Television

Gutthi fever grips comedy lovers

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Dustin Hoffman did it, and so did Robin Williams. And now, our very own comic Sunil Grover of Kaun Banega Champu(Sahara Filmy) and Hassee Ke Phuarey (Radio Mirchi) fame is playing a woman, and is rather successful at that.

Indeed, Gutthi, the funny Punjabi girl essayed by Grover in Comedy Nights with Kapil, one of Colors’ most popular shows, has become bigger than the actor-host himself.

From the way Gutthi introduces herself on the show to the way she sings Aap aaye is bagiya mein... phool khile hain gulshan gulshan to her inimitable style of dancing and perfect comic timing; it’s not just these Gutthi-isms but the kind of credibility lent to the character by Grover that makes her so popular.

So whose baby is Gutthi really, we ask, and Grover answers: “We had this character in our mind. It was Kapil’s idea to showcase the character on this platform when we were all sitting together (Kapil Sharma, Grover and the creative team) and deciding on conceptualizing the show. We made it a part of the show and I was extremely surprised when audiences really loved me as Gutthi.” 

Does he find it difficult portraying a member of the fairer sex? “I had played such characters in the past. When I was doing Nautanki -The Comedy Theatre, once or twice, I had been into such kind of roles. So it wasn’t that difficult. But it wasn’t a regular feature in any show. Here, the ‘interaction’ part is something new. Gutthi had the potential and this was the right platform to use that talent,” replies Grover.

Doesn’t it get boring after a point? “Some moments are very spontaneous and those really excite me. They refresh you and the audience as well. Because they are not part of your framework and module, they happen and surprise everybody and entertain us too. Every episode is a challenge for us and our goal is to entertain our viewers. That is our final destination,” exults Grover. 

Asked what makes a successful comedian in today’s day and age, Grover says it’s about the right comic script and comic timing.

On the other hand, the reality flick which is bagged under K9 Productions is all in a happy mood with positive responses from the viewers. “He is a very fine actor and he plays the character very well and the whole credit goes to him only.” says K9 Productions co-producer Kapil Sharma.

He further goes on to say that: “The secret of show’s success is that all the characters of this show are loved and adored a lot. And obviously it feels nice that viewers appreciate what we are doing. Sunil plays other characters also, but Gutthi amongst itself is a lovable character. I am happy that his work is being appreciated.”

Indeed, social media is abuzz with Grover’s Gutthi, who has an official page on facebook by the same name. In just ten days, the page has 861,000 people liking it and over 28,000 talking about it at the same time. On Twitter, numerous fan pages boast twitter handles such as @Gutthi_Palakk, @AapkiGutthi, @GutthiTweets and @Pk_Girpade.

As if this wasn’t enough, Gutthi has celebrities from Anil Kapoor to Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra to Parineeti Chopra, and Hrithik Roshan to Sushant Singh Rajput going gaga over her.

Isn’t Gutthi aka Grover over the moon with all this adulation? “The love that Gutthi has got is extremely amazing and mind-blowing. I have never seen such kind of love in my life, which I am getting from Gutthi. So far, people have been complimenting me that we like your acting, it is a symbol for me all together,” says Grover.

So far, there have been several instances to show that comedy as a genre has both ebbed and flowed on Indian television. However, for weeks now, Comedy Nights with Kapil has been one of the highest-rated, non-fiction weekend properties on Colors, even beating the channel’s very own show Bigg Boss. Here’s hoping the good run continues...

IndustrySpeak

“Gutthi is a fabulous character. I personally know Sunil, he is a dear friend of mine and the way he has developed Gutthi is just phenomenal. The new trend has started with both Gutthi and Kikoo. It will go down in the history of television comedy as an iconic character. Gutthi is cute, naughty, unapologetic, shy, has a tremendous sense of comedy and amazing dance steps. It is different and the most loved character on television today.”

Beyond Dreams Entertainment producer and creative director Yash Patnaik

“Sunil is the singular most underrated actor today on television. He is a wonderful actor. More than even a comedian, he has a class which he brings to his character, a certain depth, a certain truth. He is sensible and smart and has not turned women into dirty caricatures. I think a man of his caliber is the reason why the character is popular. The character is only popular as the actor. Gutthi is popular then I think Grover should be taking a bow. Whatever he does is gold.. I don’t think he is meant for silver. And that is the reason for his success. A big HUG to you.”

Cyrus Sahukar, actor and anchor

“I am not familiar with the character. I have heard about the show, but not the character at all.”

Vir Das actor and comedian

“It all depends on comic timing which should be correct and supported with good script that will work with the audience. And exactly this has happened with Grover/Gutthi also. He is simple wonderful.”

Hats Off Productions producer, actor and director JD Majethia

“If one had to play the character for a whole show, then I’m not sure how long will it be able to sustain the charm and humor. It is that small interval that makes people want to see what will the character do next. Apart from timing, script and performance, it is very important that the character is not in your face.”

Kunal Vijaykar, played the popular character of Pratibha Patil on The Week That Wasn’t

“As the character, I don’t think so, it survives for long. Something like this would be a passing fact: That with time you would see that the values that are there for a character like that will obviously recede and you will have to move on. The show in itself can be stronger and larger because of various other reasons, but it has to do something with the character. The character has to keep evolving, because people take it very nicely to change and love it.”

Madison Media COO Karthik Lakshminarayan

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