Jumping the shark

Goodness Gracious Me mastermind Sanjeev Bhaskar is now Sanjeev Bhaskar, OBE. Of the medal, Bhaskar wisecracked, ‘As an Asian bloke, it’s another thing I can stick on eBay.’

“It’s great for my parents. They’re of that generation that came over here with nothing. My ancestors would never have believed that their offspring would be at the Palace.” [Link]

Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal, who recently had a baby together, are currently filming for the next series of Kumars at No 42… confirmed guests include Cybill Shepherd… [Link]

Life’s sometimes ha-ha-hee-hee

No matter how much I love Bhaskar’s stuff, once a comedian has been knighted, he’s officially jumped the scepter. There’s nothing mutinous about a medal of the British Empire, a street cred slasher. Whereas the medal goes well with Sir Kingsley’s Shakespearean presence, even when he’s playing a goofy vampyre king.

There is one thing I love about the award. Can you keep a secret? Many Bhaskar sketches make fun of English people and their stereotypes about desis (thanks, BB and ksk). Shhh, don’t tell the queen.

Related post: Twee, innit?

38 thoughts on “Jumping the shark

  1. The main reason I want to be hideously wealthy and famous is so I can turn down a knighthood (or at the very least, a CBE) and say “ABOLISH THE MONARCHY!” However I’ve learnt masses of people turn down honours, but the Palace make sure they find out well in advance so there’s no public humiliation for the gov’t and the Royals. Bah.

    I’m not specifically referring to Bhaskar, but since Blair arrived, the MBE, OBE and CBE have been so de-valued it makes me sick.

  2. too many OBE’s given out really? huh…

    Well it must be still pretty cool having a title before the name i guess….

    so does Meera become a dame by association??

  3. Actually he’s not going to be a “Sir”, that’s only when you are knighted. Here’s an explanation for you clueless American desis, filched from the BBC website:

    First comes a peerage (“Lord”), then a baronetcy, then the knighthood (“Sir”).

    The CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) is the most prestigious honour after a knighthood. The OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) is the next most important award. The MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) comes next.

    Pay attention mutineers!

  4. Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal, who recently had a baby together, are currently filming for the next series of Kumars at No 42Â… confirmed guests include Cybill ShepherdÂ…

    Is it weird that he had a child with the woman who plays his grandmother?

  5. in some places in the caribbean they live for the annual queen’s birthday list honors and these obes, mbes. unfortunately everyone and their uncle is usually nominated for them and some truly questionable people are awarded them.

  6. Dholmatic, no one said he’s going to be a sir – bar dr1001 by implication. And I think she’s British.

    I want to turn down a KBE, which is what commonwealth non-British citizens get instead of a knighthood. e.g. Ravi Shankar, KBE. It looks cooler than all the rest, curse my British passport! Although…I do like the sound of LORD BREAKER.

  7. I still watch GGM to amuse myself – they’re still just as funny. I had the opportunity to watch Anita and Me – based on a novel written by Meera Syal. If you can understand/tolerate the Brommie accent, I highly recommend it. :)

  8. Those clips of the show that you linked are HI larious. I’ve never seen the show before. I love it when they exotify the waiters “pasty” skin in the resteraunt. Why oh why is there not an American version of this show? A desi SNL skit show? Badmash needs to get on it…

    Ok, need to get back to wasting my morning watching more YouTube…

  9. Dholmatic, no one said he’s going to be a sir

    Oi, let’s be fair here. Manish initially wrote that Bhaskar was going to be a sir and that he was getting CBE. Maybe such corrections should parenthetically give props to whoever suggested the correction.

  10. dr1001, don’t try to take the ‘British sense of humour’ escape from an error. They get the British sense of humour here, they’re not rednecks. Unfortunately for you, I know you all too well (AiM).

  11. I want to turn down a KBE, which is what commonwealth non-British citizens get instead of a knighthood. e.g. Ravi Shankar, KBE. It looks cooler than all the rest, curse my British passport! Although…I do like the sound of LORD BREAKER.

    Lord Breaker is wicked, but Baron Bong Breaker just sounds freakin’ legendary.

    I despise the British honours system, and would turn down every single one. Even the “commonwealth” writers prizes. They all prop up an immoral and otudated conception of leadership: monarchy.

    That said, I have to admit that there’s something vaguely scary and deep about the letters OM after someone’s name. That right there is the creme de la creme. Papal Mehta, OM.

    The Congressional Medal of Honor/ the Presidential Medal of Freedom just doesn’t give you the same vibe, does it?

  12. Manish initially wrote that Bhaskar was going to be a sir and that he was getting CBE.

    Actually I wrote ‘Sir Sanjeev’ and OBE. The Wiki article isn’t very clear about those silly titles (thanks, Dholmatic). Brit edits needed.

