The Curious Case Of Crass Indian Comedy Shows

The Kapil Sharma show on colors was a hit from the very first episode. And why not! His humour was flamboyant and fresh, and not just restricted to the mimicry of Sunny Deol and Nana Patekar. Moreover, it was a pleasant change from the omnipresent Saas-Bahu soaps we were bored to death of. To be fair though, a bahu turning into a housefly does possess certain amount of innovation.

Over the following months, each of the characters amassed a fan following of their own. Sunil Grover aka Gutthi found quite a few fans all over the country. Slowly, there emerged a pattern. The promiscuous dadi, whose only comic relief seemed to be coming from planting kisses on all male actors who were guests on the show. Or the twunty two year old aunt who couldn’t stop hinting at how sexually needy she was.

One thing however remained constant – The part of the show where Kapil dissing his on-screen wife solely on the basis of her thick lips. While Kapil joked about how much lipstick she used in a day, or how she could use her own lips as a blanket, all our lady of the house ever did was to shoot glances of mock anger at pati parmeshwar.

And it isn’t just this one particular show. There is another show quite literally dedicated to two men and their desires for each other’s wives. While the guy with the modern, working wife yearns for the village belle; her own husband can’t get enough of bhabiji working out in track pants. Another thrives on a male stand up comic poking mindless fun at his co-performer whose only job seems to be turning up in a sheer sari with noodle strap blouses and pouting prettily.

And what is so funny about men dressing up as women anyway? The fact that there was a housefull 3 goes on to show that Bollywood is no better off. In any case, Sajid Khan and his sexist humour deserves a rant of their own. Even Shah Rukh Khan’s movies seem to have succumbed to the trend with Abhishek Bachchan puking more than he talked in Happy New Year.

The only question then is why. If there is no supply without demand then is the crassness of our comedy shows a reflection of our tastes as an audience? But aren’t we the same people who could not get enough of Prafull on Khichdi or Rosesh’s Poems on Sarabhai vs Sarabhai? (“Khatarkhun khatarkhun khatarkhun, mere dil ki yeh dhadkan sun”). Did evolution go backwards for us to start with a classic like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron and arrive at Humshakals?

Be that as it may, the TRPs of these shows leave no doubt as to the extent of their viewership. So fasten your seatbelts and get ready for Housefull 4. (The actresses in this part of the series won’t even have to talk! They will just prance about in beautiful sequined Manish Malhotra bikinis.)

How I miss your poetry, Rosesh.

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