Stand-up comedian and actress Sumukhi Suresh, known for her performance in the web series ‘Pushpavalli’ and her recent outing ‘Hum Do Teen Chaar’, says no matter how popular a comedian is, they never get the treatment of a Bollywood star.
Despite many standalone comedy shows, and special comic acts on OTT platforms be it ‘One Mic Stand’, ‘Comicstaan’ and comedy content on YouTube among others, it is noticed that comedians and actors even in cinema who do comedy well, never get treated like a ‘start’.
Decoding the reason behind it, Sumukhi Suresh told IANS: “I think it is not just in Bollywood but everywhere that a comedian, who is also an actor, is treated differently. There is no glamour attached to becoming a comic, as opposed to an actor. There is stardom and ‘diva’ kind of treatment that actors get and comedians do not.
Sumukhi Suresh added, “Perhaps that happens because people tend to think that comedy is a much easier thing to do than an intense drama. Whereas the fact is, we put all the hard work to make it look ‘easy’ and ‘effortless’.”
Highlighting the element of being relatable to the audience, the stand-up comic also mentioned how it is a double-edged sword.
“The need of the hour in a comedy show is to keep it relatable and every comic has a natural talent, a sense of humour. So the audience look at us as ‘yeh toh main bhi kar sakta hoon’. We do not carry the aura of a star, therefore audience does not treat us like one. That is the advantage and disadvantage at the same time.”
Interestingly when it comes to female-led films in Bollywood, we hardly have any film made exploring that genre like there are many franchises of slapsticks comedy featuring superstars of Bollywood – be it ‘Hera Pheri’, ‘Housefull’ with Akshay Kumar, ‘Golmaal’ with Ajay Devgn.
Asked about her thought on the matter, and Sumukhi Suresh said, ” Yes, we haven’t seen that change in Bollywood where the female protagonist is cracking joke after joke or a comic-satire female-led film or franchise. I have watched such stories in theatre, in Gujarati plays, Marathi films where the female character is doing out-and-out comedy. I think it is time for our Hindi cinema to explore a female-led comedy film too because otherwise, we have seen a wonderful change in female characters in cinema.”
Directed by Karan Asrani produced by Vikram Singh and Rachita Arya ‘Hum Do Teen Chaar’, also featuring Biswa Kalyan Rath – is streaming on Amazon miniTV.