  13. Harsh, ok no need to jump down my throat ..sorry for any errors but i was being sarcastic

    i know you know me…otherwise i’d have changed my username.

    well whatever i’m happy for Sanjeev.

  14. If you get your hands on GGM on dvd, please watch the first episode of the first season – by far one of my favorite episodes.

    From the Delhi boardroom scene where they can’t pronounce the new guy “Jonathon”‘s name to the sketch where the Sikh guy is asking his parents to explain Sikhism to him and the whole basis for his identity as a Sikh and the only justification they can come up with is, “You are a man. You have a turban. So you are a Sikh man.” to the sketch with the Maharishi Yogi quoting Queen lyrics.

    I heart that episode. Really bad.

  15. A Sepia mutineer being conferred (and accepting) an OBE???? Ah, the irony…

  16. Personally I’m more disturbed that he has a relationship with a woman who plays his grandmother.

  17. I agree Fuerza! And I think the boardroom scene IS the BEST of all their skits.

  18. Personally I’m more disturbed that he has a relationship with a woman who plays his grandmother.

    Chick Pea posted this link a week ago about 104 year old woman marrying a 33 year old guy. At least the Kumar’s are merely acting- this s*** be real.

  19. I agree Fuerza! And I think the boardroom scene IS the BEST of all their skits.

    Techniphobicgeek: I think that boardroom scene set the perfect tone for the series. The thing I loved about GGM was not only their sketches that forced non-desis to explore their own stereotypes about desis, but the sketches that also forced desis to explore their own ignorance about their culture, and “western” culture, as well as the sketches that were just good ol’ British “humour”. The folks at GGM made fun of e’rybody, including themselves.

    “Come on Binder, let’s go pizza.”

  20. Personally I’m more disturbed that he has a relationship with a woman who plays his grandmother.

    I read a really cute interview with Bhaskar when they got married, saying that he thought it was cool because at least he knows what Meera’s going to look like when she gets older! ;)

  21. My favorite Sanjeev Bhaskar line was when a group of newspaper and TV reporters and journalists and cameras greeted him as he came out of the entrance of the central London hospital in which Meera had just given birth to their son and when asked for a comment he said, ‘It’s a boy, and we’ve decided he’s going to be a doctor or an engineer’

  22. you guys are killing me man… :-) ) ohhh… man!!! that’s insanely funny -wiping away tears- i’ve always wondered about that line – chakk dey phattey -

  23. I love the one where the desi parents are aghast that their kid doesn’t want to be an artist.

    There are too many superb GGM sketches for me to be able to list all those I really liked, although “Going for an English” is probably my personal favourite. From what I remember of the subsequent newspaper reviews here in the UK, apparently it was quite controversial because it was the first time that the tables had been turned and mainstream British television showed a bunch of desis ridiculing the white population (we’d all been on the receiving end of “humour” at the expense of desis for a very long time indeed beforehand).

    Off the top of my head, another very astutely observed sketch was the one where the Indian son is trying to “come out” to his parents, and has even brought his live-in white boyfriend home. Regardless of the evidence he presents to them, his wonderfully-naive parents make excuse after excuse in order to rationalise the situation and the fact that (in their eyes) he can’t really be gay, but at the end his mother slaps him and says:

    Wait for it…..

    “You couldn’t find a nice Indian boy ?”

    Absolutely classic ;)

    The Kapoors/Coopers stuff is also superb — and yes, there really are some desis like that here ;)

  24. I loved the clip where the realty agent shows a home specifically tailored for Indians, gardens uprooted and concretised and sofa sets with their plastic covers intact.

  25. Kumars is one fabulous show – the one with Michael parkinson ( the very first guest, i think) was one of the best. i wish i could remember enough of GGM to compare and contrast. Kumars seems broader and gentler – but laugh out funny anyway.

  26. I cant get enough of this :-) )) what have i been missing ,…!!! thank you thank you guys… the funny thing is i’ve seen some very very similar interactions take place at an airport.

    badee sohnie twadi spaceship … second hand layee

    once again, thank you :-) )

  27. Fuerza Dulce

    You should get hold of a copy of Meera Syal’s novel Anita & Me which the movie was based on. It was her first book and to me it is better than Life Isnt All Ha Ha He He which is a little bit too much chick lit for my liking, but still good in its own way. Anyway, Anita & Me is a sweet and funny novel about childhood, i reccomend it to everyone too.

  28. Sanjeev Bhaskar starred in a TV movie a few months ago about a shambling Indian private detective based in east London. It was really good – I think it is being made into a series.