In Mohali to pay tribute to his mentor, late satirist Jaspal Bhatti, to whom he credits his success, comedian Sunil Grover as it turns out is just as funny in real life as he is in reel. Known for formerly playing the character of Gutthi on the TV show Comedy Nights with Kapil, Sunil by his exit from the show last September had caused many a heartbreak across India.
Sunil Grover and Sumona in a still from Comedy Nights With Kapil.
Sunil has finally made his comeback on Kapil’s show amid much fanfare, not as Gutthi but as Kapil’s father in-law. “Kapil and I quite like each other and have a comfort level with each other on stage. This time around, I intend on staying on the show for a while,” says Grover, whose part on the show was cut short due to contractual problems last year.
“Dressing like a woman has its perks. Girls tend to forget you’re a guy,” Sunil comments laughingly on the oft-asked question.
When asked how he conceptualised a character that has captured the fancy of millions, he says it was all based on real life experiences.
“I come from a small town where my school did not have a lot of girls. Gutthi is based on them and other women I encountered throughout my life,” he reminisces.
And does having to be constantly funny take a toll on him? “Of course it does but that is the whole challenge; you shouldn’t feel the pressure, as comedy needs to be free-flowing.”
Having performed abroad as well, he says that every space comes with a different energy so his content does change based on his connection with the audience. “I must tell you that dressing as a woman is extremely tough, especially this kaajal (eyeliner) women wear, the thing just won’t come off,” he laughs.
A comedian needs to be constantly up to date so they can keep their audience on their toes but according to Grover, that way every newsreader should be a good comedian.
“Newsreaders make good fodder for us comedians,” he signs off, laughing.