authorities. He shifted out from Colors TV to join Sony TV and started ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’.
The question needs to be asked- why are Indian comedians so often embroiled in some controversy? Does it directly correlate to decreasing standards of comedy shows aired today?
The era of quality comedy shows:
Mapping out the comedy TV scenario, we can come across gems like Dekh Bhai Dekh, Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai and Office Office which have left an indelible mark on Indian T.V viewers. Following the success of serial based formats, creators embarked to a niche industry of reality comedy shows by late 2000s, with ‘The Great India Comedy Challenge’ being the first of the lot. Some of the most famous comedians that the industry has today, emerged from featuring in that show.
In the beginning, it was clever, witty and fresh. The Indian middle class instantly connected with these comedians on a personal level, as the jokes ranged from political satire to everyday nuances of an average person’s life.
Comedy shows now:
As the years went by, comedy stalwarts had emerged- Krushna Abhishek, Kapil Sharma, Bharti and Raju Srivastava. Media channels thought of giving some of those separate shows, and that’s how we got ‘Comedy Nights With Kapil’ and its rival counterpart, ‘Comedy Nights Bachao’.
More and more people had tuned in to watch live comedy shows over soaps, and the pressure on creators and comedians was apparent. Most prime time slots on weekends were (and continue to be) taken up by comedy tv shows.
The creators eventually gave in to TRP wars and resorted to tried and tested tactics of inviting celebrities on their show and making the regular sexist, unfunny jokes.
Is the comedy industry falling apart?
It’s true, TKSS and the likes have received extreme adulation from the audience. But at this point, it’s glaringly obvious that most of their content is repetitive, unfunny, and sometimes even plagiarized. You can almost pinpoint the rare occurrences when the jokes are actually funny or devoid of meaningless slapstick humor.
Comedy Nights Bachao is another example that faced the public glare last year. Their definition of comedy was often misconstrued to include offensive insults on the basis of anything.
We even have kids on comedy shows now, which further explains why the comedy shows industry is stuck in a rut. Filmmaker Shoojit Sircar took to twitter to express his disdain for the new format. Roping in kids to sell a show should never be the point, no matter how talented they are.
This doesn’t imply that there’s a dearth of comedians the country. It’s rather the opposite- a pool of talent which needs a strong, supportive platform. We sincerely hope that new shows like ‘The Drama Company’, which debuted on 16th July, will fill the void of humor in comedy.
Indian viewers have begun noticing the repetitive content, but it’s unlikely that the comedy shows industry will ever fall apart in India. Humour is the only tool that helps an average man unwind his day and forget all tensions. We’re hoping we get to see shows which go further from wrong entries and exits, technical stage errors, falling on the floor etc.
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