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Kumars at No. 42

Sanjeev Bhaskar , Vincent Ebrahim    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Winner of the British Comedy Award, this very funny series puts a fresh spin on the talk show format. Live from No. 42, it's Sanjeev (Sanjeev Bhaskar), a self-styled talk-show host who interviews actual celebrities from the home TV studio his very indulgent immigrant parents have constructed in the family's backyard. Sanjeev considers his show to be "the perfect blend of Indian flavor and English refinement," but the meddling of his chutney-maven father (Vincent Ebrahim), doting mother (Indira Joshi) and sassy put-down artist grandmother (scene-stealer Meera Syal) puncture any delusions of grandeur. When actor and celebrated wit Stephen Fry arrives on the Kumar doorstep, the grandmother greets him, "Tell me, what's an erudite, sophisticated gentleman like yourself doing on a stupid show like this?" The Kumars at No. 42 is partly scripted and partly improvised. Much of the comedy comes from the guests' pre-show interactions with Sanjeev's family, who continue to kibbitz during the on-air interviews from a sofa onstage. The more game the guest, the better. Actors Richard E. Grant and Minnie Driver are clearly having a ball. Many of the celebrity guests are not popularly known in America (Roy Winstone, from Sexy Beast, appears to be Britain's equivalent of James Gandolfini), but Sanjeev gives them a proper introduction. The Kumars at No. 42 would seem poised for an American remake (one attempt, The Ortegas, featuring an Hispanic family, was quickly cancelled in 2003). Note to network casting directors: try Andrea Martin as the grandmother. --Donald Liebenson

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious! Sept. 30 2010
This has to be one of the funniest shows I've seen out of the UK in quite awhile. The members of the Kumar family are well timed and played, and the unscripted interactions between them and the guest of the day is hilarious. If you're a fan of Meera Syal - you won't recognize her as she beautifully plays the role of aging grandmother, Ummi. Totally recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Russel Peters who? Aug. 1 2013
By Jasoon
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A must have. This is the original Indian comedian, with lots of famous stars on the show. Very funny show. To bad it was cancelled
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the British comedies Sept. 30 2005
By M. L. Bergman - Published on Amazon.com
I came upon the Kumars totally by accident, and now I'm an addict. Part chat show, part comedy improv, it is uproarious, especially when the guests "play along". The format is simple. A talk show hosted by a vain, somewhat self-indulgent British-Indian guy and his stereotype of a family: The over-nurturing mom (she always prepares food for the guests), the money obsessed dad, and the horny grandmother. There's a studio audience that the "Kumars" play off of. The guests are real celebrities- Donny Osmond, Tom Jones, Helena Bonham Carter- but the interviews are controlled by the members of "The Kumar Family" with riotous results. American improv comedians could learn well from these actors who you might have seen on other BBC comedies. It is silly, irreverent, and incredibly clever. I can rarely make it through an episode without having to replay a section because I was laughing so hard that I missed something. Unlike other BBC comedies, this one does not rely on sight gags and outrageous plotlines to get laughs. It is the interaction of the ensemble with the guests that keeps it fresh and funny.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kumars are a riot Dec 12 2005
By K. Jones-Silber - Published on Amazon.com
Stumbled upon this wonderful BBC program and quickly fell in love with the family. Sanjeev, Mom, Dad and Gran are fantastic at heaping parental support and insults at one another, while "supposedly" living the asian stereotyical dream in London, this is very funny stuff. Check it out.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant show, disappointing DVD Sept. 24 2007
By Scrumpy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Five stars for the show, two stars for the BBC. The Kumars at No. 42 is one of the best shows on British television -- very funny with a talented cast, but I think the compilation was a bad idea. With so few episodes to a season, it shouldn't have been too much to ask for the complete program (especially after waiting so long for the DVDs to be released). As it is, some of my favorite guests are absent from this collection and some less interesting ones have been included. C'mon BBC -- give us the full seasons in their hilarious entirety!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Hat trick hit. Jan. 14 2007
By Diane Yaghoobian - Published on Amazon.com
HatTrick is the BBC arm that also produced Father Ted. The video contains 6 episodes, from over 2-3 years. Most guests would be unfamiliar to American viewers (Donny Osmond and Helena Bonham-Carter mentioned elsewhere are not on the video) excepting Minnie Driver, Steve Fry, and Richard E Grant. Humor referring specifically to their UK shows will be lost, but other than that it makes no difference who these guests are. They come in cold on the day of the show, having little or no warning what will transpire, and the interviews are a riot. Like Father Ted, when I just want a laugh, this will do it.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meet the Kumars, they are a hoot a minute April 3 2007
By Kali - Published on Amazon.com
You will laugh and you will cringe when you watch this. The Kumars at No 42 is one of the best talk show out, refreshingly different, and based on an Asian family giving their spoilt son his own TV studio in his back garden, we are treated to a laugh a minute as celebrities line up to be interviewed by the family, including a mother who wants to feed everyone, a father who wants to know why "everyone isn't a Doctor or a Lawyer" and a rude, but hysterically funny Grandmother played by the sublime Meera Syal who could get a laugh out of an audience of cardboard cut outs.

Very British but also very Indian, this talk show is great fun, and there is never a dull moment in the mad cap Kumar household, especially when Sanjeev, who is the talk show host tries to bring some culture and refinement to the table only to be thwarted by his well meaning but totally inappropriate family.

Well worth watching if you like British comedies with a ethnic slant.
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