In 2016, during a fan meet and greet with YouTube creators, a fan asked if they were not as popular as Kapil Sharma, a popular English language stand-up comic (let them not be named). Even though their jokes are ‘classic’. “Kapil Sharma really has a great comedy time. He does what he sells. Give him a stage after distractions, you can see,” the comedian replied.
I always wondered what it would be like. As someone who does not watch his shows regularly, for many years, my expression for Kapil Sharma’s comedy was only at award ceremonies and random YouTube clips. I loved his comedy time there, but whenever I tried to watch his shows, something pushed me away. I will go back to what I heard in 2016: Give someone – only him – the stage, please.
Well, it took six years but Netflix finally gave Kapil that stage in the form of actor-comedy actor’s first comedy special Kapil Sharma: I’m not done yet. The special premiered on Netflix on January 28 and received rave reviews from critics and fans alike.
Kapil Sharma is currently a part of pop culture in India. His performances – first with Comedy Nights with Kapil (2013-2016) and later with The Kapil Sharma Show (2016-present) – aired for nine years. Maybe because of that, it’s hard to remember when Kapil actually came to our screen as a stand-up comic.
It was in 2008 that we first saw him at The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, when the younger Kapil won the competition with his fun stand-up actions and impersonation. 14 years later, on the Netflix special, it was refreshing to see all the luxuries, shiny sets, loud TV star and men dragging him around to distract us. In fact, Kapilare made a difference immediately after his first joke. When the band on stage gave him the drum roll after the comedy, Kapil told them “Yeh sab yahan nahi saleka (it doesn’t work here)”. It set the tone for how different the special would be from Kapil’s regular comedy brand.
In the battle with depression there was a faction that never felt insensitive. He joked about drinking and treatment, but he never seemed to make fun of her. Probably because he was talking about his own fights, his own demons. That it is real and respectable is something that is rare outside of comedy in India.
He even got room for some subtle political jokes, most comedians stay away. No matter who else is as popular as him right now, it’s interesting to come from a celebrity like him. He dropped the name of Prime Minister Modi, mocked his meeting with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and surrounded it with subtle digging into Twitter trolls. They are by no means sharp, sharp political jokes. They were not in the same league as Sehgar Suman’s harsh satire two decades ago, but today, they are enough for many.
read more: Kapil Sharma I am not finished yet
Is this his funny thing? No, not too far. But it was entertaining and was earning some new fans for Kapil – people who think his show is ‘low eyebrow’ or ‘cheap comedy’. It is good that they are looking at this feature and realizing that there is more to the man than the actions and jokes that attract wives. Eventually his song (Spoilers Warning) had a bit on the nose, and many realized that maybe a bit too cheesy. But in times when many have lost someone close to them, the song Echoing His Father Echoes Some. Like I said, this is not a joke routine. Kapil took us on a hobby of his life. And trips like this have every emotion.
We can only hope that this will be a step towards further improving the second brand of comedy for streaming services. But whatever he decides, Kapil Sharma has definitely sent a message. He does not hesitate in new endeavors. As he says, he certainly hasn’t done it yet.