New Delhi: "Comedy Nights" without Kapil Sharma is no laughing matter for fans of the star comedian.
The show will air its last episode with Kapil Sharma as Bittu, a witty, flirty and in-the-face owner of a magazine, who invites Bollywood stars to his house which is full of crazy characters.
Kapil's fans aren't too happy about it, even though the show itself will continue as "Comedy Nights Live" with Krushna Abhishek, yet another comedian of repute.
The CNWK official page on Facebook has messages galore praising Kapil.
"The best thing of Colors TV is Comedy Nights With Kapil," read one post, while another read: "I will miss 'Comedy Nights With Kapil'".
"No one can replace the magic of Kapil and Guthi! Artist should respect the other and should not volunteer to step in others' shoes," wrote another fan.
Kapil found unprecedented fame as Bittu, and brought alive a family of lovable and memorable characters like Dadi, Bua, Guthi, Palak and many more closer to an audience hitherto bred on saas-bahu sagas, issue-based stories, reality shows, love stories, and more that people were bored of.
Naturally, viewers lapped up the bouts of laughter that "Comedy Nights With Kapil" (CNWK) so gloriously evoked weekend after weekend since 2013.
The plot revolved around the life of a family dealing with financial struggles with an over-excited elderly grandmother and the bitter-sweet banter of a married couple. The celebrity guests -- who ranged from Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Ranbir Kapoor to Deepika Padukone, Kajol, Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma and many more -- added more fun, drama and humour to the episode.
CNWK became an instant hit.
The show underwent minor format changes, and even a leap, but its essence of providing mostly clean comedy for family audiences has remained intact.
Even as the last of his episode will beam on Sunday night with the cast of "Airlift" -- Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur -- sitting on his hotseat, fans are hopeful that Kapil will be back with a super-duper hit!
There are talks that he will host a new show on another leading general entertainment channel, but no confirmation has yet been made from either side.
Kapil apart, CNWK also gave Sunil Grover (Guthi), Kiku Sharda (Palak), Ali Asgar (Dadi), Sumona Chakravarti, Upasna Singh, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Paresh Ganatra and Chandan Prabhakar a fresh lease of life and heightened their popularity. Also, who can forget the phrases - “Babaji ka thullu”, “Juice me”, “Kaun hai yeh aadmi?” and “Ittu sa tha”?
Fans wonder if they will get to see the same magic again.
Trouble ensued when Kapil expressed dissent over Colors' decision to host another comedy show with a similar format. This was reason enough for him to bring the curtains down on his show.
On his part, Colors CEO Raj Nayak has been quoted as saying that “Comedy Nights” is the channel's property, and will continue to be so.
“I am really sad to see my friend Kapil go. Together our teams created magic! He is very talented and a nice person. I only hope he has professional managers managing him. As far as the channel is concerned, the show will go on,” Nayak said.
In fact, the promos of the new show are already on air, and highlight how new owners have come into Bittu's house. Krushna, dressed as popular fictional TV character Tulsi Virani, welcomes the audience into the house.
But it's not a welcome change, say disappointed fans of Kapil, who even took the leap from small screen to the big screen last year with "Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon".
“No one is better than Kapil Sharma... It is the best... Hopeful (that) Kapil and his show will (be) back again to give everyone the time of laugh," wrote one social media user, with another adding: “Hope you will be back with a bang on some other channel."
Some fans can't wait for Kapil to wave his magic wand again with a new show.
“Kapil Sharma, we will await your comeback”, “Love you #kapil hope you'll bring next super duper hit show on small screen”, “Come back soon Kapil sir" are some other messages splashed on social media.