So not funny.
The Kapil Sharma Show has aired only twice since Sunil Grover and Ali Asgar quit, but it was enough to make it glaringly obvious that Sharma’s falling short without his main men. Sharma reminded us of that boss who’s confident about his employees laughing at his jokes, no matter how unfunny it is. Only in this case, he’s not the boss of anyone but his empire of doom, abandoned by his two dark horses – Grover and Asgar.
Sharma, an able performer, will definitely manage to turn things around sooner or later, but for now, the weaker links seem more brittle than ever.
1. Bringing back the old comedians
Sunday’s episode saw veterans like Sunil Pal, Raju Srivastav and Ahsaan Qureshi making their way to the sets of The Kapil Sharma Show. While it was good to see old familiar faces, it was pretty clear that their brand of humour is fast dying if not already dead. They rose to fame at a time when stand-up comedy was as obscure as women’s safety in India, but times have since changed. Navjot Singh Sidhu’s hearty laughter at any attempt to a joke, sadly, is not enough anymore to convince an audience that it’s funny.
Having said that, would an AIB or an EIC have worked better instead of these three? Maybe not – for lack of the right audience. The Kapil Sharma Show promises slapstick comedy, driven by its uninhibited gimmicks, most of which are not as much about the punch lines as they’re about the performance, often pulled off successfully by Asgar and Grover.
2. Raju Srivastav’s hypocrisy… and that weird running man
Maybe Srivastav should have stuck to his Gajodhar Bhaiyya shtick because that actually is funny. But he chose to go with the redundant comic style of telling jokes after jokes, totally unrelated to each other – a style we no longer relate to. A particular joke amidst all the unfunny ones, reminded us of his views on AIB’s comedy, which he dismissed as sleazy, abusive, and not tasteful. This was shortly after Tanmay Bhatt’s controversial Snapchat faceswap.
Srivastav’s joke went thus:
Sister in law: Jijaji main pass ho gay hu… ab toh khila do! (Jijaji, I have passed my exams… give me a treat, already)
Brother in law: Khila dunga… pehle thoda aur pass toh ho ja… (sure… but come a little closer before that)
Sure, the essence is lost in translation, but if you understand Hindi, you’d agree that not only is it unfunny, it’s also obnoxious. Not that Srivastav’s poor jokes is a direct reason why The Kapil Sharma Show has lost its charm, but since he was a major chunk of Sunday night’s content, one can’t help but point it out.
Also, what’s with that weird running-man step he keeps doing to emphasise his punches?
3. Sunil Pal never reached a punch line.
Ratan Noora, the drunkard who falls in and out of cheap bars is an act that Sunil Pal has nailed and immortalised. But instead of the funny anecdotes from the drunken buffoon’s life, Pal decided to go with a sketch that basically listed the pros of drinking alcohol. Fair enough, as long as it builds up to a killer punch… but it never did! Was Pal trying to write a listicle? Is he writing blogs for a living these days? Did the editor cut the shot before the punch line? We never found out.
4. Kiku Sharda’s punchlinewas a punch to our sense of humour
Kapil Sharma sure has some loyal teammates in the likes of Kiku Sharda, and it was definitely good to see him, especially when we’re genuinely missing the regulars of the show. But then Sharda’s biggest punchlineon Sunday’s episode was so disappointing that one can’t help but draw a connection between this dismal script and the absence of Grover and Asgar.
Here’s the joke that gave us a nosebleed:
Kiku to Qureshi: Accha hua aapka surname pharamosh nahi hain… warna aap bekar mein ahsaan pharamosh ho jatee…
5. The mindless flirting
Rochelle Rao didn’t have much to do than look great, and playing dumb with the boys. Not that she’s not capable of anything better – it’s just how the show works. Sharma and his guests took turns to flirt with her, which is not isn’t new but earlier the dumbassery used to be camouflaged with the laughter. This time, it was all cringe and no fun.
6. Sumona failed to step up
When Kapil Sharma is not flirting with women, he’s being an MCP. Sumona finally had the chance to a meatier role on Saturday’s episode - the first one without Grover and Asgar - but failed to deliver anything other than what was expected of her. Sumona has been a piñata for Kapil to practice his rampant sexist jokes for all this while, but it was all condoned the moment her father, Mashoor Gulati stepped in the picture. With Grover gone, there was no Mashoor to step in, and Sumona’s performance fell flat as expected. Kapil was even seen trying to take a dig at Grover’s absence when he told Sumona, “Your father (referring to Dr. Mashoor Gulati) isn’t here, that’s why you were called. He is doing a show in Pune.”
7. The absence of Nani, and of course, Mashoor Gulati
Not just Sumona, but the rest of the cast failed to create the magic without nani and Gulati complementing them. Kiku Sharda, aka Bumber, who is otherwise funny, seemed dull without his hilarious interactions with Asgar and Grover.
8. Thank god for Manoj Bajpayee and Taapsee Pannu
When your guests are funnier than your in-house comedians, there’s something alarmingly wrong about how you’re running the show. The only highlight of Saturday’s episode was Pannu and Bajpayee promoting their upcoming movie, Naam Shabana and, in the process, teaching the seasoned comedians a thing or two about humour. Both seemed at their wittiest best with prompt comebacks, hilarious one-liners and a funny improvisation of their dialogues from the movie. When asked about co-star Nawazuddin Siddiqui, this is what Bajpayee had to say:
“Nawazuddin is a kind of man who will be here, but he will be merged in the background.”