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The Kumars at No. 42

Updated on August 5, 2012

Hilarious britcom with complementary chutney!

The Kumars at No. 42, is a hilarious britcom, now found on BBC America. The Kumars are an Indian-British family in North London, who host a talk show, hosted by son Sanjeev, in the TV studio they build in the backyard. It is part scripted, part improv, and part actual interview.

Family from The Kumars at No. 42
Family from The Kumars at No. 42

The Family

What you need to know to get the family...

Sanjeev Kumar - the talk show's host

Sanjeev lives with his parents. He is not married and overall lacking in the social skills department. His family try to encourage him into new things - often by criticizing the things he does now. But they care - they did after all build a TV studio for his dream of having his own show.

Madhuri Kumar - Sanjeev's mother

Madhuri, is extremely focused on a one thing - marrying off her son, Sanjeev. She approaches some guests as a sort of a job interview for Wife of Sanjeev, others she asks probing questions about their weddings, babies, how they met their spouse, ...

Ashwin Kumar - Sanjeev's father

Ashwin, is also extremely focused on a one thing - money. A running joke is that he pays guests with giant jars of chutney. His questions are more along the lines of - 'How much does something like that cost?", and "How do you get around the taxes?".

Sushila Kumar - Sanjeev's grandmother, often called Ummi

Sushila has reached the age in which she can say highly inappropriate things and get away with it. She asks off-color questions, an tells the strait truth, often to the mortification of Sanjeev.

The Kumars at No. 42 - Now Available on DVD

The Kumars at No. 42
The Kumars at No. 42

Part scripted comedy, part improvisation, part genuine interview, The Kumars at No. 42 is like nothing you've ever seen. The Kumars - a "typical" Indian family living in the north of London - have hit upon a unique method of "Keeping Up with the Joneses"; they have bulldozed their backyard and erected a state-of-the-art TV studio, where they host their very own talk show. The son, Sanjeev, pops the questions while his mother (Madhuri), father (Ashwin) and mischievous granny (Sushila) interrupt from a nearby sofa with wildly inappropriate and irrelevant questions.


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Ummi (Sushila Kumar) on The Kumars at No. 42
Ummi (Sushila Kumar) on The Kumars at No. 42

Ummi Quotes

Ummi - The Endearing Grandma

Sushila Kumar: [to Charles Dance] Your fans are known as Charlie's Angels. Is that because there are only three of them?

Sushila Kumar: [to Helena Bonham-Carter] In this country you are seen as the epitome of elegance and good manners. But I personally was very, very happy to see you in Fight Club playing a right old slut. Did you enjoy it?

Sushila Kumar: [to Tom Jones] Wait till you get to 70, you'll get a second wind.

Sushil Kumar: [to David Hasselhoff about Bay Watch] There were lots of characters on that show with plastic breasts...Not to mention the women.

Take a Look-sey - The Kumars at No. 42 Video Clips

Here are some great clips of The Kumars at No. 42 featuring Jennifer Saunders of Absolutely Fabulous, Charlotte Church, and Boy George.

Season 1 Guests

Episode List

1 Richard E Grant and Michael Parkinson

2 Ben Fogle and Melinda Messenger

3 Graham Norton and Davina McCall

4 Art Malik and Charlie Dimmock

5 Konnie Huq and Warren Clarke

6 Minnie Driver and Fay Ripley

7 Christmas Special 2001 - Gary Lineker, Claire Sweeney, Melanie Brown, Belinda Carlisle

Why "at no. 42" ? - What's the deal with 42?

The studio number (aka house number) being number 42 is a reference to The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galazy. In The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (by book or by movie) we learn that the answer to life, the universe and everything is in fact 42. It is fact, as proven by Google (which is all knowing) Calculator. For more information on 42 visit lens 42, by the world's foremost authority on the number 42.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Widescreen Edition)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Widescreen Edition)

It may at first look like stupid humor, watch carefully, it is really quite smart and quite funny.


Season 2 Guests

Episode List

8 Ray Winstone and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen

9 Jerry Hall and Melvyn Bragg

10 Richard and Judy and Lorraine Kelly

11 Eastenders special - Barbara Windsor, Patsy Palmer, Adam Woodyatt

12 Helena Bonham Carter and Ismail Merchant

13 Nigel Havers and Ronan Keating

14 Ulrika Jonsson and Anthony Worrall Thompson

15 Charlotte Church and Martin Kemp

16 Wendy Richard and John Sergeant

17 Stephen Fry and Lesley Garrett

18 Christmas Special 2002 - Trinny Woodall, Susannah Constantine, Mark Owen, Darius Danesh

A Few More Clips

More great clips featuring Lulu, June Whitfield, Michael Parkinson, and Art Malik.

Season 3 Guests

Episode List

19 Donny Osmond and Westlife

20 Robson Green and Lulu

21 Shane Richie and Robin Gibb

22 Eamonn Holmes and Tamzin Outhwaite

23 Jodie Kidd and Jimi Mistry

24 Boy George and June Whitfield

25 Madness and Leslie Phillips

26 Pete Waterman, Samantha Mumba and Gareth

27 Jonathan Ross and Tony Adams

The Players - What else have I seen them in?

