SINGAPORE: After three decades, Gurmit Singh has finally set the record straight on how to pronounce his name.

On Saturday (May 25), Gurmit Singh sat down for an interview with TikToker Calvin Singh, also known as Funny Punjabi Guy. Calvin introduced Gurmit as his most famous character, Phua Chu Kang, and then playfully asked, “Is that your real name?”

Gurmit then clarified, “It’s Gurmit (Goormit) Singh. Phua Chu Kang is the character I play.” Hearing it directly from Gurmit, Calvin ensured his pronunciation was correct. “Is it ‘Gemit’ or ‘Gur-mit’ because Chinese people always say ‘Gemit Gemit’?” Calvin asked.

Without missing a beat, Gurmit explained, “That’s a good question because you’re a Singh also, right? So by right, it’s supposed to be ‘Gur-mit’ Singh. But because non-Indians find it hard to say Gurmit with the R and all that, so when I was launched on TV, immediately people started calling me ‘Gemit.’ So I just took it!”


Part 1 of my interview with the legend Phua Chu Kang. #tiktoksg #phuachukang

♬ original sound – Funny Punjabi Guy – Funny Punjabi Guy

Despite the mispronunciations over the years, Singh’s name has become etched in the hearts of his audience, making him an iconic figure in Singaporean entertainment.

While watching his interview, some Singaporean netizens took a trip down memory lane and recalled that they had grown up watching Gurmit Singh as Phua Chu Kang.

One of them expressed that Singh’s portrayal of the quirky general contractor brought them immense laughter and was indeed the best thing to happen during those times. He also wished Singh good health and prosperity.

Another Singaporean, meanwhile, apologized for not pronouncing his name correctly, explaining that it’s tough for him to include the R since he is short-tongued. He added, “Thanks for the fun interview.”

SBC once made Gurmit change his name

Before the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) hired Singh as the host of Live On 5, they laid out two conditions for him. 

One was to trim his hair short, presumably for a more polished and professional look, and the other was to consider adopting a different name.

Back then, “Gurmit” was quite an unusual name for most Singaporeans. They worried that people might mistake it for “Kermit” (like Kermit the Frog) and tease him because of it.

However, Singh remained steadfast in his decision and chose to keep his name as is, probably as a sign of respect to his parents, who gave him that name. He did agree to trim his hair short, though.

Despite the initial reservations, SBC hired him for the show and paid him a few hundred dollars per episode.

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