Legendary Indian comedian Jaspal Bhatti, who died in a car crash in the early hours of Thursday in Punjab’s Nakodar town, has left the young comic fraternity serious. Bhatti, 57, was on a 40-day promotional tour to promote his film Power Cut when the mishap occurred.
Popular contemporary comic artists, who grew up watching Bhatti’s gags that mirrored social issues, are shaken up and say he will still be idolised by generations of comedians to come.
“This news is very tragic and shocking. It is a big loss. His gags were more than just entertainment. They were social observations and he set the podium for today’s comedians. I had the fortune of meeting him a few times in Chandigarh. I was very quiet and intimidated,” says Cyrus Sahukar.
Comic artist Vir Das says the legend has left behind a legacy of great comedy in India. “I never had the honour of meeting Mr Bhatti, but he was my first exposure to comedy. His shows, Flop Show and Ulta Pulta, have been an integral part of my childhood. The best part about him was that he used to do subtle and intelligent satire. He was much ahead of his time. He was truly a great satirist and a big inspiration for everyone in the comedy space.”
For stand up comic Neeti Palta, Jaspal Bhatti was someone who taught us how to laugh at ourselves. “He was one of the pioneers of the industry in India, who actually taught us to laugh at ourselves through his satires like Flop Show. Ulta Pulta was a special inspiration for me and I always wanted to meet him,” she says.
He is known for his TV shows Ulta Pulta, Flop Show, Full Tension, Thank You Jijaji and Hye Zindagi Bye Zindagi
n He has worked in films like Mausam, Fanaa, Aa Ab Laut Chalen, Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye and Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai, Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe and Jaanam Samjha Karo.
Life is a sad, pointless affair. Until somebody cracks a good joke... RIP Jaspal Bhatti #respect @RanvirShorey
Romance passed away earlier this week now laughter dies too ......surely the world is coming to an end. RIP jaspal Bhatti @sureshmenon
RIP Jaspal Bhatti..The poker faced humour..the Satire..you will definitely be missed Jaspalji @jaavedjaaferi
RIP JASPAL BHATTI- one of the first ppl to entertain audience with his political satires. Condolences to the family- a big n untimely loss@riteishd
We learned a lot from him.His gags had an important social message, and he set the podium for today’s comedians - Cyrus Sahukar, actor-comedian
He was much ahead of his time. The best part was that his satire was subtle and intelligent- Vir Das, stand-up comic