Complete Filmographies by IMDB:

Season 4 Guests

Episode List

28 Neil Pearson, Denise Van Outen and Westlife

29 David Dickinson and Patrick Stewart

30 Amanda Holden and Rachel Stevens

31 Lenny Henry and Maureen Lipman

32 Johnny Vaughan and Sophie Ellis Bextor

33 Cilla Black, Emma Bunton and Leslie Grantham

34 Christmas Special 2003 - Cliff Richard

Season 5 Guests

Episode List

36 Jools Holland and Tom Jones

37 Charles Dance and Gaby Roslin

38 Jennifer Saunders, Fern Britton and Phillip Scholfield

39 Natasha Kaplinsky and Dermot O'Leary

40 Jo Brand and Esther Ranzen

41 Christmas Special 2004 - Anne Robinson, Phil Collins, Roy Wood

Season 6 Guests

Episode List

42 Alice Cooper and Ronnie Corbett

43 Joanna Lumley and Frank Dettori

44 Jane Seymour and Tracey Emin

45 Elvis Costello and Carol Vorderman

46 George Hamilton and Mariella Frostrup

47 David Hasselhoff and Zoë Wanamaker

Season 7 Guests

Episode List

48 Felicity Kendal and Gordon Ramsey

49 Jamie Cullum and Cybill Shepherd

50 Louis Walsh and Trisha Goddard

51 Suzi Quatro and Darcey Bussell

52 Max Beesley and Richard Wilson

53 Chris Tarrant and Alan Alda

What do you think of the Kumars at No. 42? Do we Americans really get it? Anything to add to my lens?

Tell me what you think

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Please some one tell me where I can buy all of the series!!!!!!

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 5 years ago from Valencia, California

      awesome show, these ones I do miss, thank heavens for YouTube, thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: that isn't The Kumars at No.42. That is from a different sitcom starring the same cast called Goodness Gracious Me

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I am a huge, HUGE fan of this show! I love Ummi...I almost fell over in shock when I found out that she's the same actress who played Nasreen in the Doctor Who episode, "The Hungry Earth." They did such a fantastic job on her make-up/costuming for Kumars that I almost didn't even recognize her!

      As far as Americans getting it, well, I can't say. I'm American but a huge fan of a lot of British TV, largely because I do love and appreciate this kind of humor.

      I think you did a fantastic job of summing up the show, and all the extra info you added was very enlightening to me! You might want to add another piece of info I just stumbled across that totally surprised me. In real life, the actors who play Sanjeev and his grandmother are actually MARRIED, to each other. LOL. That had to make life on the set of this show rather interesting!

    • profile image

      Arc4life 6 years ago

      Very funny ! I have never heard of this show--- I will have to check it out.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      hi, does anyone know what episode the Khumars went for the 'English' meal...when they ordered the most bland food on the menu?

      I love it

      thanks for your help

    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 6 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Oh yeah, this show is hilarious. I forgot all about it until I saw a link for it here. Wish they'd bring it back, I hate interview shows usually but this one was pure genious.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      I loved the Kumars, but had no idea they were appreicated in the US- thanks for the reminder of a great show- blessed by a new angel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I Love The Kumars at no. 42 it is sooo funny

      My favourite episode is with Boy George, i love that episode sooo funny

      Ashwin: Madhuri is that cheese on your scarf?

      Sushila: Uh no that is the traditional proach of carvercholt it's a symbol of ...

      Sanjeeve: Mozarella

      Sushilia: Yes it may look like mozarella i only cleave it sanjeeve u .. fool u have eatenthe traditional proach of fasting it's very bad omen

      Madhuri: This is ridiculous (takes a bite of a pizza sanjeeve & ashwin gasped)

      Boy George: There u go girl just eat it all

      Ashwin: Muhuri you're eating

      Madhuri: I'm tired of pretending every year

      Ashwin: U mean u pretend every year

      (Sushila laughs)

      Sushilia: George sweetheart just turn around i love the back of yor head but he front bit is nicer you know you're muliti talented darling you're a singer, songwriter and DJ but do u know what i love best about you you're such a bitch arent you (George laughs)

      I LOVE THE KUMARS AT NO. 42!!!!!

    • LouiseKirkpatrick profile image

      LouiseKirkpatrick 8 years ago from Berkshire, United Kingdom it :)

      The Kumars are a genuine representaton of a large element of British the street where I live, we have at least 2 families here who are undoubtedly related to the Kumars :D

      It's a very "British" thing and that fact that it is so well written and performed that it can transcend a cultural boundary is great :)


    • profile image

      SteveWilliams 9 years ago

      I'd forgotten how much I loved this program! Cheers for putting this up, it's made me want to find some episodes and watch them again.

    • fredo3303 lm profile image

      fredo3303 lm 9 years ago

      Great Lens, Very funny show. Thanks for the info

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 9 years ago from England

      I love this show. This lens gives a really good introduction & overview to a real comedy gem :)

    • MacPharlain profile image

      MacPharlain 9 years ago

      Very funny show. Can't speak for everyone, but this American gets it.

    • Lewister profile image

      Susan 9 years ago from Texas

      Don't think I'd heard of this one before. Will have to hit the Tivo and find it so I can watch it at home instead of here at work. :-)

    • sixquid profile image

      sixquid 10 years ago

      Welcome to the Group! I have rated you 5*


    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      I've seen some good shirts at, seem to go along well with the other shirts you're showing. Saw it on other Squidoo lenses.

      "Kumars" is awesome.