In I’m Not Done Yet, Kapil Sharma’s stand-up special for Netflix, the hugely popular television star finally has the stage all to himself. No movie stars to rib, no members of his extended circus of comedy to horse around with, no co-anchor to laugh hysterically at his pitter-patter.

It’s clearly lonely at the top, the 54-minute programme suggests. In his element when he feeds off the energies of others, Sharma makes a sometimes halting, fully cornball streaming debut. Filmed against a crimson backdrop on a set that resembles a restaurant, and with members of his family and comedienne Bharti Singh in the crowd, the show sees Sharma work hard to extend his television persona into new directions. Here are five takeaways from the episode, which has been written by Sharma and Anukalp Goswami and directed by Saahil Chhabria.

Thank you, Netflix

There are plenty of plugs for the streamer that has persuaded Sharma to momentarily set aside anchoring duties on his popular eponymous show for Sony Television. Apart from rhyming Netflix with Naxalites, Sharma is effusive towards his new friend.

Depression and drinking

The 41-year-old performer is frank about his taste for liquor, which landed him in major trouble when he drunk-tweeted Narendra Modi in 2016 – twice. The drinking went hand-in-hand with depression, Sharma says. We think it’s a White person’s disease, but it isn’t, Sharma earnestly says before proceeding to poke fun at his therapist.

While on the subject of prime ministers, Sharma is full of admiration for a gent who is his opposite on the garrulousness scale. No more spoilers.

Family album

He says he was named after Kapil Dev because the cricketer captained India in its first World Cup victory. But wasn’t Sharma born in 1981, and wasn’t the World Cup two years later?

Never mind. Sharma nearly chokes up while talking about his police constable father, who died of cancer when Sharma was 23. The comedian’s humble origins in Amritsar and his meteoric rise are among the themes of his stand-up act.

Love story

In 2018, Sharma married his college sweetheart Ginni Chatrath. There’s plenty of love and gratitude flowing in Chatrath’s direction. Pointing out that theirs is an inter-faith marriage (Sharma is Hindu while Chatrath is Sikh), Sharma makes a case for religious harmony. A staged spat between the couple falls flat and ends quickly, like so many other sketches in an often-meandering programme.

The inside man

There are barely any showbiz anecdotes from a comedian who regularly host movie stars on his television show and brings them down to his level. A story about gate-crashing a Shah Rukh Khan party indicates how much of an inside man this self-proclaimed small-town boy is.

Yoodlee-yoodlee youuu

Sharma initially wanted to be a singer. He has even tried his hand at acting, and did a bit of both in the movie Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon in 2015. The all-round sentimentality is topped off with Sharma singing a song to his father in English. It’s the kind of moment that might be lampooned in a future episode of The Kapil Sharma Show.

I’m Not Done Yet (2022).