' Comedians who Never Made us Laugh

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Comedians who Never Made us Laugh
By Chris Emmanuel D'Souza

August 9, 2013

There were good actors, bad actors and very good bad actors

Bollywood Republic of India’s most favourite form of entertainment (after IPL & soap opera) ‘The Bollywood’ has dished out its mediocrity to the mad crazy fans for a far long time. The entire system works on a spiteful consortium wheel, where two or more families help each other's children to make it big. The leading men and the ladies in bollywood are sons and daughters of the leading men and the ladies of the super seventies! Only the times have changed, but stars remain the same. And don’t be surprised, during award ceremonies that they refer to each other as ‘aunty’, ‘Uncle’, Beta’, Beti!!! They literary mean it, all are somehow related to one and other.

Thanks to the second string filmmakers and the Multiplex world, actors like Ranvir shorey, Vinay Pathak, Boman Irani, Suresh Menon, Rajpal Yadav, Saurabh Shukla etc have reshaped the comic ingredient into gem that was once known for and introduced a brand new style of comedy. But here we take a look at some of the actors drubbed as ‘comedians’, and hence were in a mission to make us breathlessy-laugh, but never able to succeed. These actors (call themselves actors) insulted our common sense, tested our patience, increased our blood pressure, made us bang our head against the wall, robbed our precious time and money and made us hate bollywood and everything associated with that.

Kader Khan: In the turbulent decades of bollywood, there ruled a turbulent actor, who amplified the turbulent times (the 80’s and the 90’s) that bollywood was going through. Kader Khan can be safely called as the ‘Father of Bad Comedy’. Khan mostly played supporting roles, as a ‘brain frying’ father or a brainless grandfather or simply a retarded old buffoon. Khader Khan’s delivery was loose, his comic timings was offbeat and he didn’t even bother to improve it. Neverthless, he was a regular pick up by directors and the disastrous scripts jammed well with Khan’s shady performance.

Govinda: Following Kader Khan’s footsteps was an overweight, shapeless bodied, loud noisemaker, who could dance. Govinda never attempted to improve his physique or his acting skills. Govinda relied heavily on creepy dialogues that were annoyingly unpleasant and were largely un-laughable. He created a record of twenty consecutive movies with similar sequel and theme. Whenever his movies are played on television today, one feels like pelting the remote at it. Govinda’s comedy sounded like brass brand played in a funeral possession.

Shakti Kapoor: The man whose role supported another embarrassing actor Govinda, that together earned them the title as ‘Disaster Duo’. Shakti Kapoor played roles that more often resembled his off-screen mind-set. Kapoor portrayed himself as a shameless womaniser, a loud-mouthed jerk and an element in the movie that torments the audience, each time his face appears onscreen. Even to the extent where people used to hate Shakti Kapoor look alikes!

Tushar Kapoor: With his sister's grace, the junior Jithendra was rammed into the silver screen in early 2000’s. Tushar Kapoor’s facial expressions, his peculiar voice, his confused looks and vast inability became the object of ridicule. Tushar started as a boy next door romantic lead, and saw his films being bombarded at the box office, so this brave gentleman decided to turn to comedy! And what followed was filth and garbage, Tushar Kapoor made films that shouldn’t have been made by professional filmmakers and certainly not for the well educated 21st century audience. His dialogues forces one to leave the seat and run out of the theatre in frustration.

Johnny Lever: As a talented stand up comedian and mimicry artist, Johnny Lever burst into the stage and screen world in the mid eighties. He often imitated and parodied politicians, actors and famous personalities. But eventually when he got into bollywood, due to the substandard scripts, Johnny Lever lost his midas touch, with which once he used to make his audience laugh. By the late nineties Johnny Lever era began to fade away, as he failed to innovate his comic skills and delivery. And with the emergence of comic power lords like Rajpal Yadav, Suresh Menon and the enigmatic Boman Irani, the filmmakers began to ignore Johnny Lever, and was never considered as the first choice comedian.

Akshay Kumar: Akshay Kumar’s roles were composed of abusive-humour, foul language, hyperbolic action sequence, unsuitable dialogues and over estimated self image. Akshay Kumar’s egoistic attitude has made him demand abnormal pay price and profit sharing ratio, undue to his credit. Akshay’s movies makes you to tear down your sofa with rage, as he pinpoints his female co-star in ‘Rowdy Rathore’ as ‘Maal’ atleast five times and breaks all moral codes in ‘Kambakhth Ishq’ using worst kind of foul slang’s, never used in Indian cinema.

