By now everyone knows that comic artist Tanmay Bhat's faceswap video poking fun at Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar has left many people unamused. The MNS has filed an FIR against him, and the Mumbai police is keen that ISPs block the video.
But this isn't the first time Tendulkar and Mangeshkar are at the receiving end of comic acts. The cricketer's instantly recognisable voice and his tendency to adjust his lower abdomen guard at the crease have long been the subject of spoofs and jokes.
Below, in an episode of Comedy Nights with Kapil, one of the participants mimics Tendulkar's batting (along with those of Virender Sehwag's, Sourav Ganguly's, amd Mahendra Singh Dhoni's), with Sunil Gavaskar and Sehwag in attendance. Both find it quite funny.
Here, while narrating an anecdote at the launch of the book Sachin Born to Bat, retired cricketer Rahul Dravid imitates Tendulkar's famously "squeaky voice" (his words). Harsha Bhogle says to him, "Your quote on 'main dalega' (I'll bowl) will be on YouTube in the next hour."
"Can I get sued for it?", Dravid asks and Bhogle responds, "No you cannot get sued for it. That happens only on Facebook."
In an old commercial, Shahrukh Khan enters the dressing room of the Indian cricket team to grab a bottle of his preferred drink. Naturally, it's Tendulkar he imitates.
In an episode from Comedy Circus, a version of Tendulkar speaks about the selectors not letting him retire. The mimicry doesn't rise above a bad hairdo and frequently saying "Aila" in a slightly squeaky voice.
As for Lata Mangeshkar, while it is safe to say that no one in the world can sing like her, there are certainly many who have tried the imitation game. Case in point: comedian and singer Sugandha Mishra.
Mishra's parody faced a similar outrage after her performance. She told Scroll.in, "The mimicry was more on the lines of a musical act, a tribute, but I was shocked to get all these calls and SMSs the next day, telling me that I had insulted a legendary singer and a Bharat Ratna. If I am mimicking somebody, I do it respectfully."
What about Bhat's act? Her response: "I saw the Snapchat video, I thought Tanmay Bhat did go a bit over the top. He has so many followers, so he should be a bit more responsible. But then look at the times we live in – I did nothing and look at the trouble I got into! We are not like America, where the comedians Key and Peele mimicked Barack Obama and were later invited to the White House by the President! We are very emotional and we get worked up a lot."
But then, India is a country where comedy gets the police involved. Don't forget, in January 2015, comedian Kiku Sharda had been sent to custody for making fun of Baba Gurmeet Ram Singh Raheem.