Funnyman Jaspal Bhatti, who was born on March 3, 1955, will be forever remembered for the Doordarshan series Flop Show, a sitcom on socio-cultural problems of the common man. Bhatti wrote and directed the show and also played the lead character. His wife Savita produced and played Bhatti’s wife in the show.
Although 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.
During the peak of his prowess and popularity, Bhatti was simultaneously one of India’s most loved and most feared entertainers. He was loved because every single moment of his TV shows was a reflection of India’s socio-political morass. He was feared by the authorities because, without mocking them with abusive and aggressive language, he made them the butt of his jokes. And the nation laughed with him.
Jaspal Bhatti (R) and members of his Nonsense Club dig silt out of Chandigarh's notorious Sukhnia Lake with teaspoons May 21, 2002. Bhatti organised the action to draw attention on the Chandighar government's inability to clean up the lake over the years, relying instead on volunteer organisations to do the work. (Pic/AFP)
Jaspal Bhatti (C), acting as the election commissioner, and members of his comedy troupe Nonsense Club perform a skit, February 05, 2002 in Chandigarh which highlighted the fight for power in Punjab. (Pic/AFP)
Jaspal Bhatti (C) launched the Suitcase Party in 2002. The launch was a satirical take alluding to the large amounts of cash, usually carried in suitcases, needed by politicians in order to obtain their ticket from Indian political parties prior to elections. (Pic/AFP)
Jaspal Bhatti (C) and Punjabi actors Arvinder Singh Bhatti (L) and Savita Bhatti pose as they pay their respects at the Sikh Shrine, The Golden Temple in Amritsar on October 21, 2012. The actors visited the city as part of a promotional tour of their film 'Power Cut' directed by Jaspal Bhatti and produced by Paveljeet Singh. (Pic/AFP)
On Jaspal Bhatti's death anniversary, here's a tribute to the man who made us laugh our hearts out in the 90's!
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe