SAN JOSE: Hilarity could not be contained at the SAP Center Aug. 1 when comedic powerhouse and India’s funniest man, Kapil Sharma, pulled out all the stops, drawing raucous applause and laughter from the 7,000-strong audience.
The show, “Comedy with Kapil and Family,” was a total laugh riot where fans had a rollicking good time with each cast member who turned in a rib-tickling performance.
The comedian, who currently rides the crest of fame with his hilarious character of “Bittu Sharma” on the television show, “Comedy Nights with Kapil,” had the audience members — largely from the Indian American community — rolling in the aisles with laughter.
The evening commenced with a dance performance by Yoza of Unique Bolly, and a live band serenaded the crowd thereafter. Then, with all eyes on the stage waiting for Sharma, he made his much anticipated entry from the backdoor singing “Chak De India” that left everyone in the arena clamoring for his attention.
“Thank you so much for your love,” exclaimed the comedian, who is currently taking a break from his TV show because of health issues.
Sharma excels at observational humor and is able to adeptly extract humor from seemingly mundane subjects. The noted comedian delivered witty one-liners and puns comparing lives in the U.S. and India:
“Pedestrians are given the right of way in U.S., because you hardly see any here, but in India there are so many pedestrians that you hardly see the road,” he said to a rousing roar of laughter. “And even if someone stops for one, around 2,500-3,000 people cross with him.”
Sharma often improvised, such as when one fan wouldn’t stop screaming, Sharma joked, “How come you have not been deported as yet.”
Gauging the regional diversity of the primarily Indian American audience, the 34-year-old funnyman incorporated humor to highlight the distinct cultures and the stereotypes that come with it:
“South Indians are so smart penny-wise,” he said. “They invented that gap in the Medu-Vada so that chutney would drip through, thus saving on some costs.”
Sharma is starring in a romantic comedy, “Kis Kis Ko Pyaar Karoon,” directed by Abbas-Mastan, where he will be seen romancing four women, one of whom is “Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na” actress Manjari Phadnis, who was a part of the show.
Sharma, who has sort of reinvented comedy on the small screen in India, first tasted success in 2007 through the television show, “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge.” He then went on to win the popular show, “Comedy Circus,” six times in a row, becoming a household name.
In 2013, the stand-up comedian, television host, producer and now an actor, launched his own show, “Comedy Nights with Kapil,” garnering legions of fans. Its popularity can be gauged by the fact that even stars like Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan use the platform to promote their films.
Apart from Kapil’s great comic timing, the audience enjoyed his playful banter with his onscreen wife, Manju, aka Sumona Chakravarti.
Sunil Grover and Kiku Sharda, the show’s cross-dressing characters of Gutthi and Palak, were also in high demand.
Gutthi’s comedic monologues and her signature song, “Aap Aaye Hain Hamare Ghar Mein, Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan,” cracked up the audience while Palak’s sher-o-shayari, her rockstar moves and her popular “Ooo-Ooo” really amused the avid followers of the show.
Ali Asgar as the youthful and effervescent Dadi seeking a rich NRI groom for Bua aka Upasana Singh, garnered lots of laughs.
Chandan Prabhakar, best known as Kapil Sharma’s house help, Raju, wowed the audience with his impersonation skills. From Nana Patekar to Paresh Rawal and Agan Devgan, his impressions were spot on.
Sharma’s fans are aware of his vocal prowess and everyone expected him to do a few musical numbers, and he didn’t disappoint, spoofing singers from Sonu Nigam, SP Balasubramaniam to Jagjit Singh. “What would it sound like if these singers sang songs like “Munni Badnam Hui” and “Sheila Ki Jawani,” quipped the comedian, whose musical mimic had the audience in splits.
The San Jose show, one of six performed in the U.S., was promoted by Bani and Bikramjeet Singh of Bollywood Events and Instant Karma, in partnership with Ricky Singh, Sharan and Manraj Mahal, Yoza and Zach Raely.
The international promoters of the show were Priya Haider Productions and Sai USA Limited.
“I am really happy with the sort of turn-out for this comedy show,” Bikramjeet Singh of Bollywood Events told India-West. “Kapil is a brand in himself, and I am glad with the help of sponsors this show was made possible.”