Jaspal Singh Bhatti (3 March 1955–25 October 2012) was a Panjabi Sikh television personality famous for his satirical take on the problems of the common man. He is most well known for his television series Flop Show and mini capsules Ulta Pulta which ran on Doordarshan, India’s national television network, in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was also known as the “King of Comedy”.
On 2013, he was honored with the Padma Bhushan (posthumously), India’s third highest civilian award.
His low-budget Flop Show TV series in the early 1990s is remembered even today. His wife Savita Bhatti produced the show and acted in all the episodes as his wife. Only 10 episodes were ever produced, but the show has had a long and powerful legacy and is well remembered. One of his co-actors Vivek Shauq has been very successful since his stint in Flop Show, having found a footing in Hindi cinema. On 10 January 2011, Shauq died from septicemia.
Bhatti subsequently acted and directed the popular TV series Ulta Pulta and Nonsense Private Limited for the Doordarshan television network. What attracted an audience to his shows was his gift of inducing humor to highlight everyday issues of the middle class in India. Bhatti’s satire on the Punjab police Mahaul Theek Hai (1999) was his first directorial venture for a full-length feature film in his native Punjabi language. It was well received amongst the audience for its simple and honest humor. He played the role of Jolly Good Singh, a guard, in the movie Fanaa. He played a comical college principal in Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe. He also starred in the comedy Punjabi film Jijaji.
Bhatti acted in Hindi Movie Aa Ab Laut Chalen with Kadar Khan in 1999.
Bhatti appeared in SAB TV’s Comedy ka King Kaun as a judge with actress Divya Dutta. In his latest stint, Bhatti and his wife Savita competed in a popular Star Plus show Nach Baliye which went on air in October 2008. The couple put their best foot forward to entertain the audiences with their dancing and comic skills.
The cartoonist, humorist, actor and filmmaker was focusing on acting as he was getting numerous offers from Bollywood producers as a comedian.
In his later years, Jaspal Bhatti set up a training school and a studio in Mohali near Chandigarh called “Joke Factory”.
He also launched a new 52-episode comedy series titled Thank You Jijaji on Sony’s family entertainment channel, SAB TV. It was shot at his own MAD Arts film school at Chandigarh.
At a 2009 carnival at Chandigarh, Bhatti put up a stall displaying vegetables, daal, and oils. The onlookers were invited to throw rings around them to win these costly goods as prizes, poking fun at the government’s failure to control inflation.
In 2009, Bhatti school’s, Mad Art’s, animation film on female foeticide won the second prize in the Advantage India organized by 1take media. It won a certificate of merit at the IDPA-2008 Awards in Mumbai.
Bhatti was granted the Lifetime Achievement Award, at the first Golden Kela Awards.
Jaspal Bhatti was awarded Padma Bhushan posthumously on Republic Day 2013 for his contribution to Arts.