Besides being one of India's most popular stand-up comics, Raju Srivastav is also an actor and a politician. He joined the BJP in 2014 and did duty as brand ambassador for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Satyaprakash Srivastav or Raju Srivastav, as he is popular as, is an Indian comedian and actor who started his career with small bits in Bollywood movies. But it was through his appearance on reality TV talent shows, like The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, that Srivastav rose to mainstream fame.
The comedian suffered a major heart attack on August 10 while working out in a Delhi gym. According to news reports, he also suffered brain damage after cardiac arrest.
Srivastav was born in a middle-class Kanpur family on December 25, 1963. His father, noted Hindi poet Ramesh Chandra Srivastava, was popularly known as Balai Kaka. Skilled at mimicry and impersonations, Srivastav dreamed of being a comic from a young age.
While Srivastav gained a modicum of recognition through his Amitabh Bachchan impressions, he played small roles were in hits like Baazigar, Maine Pyar Kiya, and Qatil. Srivastav’s work led to slightly longer screen time in his future work like Aamdani Atthanni Kharcha Rupaiya and as Durandhar Singh in Shaktiman.
But it was nearly 20 years later that Srivastav would find fame with the mainstream public when he participated in the The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, a stand-up comedy reality show. While Srivastav did well, he ended up as the second runner-up behind fellow comedian Sunil Pal and Ahsaan Qureshi. The first season of the show also had comics Naveen Prabhakar and the current Chief Minister of Punjab Bhagwant Mann.
Srivastav has participated in many reality TV shows like Bigg Boss Season 3, Comedy Ka Maha Muqabala, Nach Baliye Season 6, Mazaak Mazaak Mein. He also appeared on Kapil Sharma’s Comedy Nights with Kapil.
The comic also continued with his acting career. “Acting has always attracted me and I have got ample of opportunities to perform as an actor too,” Srivastav had told The Economic Times last year. “Even today I get offers to act and I happily take them,” he added.
Srivastav is also part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which he joined in 2014 after leaving the Samajwadi Party. He was made one of the brand ambassadors of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and has shot various commercials and PSAs for the campaign.