When The Great Indian Laughter Challenge ended in 2008, no one would’ve imagined that its legacy will gain strength with each passing year. The show broke conventions since its launch, being the first non-fiction show in the genre of comedy on Indian television – a genre which, hitherto, was limited only to sitcoms; it also revived the dying art of stand-up comedy, a form limited to performers with regional popularity, giving it a national platform.
The biggest contribution of the show was giving the nation, television superstars like Sunil Pal, Bharti Singh, Raju Srivastava, Ahsaan Qureshi, among many others, who have, since, been the flag-bearers of comedy on Indian television and have become household names with popularities rivalling that of film stars.
Expressing how the show contributed to their fame and recognition, they felt very grateful. Raju Shrivastava, whose character name, ‘Gajodhar Bhaiyya’ was on everyone’s lips, said, “After coming on the show, people treat me as if I am a part of their family. If you have the art of making people laugh, please come to the show and showcase your talent.”
Bharati Singh, who rose to fame through her character ‘Lalli’ when on to do many other comedy reality shows on television, “I would perform at schools and colleges but this show gave me recognition.” With political satire and jokes on social issues, Ehsaan Qureshi became a name that was irreplaceable, “God knows what magic the show created. I became a star overnight.”
Sunil Pal, who won the first season and was a favourite name among audiences for his imitations of various Bollywood actors. The impersonator of the drunkard character, ‘Ratan Noora’ said, “As an artist, if someone gave me birth, it is The Great Indian Laughter Challenge.”
Not only is the show recognized for its laughter quotient, but continues to take the legacy ahead!