Sanjeev Kumar is an aspiring chat-show host. He has celebrity guests round to his house (no. 42) to talk to them, but it all falls apart when his family cut in on the action. The celebrity ...
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Sanjeev Kumar is an aspiring chat-show host. He has celebrity guests round to his house (no. 42) to talk to them, but it all falls apart when his family cut in on the action. The celebrity guests spend far more time speaking to Sanjeev's 'mother', 'father' and 'grandmother' (played by Sanjeev Bhaskar's 'Goodness Gracious Me' colleague, Meera Syal), and usually insulting Sanjeev in punjabi. Written by
Although Meera Syal plays the grandmother of Sanjeev Bhaskar's character, she is only three years older than him (almost to the day). While in production for The Kumars, Syal and Bhaskar married. See more »
[to Helena Bonham-Carter]
In this country you are seen as the epitome of elegance and good manners. But I personally was very, very happy to see you in Fight Club playing a right old slut. Did you enjoy it?
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The success of this show is very variable and depends on the ability of the guests to join in the concept. Basically a middle-class Asian family have spent their money building a TV studio for their son who wants to be a chat show host. The son hosts the show but his parents and grandmother are on the sidelines and embarrass him by asking the guests very personal questions or relating irrelevant anecdotes.
The first ever guest was Richard E Grant and he was brilliant at falling in with the fake family and playing along with the son's obviously doomed ambitions and the family's put-downs. Unfortunately not all the guests can do this and some are obviously quite bewildered at the comments of the 'parents' on the sofa. This can lead to awkward silences on the part of guests and audience. Meera Syal as the plain-speaking, sex and incontinence-obsessed 'Ummi' is the most obviously 'funny' character on the show, perhaps because she is a caricature. The parents, by contrast, appear 'normal' although they are supposed to represent a stereotypical Asian mother and father.
For some reason this show has now run for five years. In my view it is another example of humour which has to be seen to be clever by having some kind of sub-text. Will we ever get back to the days when things are funny for their own sake?
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