Comedy Nights with Kapil, popularly known as ‘ROFL coz cross-dressers’, is one of the most watched prime-time shows on Indian television. I understand that’s a very bland opening line, like Kapil’s.
So, whose line is it anyway? CNWK was lapped up by the television viewers who were fed up with the usual Saas-Bahu flatulence as CNWK looked like a breath of fresh air. But a mouthwash can last only so long.
To be honest, the show was pretty funny to begin with. However, over time, almost all the jokes started carrying sexist connotations. If people wanted sexist jokes to laugh at, they could’ve just listened to Some-nut Bharti.
There’s the unmarried bua, and the jokes about her marital status, age and weight are repetitive and annoying. In fact, it’s not clear whether the audience goes ‘bua, bua’ or ‘boo-ya, boo-ya’ when she’s on the sets. Then there’s Dadi and the neighbours, all of whom are cross-dressers. Every joke on Dadi is based on either her drinking problem or her fetish for younger men. . It’s almost poetic that people laugh at the expense of cross-dressers on the show, but go from dumb to numb when they encounter them on trains.
Kapil’s cross-dressing neighbours seek to elicit laughs using the same jokes in every episode. Every joke on the show is recycled from previous episodes, and they are always about how someone is fat, thin, dark, or ugly.
Joke 1: My wife has lips bigger than her hips. LOL
Joke 2: My father-in-law should be called my father-out-law!
Joke 3: Palak is fat.
Joke 4: Yo Palak so dumb, once I told her to set the stage on fire.
The next thing we know, we have a new set.
Joke 5: Bua-aayi, Bu-aaya.
The jokes are so repetitive that the series resembles those exam papers where you write the same answer to every question as you had no clue, but still pass because the professor is too lazy to notice or care. In terms of clichés, the show comes a close second behind Ravi Shastri. Even Hodor seems interesting and creative in comparison.
So much sexism goes unnoticed on the show because we are a hypocritical bunch of people. When it comes to public forums or social media, people cry hoarse about sexism for brownie points, but in the private of their homes, they barely notice it since it is such an engrained part of our culture. Our tolerance, or rather affinity, for misogyny is far from low. Feminism has evolved in a very strange way, and has moved away from its core principles.
Guy 1: Some-nut Bharti is so misogynistic, man.
Guy 2: Ya dude.
Guy 1: Hey, look. Kapil’s wife is on stage. Girl’s so ugly; they should name her segment monkey-baat.
Furthermore, there’s a segment wherein members of the audience are called upon to showcase their talents, which include dancing and making fun of themselves for footage, to impress the celebrity/celebrities on the show. The fact that this segment is scripted is as obvious as the fact that Salman Khan’s movies aren’t. Even uncles in their fifties, who look like the type who’d lecture their kids about propriety because ‘pados waale Mishra ji kya kahenge’, are seen gyrating to suggestive tunes, coz screw age when you have footage. Seriously, if people wanted to be laughed at in public, they could’ve joined AAP instead.
Navjot Singh Sidhu is there just for the laughs. He’s most likely laughing because he probably understands that the same joke had been cracked the previous week, and THE WEEK BEFORE THAT OMG HOW IS THIS SHOW STILL RUNNING. Here and there, he comes up with a couplet that’s completely out of context, doing justice to his experience as a politician.
The show thrives on insult comedy, and has over time evolved into an insult to comedy. Just because it’s meant for the masses doesn’t mean one can assume they’re all asses.