Kapil Sharma is basking in the glory of success on the small screen, so bestowing the 'funniest man' crown on him is no exaggeration
Muscat: Making people laugh is no child's play, and who else but the King of Comedy, Kapil Sharma, can vouch for it? Sharma's Comedy Nights with Kapil, inspired from the popular British show The Kumar's at No.42. Bitto, has become India's highest rated nonfiction TV show.
His journey from nobody, to India's favourite comedian, is an inspiration for many. His show started with a bang with yesteryear star Dharmendra and, since then, Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Ajay Devgan, Priyanka Chopra, Vidya Balan, Irrfan Khan, Hrithik Roshan, and Shahid Kapoor are a few names, among the Bollywood biggies who have been perplexed by the near perfect one-liners delivered in his show.
Speaking to Times of Oman, Kapil Sharma was candid about his rags to riches story, his real life persona and his future plans.
From being a stand-up comedian at Great Indian Laughter Challenge to playing different characters in Comedy Circus season, and now being a producer, actor, and scriptwriter in Comedy Nights with Kapil, how has the journey been so far?
The journey has been good so far. I had started with regional channels. Before that, I worked in theatres for some 10-12 years. I did not get any money for that. But, I used to think that this is my investment. I am reaping the benefits of several years of struggle and hard work. I gave myself time to bring about improvements in my performance. I tried in Laughter Challenge. First, I was rejected, and then I was declared the winner in the same show. When I see my work down the years, I feel that I have improved a lot, as you also tend to learn from yourself when you work continuously. After I was declared the winner in Laughter Challenge, I received offers to work with several other shows, such as Comedy Circus, Ustadon Ke Ustad, Punjabi Chak De, and others. Working in those shows, I knew what my strengths and weaknesses were. I was able to understand that my forte is live interaction with the audience. Then, I zeroed in on adding such elements in my show that would bring a good response. I started Comedy Nights with Kapil with good intentions and God showered his blessings and it turned out to be a hit. Our show's TRP is a 4.5 rating, which is the highest TRP in India and the 2nd highest TRP rated show is Kaun Banega Crorepati, as Amitabh Bachchan's show has a 2.3 rating.
Whenever people meet you, they expect you to be funny at all times. Is it difficult to maintain this image?
Yes, it happens. For example, if I am waiting to catch a flight they expect me to be as funny as they see me being funny on television. They request me to tell a joke or entertain them. Don't I make them laugh on the television enough? So, yes, it happens with me all the time.
You had participated in the music reality show Star Ya Rockstar. Are you thinking
of pursuing a career in music, also?
I have offers from one or two big music companies. But the problem is, when I wanted to become a singer, I didn't get a chance. Now, when I am going strong in my show and I have a dearth of time, now I am getting offers. In the future, if something good turns up, I will definitely go for it. But just for the sake of doing an album, I won't do it. Sometime back, Shekhar Suman also did an album. Seeing him performing in an album, I thought that if he can sing, why can't I? I am fond of singing, so I will definitely do something.
What is the most amusing thing that anyone has ever told you?
There are many incidences or things that people say to me. But I can't recollect anything in particular, as of now. My mother is very funny. Whenever I go to my hometown, Amritsar, or she comes to Mumbai, she tells many funny things which make me laugh.
What are your future plans?
My future plan is to do live shows on Comedy Nights with Kapil at London, Australia and Canada. We will start shooting episodes there. Till now, there are no reality TV shows that have been shot out of the country, maybe some fiction shows, but not reality TV shows. When we went to perform in Sydney, I saw that the amphitheatre was filled, but still people were waiting outside. So, when I requested the organisers to let those people in, they said that we did not have any more tickets. I told them let them come inside; if they have come to see the show, they should receive an entry. Those people gave me their blessings. So, I really felt good at that time.