14 July, New Delhi
In less than a decade, she has carved out a niche for herself in the entertainment industry and doesn’t get affected when people joke about her body weight. Popular comedienne Bharti Singh however says Indians don’t like jokes being cracked on them and mostly prefer hearing compliments.
“In India, people don’t like jokes being cracked on them. However, in other countries, roasts are very popular and celebrities themselves call and ask (stand-up comedians) to perform a roast on them,” Bharti told IANS in an email interview.
“In India there are many celebrities who come to our shows and they don’t mind us cracking jokes on them or pulling their legs. But there are some Indian celebrities who get offended very easily,” added Bharti, who started her journey on TV with the fourth season of “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge” in 2008.
Bharti says celebrities, who love to hear compliments about their hit movies, should be “ready to hear comments on flop movies as well”.
“But you know Indians have this mentality that they only want to hear good things about themselves, so we are very careful while shooting any show and the channel also takes care of this.
“The channel, while editing, cuts the lines which are offensive and which could hurt the sentiments of the celebrity,” she said.
Something similar happened with actress Tannishtha Chatterjee last year when she appeared on Bharti and fellow comedian Krushna Abhishek’s popular show “Comedy Nights Bachao” and later criticised them for making racial remarks about her.
Asked whether celebrities feel offended with slapstick comedy on TV as it may harm their image, Bharti said: “I completely agree with this because if we go below the belt, anybody would get offended. ‘Bachao’ was all about celebrities being roasted, (so) when you know that you will be coming on such a show, you should be all prepared to be roasted.”
She added: “For example, a South Indian restaurant will obviously serve Idli and Dosa; you can’t go there and ask for ‘makke ki roti’ or ‘sarson ka saag’. So, when celebrities turned up on our show, we used to think that they are prepared for the roast.”
However, she said, despite briefing them on the script, “the celebrities used to get offended”.
“We couldn’t help it and we used to apologise because everyone has a different nature. Everyone loves to hear good things about them and hates to hear the bad things, but there are some celebrities who laugh at jokes and take our jokes so sportingly that they even hug and kiss us after the show,” she said.
Bharti is currently seen alongside Krushna in “Bittu Bak Bak” — a comedy filler shown between film breaks on Sony MAX.
“The show is very close to my heart and it really makes me happy whenever the dates for this show are announced. It’s placed in between movies, which is amazing. Sometimes we act in the get-up of the film which is being telecast. It’s really exciting to perform in different movie get-ups and it’s all the more amazing when Krushna is performing with me,” Bharti said.
Sharing her experience of working with Krushna, Bharti said: “I feel very comfortable whenever I am working with Krushna. We just read the script once and we are ready to perform. I am not that comfortable when I perform with other celebrities because I don’t share the same kind of rapport with others.”
Bharti says Krushna takes “every joke (on himself) very sportingly and positively”.
“Krushna understands the requirement of the show and willingly accepts all kinds of jokes. We really complement each other and we never object to any jokes cracked on us.”
Bharti is also seen alongside ace comedian Kapil Sharma on “The Kapil Sharma Show”.
(Sandeep Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)