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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Kiku Sharda: “Comedy is a Niche Thing. Not Many People Can Pull it Off”

Kiku Sharda. Despite hailing from quite a financially well-off family, his father insisted on gaining an education.

Before following his passion for acting, he got an MBA as a safety net if the career didn’t work out.

But as they say, “what is to happen, will happen” and today, Kiku Sharda has emerged as one of the top comic actors in India. 

Entertaining us for years in shows like FIR, Akbar Birbal, Comedy Circus and most popularly, The Kapil Sharma Show, Kiku has gained popularity by bringing smiles on people’s faces… Even if the jokes are made at his expense 

After a hiatus, Kiku will be collaborating with Optimystix, through the show Dr Pran Le Le, he is doing a ‘series of gags’ after a while.

In a special interview with Filme Shilmy, we get to know more about Kiku Sharda’s role and how life has been for him.

What can the audience expect from you in Dr Pran Le Le?

Considering that this is coming on the channel SET Max, which is a predominantly, a film channel where there are more films that are aired, all the gags are filmy.

The gags will be around celebrities and pop culture. My character ‘Dr Pran Le Le’ is someone who doesn’t really know his job, I doubt he really is a doctor!

He has no clue about the cure or remedies that he is coming up with, but different celebrities keep coming up to him.

So, it’s in the spoof zone with all actors, purely because it’s going to be telecast on a film channel.

From Palak to Baccha Yadav, all of your characters have become lovable and popular. What is your inspiration behind these?

With all the characters I play, I try to make them as real as possible… Although they have a bizarre sense of humour.

I have this motto which is “You have to go easy in life and enjoy.” That translates into my characters as they all are happy-go-lucky people. They don’t really stress about anything.

In that zone, I find the development of these personalities quite interesting.

When I’m out and about, I observe people.

The characteristics that I display and personas I portray are picked up from somewhere or the other.

As an actor, you always have to be alert and aware of your surroundings, I feel.

Personally, I’m quite an introvert. I don’t talk too much, but these characters I play are how I want to really be deep down.

A lot of people who meet me otherwise are like “you’re not that person on-screen”. But somehow, I would want to view life in a way the characters do.

Comedy is a serious business but you do it effortlessly. Was this always the career you wanted to pursue? What drives your comic timing?

My boys drive me. At the age they’re at, they have no ulterior motives to say something.

Their innocence, speaking style and characteristics influence me. Perhaps that is why a lot of kids are my fans and enjoy seeing my work.

That is probably a bit of my inspiration. The idea of having a ball on stage and undertaking these different roles.

Daily, I give it my all because I really want to stick with this career… I enjoy it.

I come from a business family and no one else is an actor in my family.

If I was not pursuing my passion for acting, I probably would’ve joined my father’s financial and insurance-based business – which are things I don’t understand too much.

I would’ve been really bored so I’m grateful to God that I’m doing something which I enjoy a lot.


How easily did your parents come to terms with you wanting to be an actor?

At first, my parents didn’t quite understand the acting business so much. They considered being more of a hobby rather than a profession.

Initially, when you start your career you’re not paid that well. So my father was quite sceptical.

I come from quite a well-off family and was living with my dad at that point in time.

In 2003, I did a show called Haatim and I used to shoot 15 days for the series… Whilst the other remaining days I would be in my father’s office.

This was just to show that I was around and if my acting career didn’t work then I would work in my dad’s business.

But after Haatim became popular, people started to recognise me and my dad eventually realised that it’s not only about the money, but it’s also about the fame and popularity that one gets.

Subsequently, he gave me an open hand and left it to me to pursue acting. Luckily, it’s been working for me.

How do you feel about not frequently being chosen for meaty/prominent filmy roles in comparison to some of your contemporaries?

It never bothers me. I feel that there is too much hype around films.

As an actor, the kind of work that I’m doing on television today is tough it’s not easy to sustain a popular show like The Kapil Sharma Show.

Doing a comedy show requires full commitment and there are limited actors who can pull off comedies.

In a daily soap, you will witness changes more regularly. But those shows are more of writers’ medium.

Comedy is a niche thing. Not many people can pull it off.

 I don’t look at films as that big of a jump. Films are something that if they work, they work.

I think the kind of job that I’m doing on television is on par with some of the regular movies being made.

At the end of the day, it’s all about acting and I’m open to anything… I don’t want to just be limited to comedy.

You have sportingly dealt every punch and joke on your weight. How did you develop the tolerance for this?

I’ve grown up watching the initial Pakistani plays and I have also seen a lot of American humour like the “Yo Momma” jokes.

This kind of humour has always been around. It’s just that generations deal with this humour differently.

Now as the popularity has been increasing, we have been careful of not cracking certain jokes.

There was a point where punches were made on an unsuccessful actor, but now that is not an area we do not need to touch.

Why should we pull him down, just for a joke?

I do understand that sometimes there are jokes cracked on appearances of people, but we are trying to reduce that.

Given your experience, would your advice be to other overweight people who are teased and mocked at?

When my kids watch The Kapil Sharma Show, they get happy to hear my comebacks if Kapil ever says anything. 

I never really take it personally but it is important one is sharp and witty otherwise one almost becomes like a punching bag.

To develop that sense of humour, one has to be easy in life and don’t have to take everything so seriously.

A person should never be disheartened and broken after one comment. It is important to give it back.

So people who make the jokes must know how to receive it. 

Now that you’ve established yourself as a noted comedian and actor, what is your goal in the next coming years?

As of now, I’m just enjoying Kapil Sharma’s show and continue doing that as well as Dr Pran Le Le.

I’ve also done a web-show for Ekta Kapoor Boo, which will be released on AltBalaji.

I have also shot for Angrezi Medium in Udaipur with Irrfan Khan.

However, when I have free time now I just use it to go easy on myself and I really like the web-world.

Let’s see what the digital space has for me.

Here’s wishing Kiku all the very best for his current and future projects.

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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