stand-up comedy

Stand-up comic Bharti Singh: ‘Comedy Dangal is one level up in my career’

Bharti Singh and Anu Malik judge the show, which pits stand-up comics against actors.

In the pink and orange tinted sets of &TV’s reality show Comedy Dangal, stand-up comic Bharti Singh is mimicking the voice of a five-year-old boy. She is cracking up the audience, spontaneously breaking into different jokes with every new take. True to the show’s title, she certainly does give the other performers a good wrestling match. But this time, the popular comedian’s act ends with the skit, since she is also one of two team leaders and a judge on the weekend show.

In Comedy Dangal, television actors and stand-up comedians battle against each other. Singh’s team comprises other stand-up comedians, while actors who stage comedy skits are part of music composer Anu Malik’s team.

“The experience has been very different yet exciting,” Bharti Singh, clad in a boy’s attire, told in between rehearsals. “Since I started comedy, I have always been used to taking points and comments from judges and audience. But today I am judging and giving comments for other people’s work. This is one level up in my career because no other comedian has become a judge in this kind of a show.”

Comedy Dangal (2017).

The show was premiered on August 12. The contestants include comedians Balraj Syal, Amit Tandon, Abhijit Ganguly and actors Anita Hasnandani, Rajesh Kumar and Surbhi Jyoti.

Singh rose to fame with her acclaimed Lalli act in The Great Indian Laughter Challenge (2008), for which she was also a runner-up. Since then, the actor and comedian has been starring in numerous shows, including Comedy Circus (2009), Comedy Classes (2014), Comedy Nights Bachao (2015) and The Kapil Sharma Show.

Comedy wasn’t Singh’s first passion. She has a national ranking in pistol shooting and archery. “In my rifle shooting class, every other student was very quiet-natured and reserved,” she said. “But I was the only loud-mouth who kept joking around. So from one shooting, I came to making another shooting my profession. But rifle shooting is still something that is very close to my heart.”

The Kapil Sharma Show (2017).

Comedy Dangal is only the latest show to join the league of reality comedies, which is dominated by The Kapil Sharma Show and Krushna Abhishek’s The Drama Company. At a time when reality comedy seems to have hit a creative slump, how will Comedy Dangal fare?

As every other such show on television, Comedy Dangal too features celebrity guests in its episodes. But Singh insisted that the show will stand apart. “In Kapil Sharma’s show, you have celebrities who give interviews and in The Drama Company, people perform skits,” she explained. “In this show, you will see stand up as well as skits, two varied forms of comedies. It is never monotonous.”

Singh does not see the other shows as competition. “Every show and comedian have their own fan following,” Singh said. “I never see any other person as my competitor. I just want to keep performing good comedy. If I keep thinking about the competition, I would be left back in the race. Also in a stressful life such as ours, just one channel’s comedy show is not enough. I strongly feel that every other channel should have a comedy show.”

Comedy Dangal. Image credit: &TV.
Comedy Dangal. Image credit: &TV.
We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

The perpetual millennial quest for self-expression just got another boost

Making adulting in the new millennium easier, one step at a time.

Having come of age in the Age of the Internet, millennials had a rocky start to self-expression. Indeed, the internet allowed us to personalise things in unprecedented fashion and we really rose to the occasion. The learning curve to a straightforward email address was a long one, routed through cringeworthy e-mail ids like You know you had one - making a personalised e-mail id was a rite of passage for millennials after all.

Declaring yourself to be cool, a star, a princess or a hunk boy was a given (for how else would the world know?!). Those with eclectic tastes (read: juvenile groupies) would flaunt their artistic preferences with an elitist flair. You could take for granted that and would listen to Bollywood music or read Archie comics only in private. The emo kids, meanwhile, had to learn the hard way that employers probably don’t trust candidates with e-mail ids such as

Created using Imgflip
Created using Imgflip

And with chat rooms, early millennials had found a way to communicate, with...interesting results. The oldest crop of millennials (30+ year olds) learnt to deal with the realities of adolescent life hunched behind anonymous accounts, spewing their teenage hormone-laden angst, passion and idealism to other anonymous accounts. Skater_chick could hide her ineptitude for skating behind a convincing username and a skateboard-peddling red-haired avatar, and you could declare your fantasies of world domination, armed with the assurance that no one would take you seriously.

With the rise of blogging, millennial individualism found a way to express itself to millions of people across the world. The verbosity of ‘intellectual’ millennials even shone through in their blog URLs and names. GirlWhoTravels could now opine on her adventures on the road to those who actually cared about such things. The blogger behind could choose to totally ignore petunias and no one would question why. It’s a tradition still being staunchly upheld on Tumblr. You’re not really a Tumblr(er?) if you haven’t been inspired to test your creative limits while crafting your blog URL. Fantasy literature and anime fandoms to pop-culture fanatics and pizza lovers- it’s where people of all leanings go to let their alter ego thrive.

Created using Imgflip
Created using Imgflip

Then of course social media became the new front of self-expression on the Internet. Back when social media was too much of a millennial thing for anyone to meddle with, avatars and usernames were a window into your personality and fantasies. Suddenly, it was cool to post emo quotes of Meredith Grey on Facebook and update the world on the picturesque breakfast you had (or not). Twitter upped the pressure by limiting expression to 140 characters (now 280-have you heard?) and the brevity translated to the Twitter handles as well. The trend of sarcasm-and-wit-laden handles is still alive well and has only gotten more sophisticated with time. The blogging platform Medium makes the best of Twitter intellect in longform. It’s here that even businesses have cool account names!

Self-expression on the Internet and the millennials’ love for the personalised and customised has indeed seen an interesting trajectory. Most millennial adolescents of yore though are now grownups, navigating an adulting crisis of mammoth proportions. How to wake up in time for classes, how to keep the boss happy, how to keep from going broke every month, how to deal with the new F-word – Finances! Don’t judge, finances can be stressful at the beginning of a career. Forget investments, loans and debts, even matters of simple money transactions are riddled with scary terms like beneficiaries, NEFT, IMPS, RTGS and more. Then there’s the quadruple checking to make sure you input the correct card, IFSC or account number. If this wasn’t stressful enough, there’s the long wait while the cheque is cleared or the fund transfer is credited. Doesn’t it make you wish there was a simpler way to deal with it all? If life could just be like…

Created using Imgflip
Created using Imgflip

Lo and behold, millennial prayers have been heard! Airtel Payments Bank, India’s first, has now integrated UPI on its digital platform, making banking over the phone easier than ever. Airtel Payments Bank UPI, or Unified Payment Interface, allows you to transfer funds and shop and pay bills instantly to anyone any time without the hassles of inputting any bank details – all through a unique Virtual Payment Address. In true millennial fashion, you can even create your own personalised UPI ID or Virtual Payment Address (VPA) with your name or number- like rhea@airtel or 9990011122@airtel. It’s the smartest, easiest and coolest way to pay, frankly, because you’re going to be the first person to actually make instant, costless payments, rather than claiming to do that and making people wait for hours.

To make life even simpler, with the My Airtel app, you can make digital payments both online and offline (using the Scan and Pay feature that uses a UPI QR code). Imagine, no more running to the ATM at the last minute when you accidentally opt for COD or don’t have exact change to pay for a cab or coffee! Opening an account takes less than three minutes and remembering your VPA requires you to literally remember your own name. Get started with a more customised banking experience here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Airtel Payments Bank and not by the Scroll editorial team.