Sunday. 10 pm. And almost half the population of India is glued to their TV screen watching the vivacious Kapil Sharma and his gang in Comedy Nights with Kapil, aired on Colors. Ask anyone to tell a joke, and the first line they come up with is “Babaji ka thullu“. This explains all.
Well, comedy on Indian television isn’t something which is very new, just that it’s got a makeover. Since the days of Doordarshan, the Indian audience has been delighted with some very memorable sitcoms.
We have listed some of the best Indian sitcoms which have left an unfading mark in our minds:
It was the ’80s. National programme had only just kickstarted and color TV just made its phenomenal entry into the Indian households. It was around that time that Doordarshan started telecasting some of its best shows like – Hum Log, Buniyaad, and Yeh Jo Zindagi Hai. Yeh Jo Zindagi Hai is India’s first genuine sitcom aired on Doordarshan in the ’80s. It was fresh and something new, and everyone loved it. And let’s not forget Jaspal Bhatti’s Flop Show and Prakash Jha’s Mungerilal ke Haseen Sapne. It was simply hilarious! With its tongue-in-cheek comedy, this show just won the hearts of everyone. Ketan Mehta’s Mr.Yogi, although doesn’t fall directly under the comedy genre, it tells the story of an Indian boy settled in USA trying to arrange his marriage in India, which of course leads to some chucklesome situations (P.S: If you don’t know, the movie, What’s your Rashee? was inspired from this series).
With the colorful ’90s, more sitcoms came in. All thanks to cable television. In fact, it can be said that it was during this period that the comedy shows in India took a massive turn. Dekh Bhai Dekh, Zaaban Sambhalke, Hum Paanch, Tu Tu Main Main are some of the most-loved shows of that era. Be it Anand Mathur’s five daughters, the ups and downs of the Diwan family, or the bitter-sweet fights between bahu and saas… these sitcoms with an endearing script and a simplistic portrayal of characters provided wholesome entertainment to the Indian families.
Bang on millennium! Meet the weirdly funny Parekhs (Khichdi), the quirky Sarabhais (Sarabhai vs Sarabhai), the forever flamboyant Jethalal Champaklal Gada and his family (Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma)… the list is never-ending. Today we have a whole channel dedicated to only sitcoms. We just have to click a button… and we go LOL’in and ROFL’in.
Beside sitcoms, shows like The Great Indian Laughter Challenge and Comedy Circus gave a platform for stand-up comedians in the country and its now become a serious profession. Public loves slapstick comedy. Stand-up comedians like Raju Shrivastav, Kapil Sharma, Vir Das, Sorabh Pant, Saloni Daini, Bharti Singh… have got a huge fan-following from kids to adults.
From live shows to TV series, comedy in India has come a long way taking entertainment to a whole new level of fun and comedy with the sole purpose of making people laugh out loud!

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