Beloved comedian Raju Srivastav passed away in Delhi on Wednesday, 21 September, at the age of 58, his family confirmed to news agency ANI.
He appeared on TV screens across India with The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, Raju Srivastav became a household name when it came to stand up comedy.
The comedian even won the title of ‘The King of Comedy' in the spin-off The Great Indian Laughter Challenge - Champions.
Over the years, he made generations laugh with his skits and commentary with one of his alter egos, Gajodhar, becoming almost as famous as he is.
His skits about a ‘sister’s wedding’ and commentary on rural life and topics like media and politics remain well-liked till date. Several fans have remarked that he was an expert at storytelling, often adapting his mannerisms to the stories he'd tell.
Raju, born in Kanpur in 1963, always wanted to become a comedian. But beyond his comedy acts, he also often featured in Bollywood films including Salman Khan’s Maine Pyar Kiya, Shah Rukh Khan’s Baazigar, and Bombay to Goa. He was also a contestant on Bigg Boss.
The comedian married Shikha in 1993 and the couple participated in the sixth season of Nach Baliye.
Even as people moved away from TV as a mode of content consumption, Raju Srivastava’s comedy bits remained popular, making their way onto YouTube and Instagram.
The comedian, who often took humorous digs at Bollywood celebrities including Shah Rukh and Amitabh Bachchan, had recently posted a video about the controversy surrounding Ranveer Singh’s nude photoshoot.
After news of his hospitalisation, the video started making the rounds of social media with many reminiscing Raju’s contributions to the comedy scene in India.
Raju Srivastav also tried his hand in politics, joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2014. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi then nominated him to be part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and the actor-comedian often promoted the cause through events and music videos.
Raju Srivastav was admitted to AIIMS, Delhi, following a heart attack.