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A look at the moolah being raked in by Indian stand-up comedians

From their humble beginnings to now charging whopping amounts per project, stand-up artistes are enjoying their day in the sun. We give you details on who commands what price

Jibes at politicians, mimicry of film stars and a sprinkling of cuss words here and there. Stand-up comedy shows are dominating prime time television and going by their soaring TRPs, they seem to be a welcome respite from the tear-jerking saas-bahu sagas. After all, everyone needs a good laugh at the end of the day.

Sources say that Kapil Sharma, who shot to fame with his TV show, now charges to the tune of R1 crore for a live gig
Sources say that Kapil Sharma, who shot to fame with his TV show, now charges to the tune of Rs 1 crore for a live gig

The best example at the moment is Kapil Sharma, whose show, Comedy Nights with Kapil has achieved a cult status of sorts, making the funnyman a star in his own right. Kapil has won millions of hearts with his remarkable comic timing. Almost all Bollywood celebs make sure that they appear on Kapil’s show to promote their films.

This star born out of the idiot box has made it so big that he reportedly charges Rs 1 crore for a live gig. A source says, “After Comedy Nights…, Kapil has become a name to reckon with in – a superstar, if you like. People love watching him on screen and they appreciate his humour; that’s what he is getting paid for. He charges around Rs 1 crore for stage shows.”

hitlist turns the spotlight on comic artistes, who are raking in the moolah by making people laugh...

Sunil Grover
Rs 8-10 lakh
Fee per show
Sunil Grover
Lowdown: Sunil Grover has acted in many movies and has been an active part of the world of comedy for almost a decade. His character of Gutthi in Comedy Nights with Kapil, where he dresses up as a typical village girl and talks in a raspy tone, made him an overnight star. He quit the show to start his own stand-up comedy programme, Mad in India, which ended prematurely due to low TRPs. Now, he’s back with Kapil’s team and making his audience laugh harder than ever as the protagonist’s father-in-law.

Kiku Sharda
Rs 5-7 lakh
Fee per show
Kiku Sharda
Lowdown:
He has acted in many movies and been part of several comedy shows, but his claim to fame has been his character as Palak on Comedy Nights with Kapil. He is known for entertaining viewers with his amusing dance style and humour.

Ali Asgar
Rs 5-7 lakh
Fee per show
Ali Asgar
Lowdown:
Ali stepped into the field of acting from an early age. He has done supporting roles in many Hindi films and his role as Kamal in the TV soap, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki, made him a popular personality. But then he decided to move to comedy full-time and is now best known as Dadi in Kapil’s Comedy Nights. One of his signature antics as Dadi is to plant a kiss on the cheeks of the hot, desirable celebs who come on the show.

Bharti Singh
Rs 6-7 lakh
Fee per show
Bharti Singh

Lowdown: Showing the world that stand-up comedy is not a male bastion, Bharti, a national level gold medalist in pistol shooting and archery, has over 400 stage shows to her credit. Her ability to laugh at herself, mostly about her weight, is endearing. Her performances as Lalli and Golu were a hit with the audiences. She also participated in a celebrity dance show and made the viewers laugh out loud with her funny antics.

Manish Paul
Rs 8-12 lakh
Fee per show
Manish Paul

Lowdown: A prominent TV anchor today, Manish is known to tickle the funny bones of the audience with his impromptu, wacky sense of humour. He started his career in 2002 as a radio jockey and moved on to hosting TV shows.

Sudesh Lehri
Rs 6-7 lakh
Fee per show
Sudesh Lehri

Lowdown: He has made his place among the top ten comedians on national television after struggling for a few years. Though already a popular face in Punjabi films and television, he achieved acclaim when he became one of the three finalists on a TV laughter challenge. Sudesh has done many stage shows and his pairing with Krushna Abhishek is something that the audience loves.

Rajiv Thakur
Rs 3-5 lakh
Fee per show
Lowdown: He is part of the young brigade of Punjabi comedians whose spoofs on celebrities have won him a fan following. Rajiv, who hails from Amritsar, has directed and participated in many plays during his struggle period. He has also featured in many Bollywood movies. He was supposed to be part of Sunil Grover’s Mad in India but opted out even before the show began.

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