New Delhi: Jaspal Singh Bhatti is an Indian television celebrity known for his satirical take on the problems of the common people. He is known for his TV series “Flop Show”, “Full Tension” and the mini capsule “Ulta Pulta”, which was aired on the Indian national television network Doordarshan in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He is often referred to as the “King of Comedy” and “King of Satire.”
In 2013, he won the third-highest civilian award in India, ‘Padma Bhushan’.
Lesser known facts of Jaspal Singh Bhatti:
Only 10 episodes of ‘Flop Show’ were produced, it became synonymous with Bhatti, and till day people connect with the character played by him in the show. Interestingly, the makers used to display a catchy liner at the beginning of the show that read – ‘Misdirection’ by Jaspal Bhatti.
The show saw amazing chemistry between Jaspal Bhatti and co-actor Vivek Shauq. Vivek Shauq went on to become a popular character actor in Hindi cinema.
Bhatti’s other TV shows were ‘Ulta Pulta’ and ‘Nonsense Private Limited’, but nothing could match the popularity of ‘Flop Show’. He went on to play supporting roles in a few Bollywood films, notably ‘Aa Ab Laut Chalen’, ‘Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe’ and ‘Fanaa’.
Did you know Flop Show’s supporting cast remained the same throughout but played different characters in every episode?
Flop Show’s satirical song at the end of every episode, used to be a parody of a popular Hindi film number. Bhatti focused his attention on corruption in society right from his younger days. His college street play ‘Nonsense Club’ was a spoof on the same and became quite famous.
Above all, Flop Show dealt with issues that remain relevant even today – red tape, lack of medical facilities, real estate woes, etc. Before shifting focus to television, Jaspal Bhatti was a cartoonist for ‘The Tribune’ newspaper in Chandigarh. Bhatti had set up a training school and studio in Chandigarh and named it Joke Factory.
In the run-up to the 2009 General Elections, Bhatti took his spoof on Indian politics to the streets, forming an outfit named Recession Party. The cause, which was to shame tainted Indian politicians, saw many noted comedians including Johny Lever, Rakesh Bedi and Rajesh Puri joining hands with Bhatti.
In an ironic twist of fate, Bhatti died a day before his latest Punjabi film ‘Power Cut’ was scheduled to release. Not surprisingly, his last movie is also a satire on corruption, power outrage to be precise
Jaspal Bhatti was one of India’s most loved entertainers, and his brand of comedy and satire stung really hard without being aggressive.