However, traditionally bollywood has been blessed with majestic supporting actors with genuine class and elegance. In the fifties iconic comedians Johnny Walker and Murad used crafty acting skills blended with humour and won the hearts. In the sixties Mehmood and Rajendranath stole the show from the lead actors, making them incredibly bankable. The seventies decade was governed by lighted hearted comedies, and here actors like Asrani, Om Prakash, Amol Palekar, Jagdeep and the genius Keshto Mukerji swept the mandate and strengthened the position of Indian Comedy. But the next two decades of Bollywood were the most disappointing, where Mafia overtook bollywood and influence replaced merit. The Stars of the yesteryears had begun introducing their spoilt brat good for nothing children into the industry, thereby creating a vicious cartel system.


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Comments on this article
Shivam, IndiaWednesday, April 01, 2015
I think this is the worst i have ever read this person doesn't has any idea about films.How can you say like this to this actors these are all legends of all time i think you are having a very bored life but then also you should be sure of what you are talking
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Sidhant Jeet, Suva/FijiWednesday, December 11, 2013
this is the worst list ever made. Clearly you have no experience in these matters.
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vikrant, himachalSunday, September 01, 2013
this is your opinion brother.govinda,kader khan,and joney lever ha ha ha............koi bhi kuch bhi likhta hai
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R Mallar, Kasaragod/ DubaiThursday, August 15, 2013
While there have always been good and bad comedies, it depends upon your mind set also. Front benchers would vouch for Govinda, Shakti Kapur, Kader Khan and Johny Lever. One can't say that they are wrong.
Javed Jaffrey is one fine comedian. I still enjoy Tusshar kapur's comedy as dumb in Golmal series.
A classic comedy like Padosan will fall flat in today's world.
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John Pinto, MangaloreThursday, August 15, 2013
Dear Chris,
Nice article even though I don't agree with some of your view points. Anyway would like to draw attenttion to the fact that from late 70s onwards Comedians became a bit redundant because heros like Amitabh started incorporating elaborate comedy sequences into their roles - Remember the bruised drunk in front of the mirror scene in Amar Akbar Anthony or the Botany tutoring scene in Chupke Chupke to cite a few of the many such sequences.
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Keerthan, Dubai/MangaloreThursday, August 15, 2013
Oh man Chris! What a write!!!
I agree with you that we dont laugh much when we see Khader khan or Lever's comedy on TV now. But you cant deny the fact that they were the best at their time and thats the reason they were given a role again and again.what we found funny in the 80's and 90's is no more funny for us. we have come a long way. the standards for sense of humour is not the same. Am not sure if you yourself agree completely on what you have written.
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Ancil Concesso, Permude / MuscatWednesday, August 14, 2013
In the context of movies and theatres comedy is an act which can induce humour and laughter in the audience. Probably during the pre-motion pictures era, the comedians relied on witty dialogues, scenes, puns and hand gestures for comedy. With introduction of motion pictures, facial expressions have added to it. A comedian may induce laughter by making people laugh on him, someone else or on a situation. What one may find humorous the other may not. It is an individual perception.
I am not a Hindi Film expert, but from what I know in the earlier movies used to have designated comedian (Rajendranath, Mukri, Mohan Choti, Keshto, Johnie Walker, etc.) to provide a comic relief to the narration of the movie. Mehmood was a big name of his time and he had his own style of comedy. Some comedians relied on facial expressions for humour. But there were also classic comedy movies which had witty dialogues and situations in which some of the lead actors excelled in comedy (Sanjeev Kumar in Angoor, etc., Amitabh and Dharmendra in Chupke Chupke, etc.)
Coming to the actors discussed in the article, I would say it is Chris’ opinion and I would not agree to some of them. Kader Khan is a fine actor who has donned the role of villain and comedian with equal panache. He also had his own unique way of writing dialogues. But there is no denying that he might have done some roles which would disappoint someone who appreciates Kader Khan as an actor – I believe every actor has done that.
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nelson, mangalore/kuwaitWednesday, August 14, 2013
You are perfectly right sister. Some like the decent wordy comedy of Deven Verma and Utpal Dutt and some like the overacting comedy of Kader Khan,Shakti Kapoor, Johnny Lever etc an some the facial comedy of Keshto. Every comedian have their own set of admirers.
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shanthi, mangaloreTuesday, August 13, 2013
some people like loud comedy,physical comedy where as some enjoy the deep meaning and humor hidden behind the punches with time sense. some like "toilet" humor with weird facial expressions. some like visual depictions of events. It depends on your personal taste. so without blaming others better enjoy our kind of comedy.
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Diana Lobo, Mangalore/KuwaitTuesday, August 13, 2013
Hi Chris, I hope you will take all the comments in your positive stride. I am sure this is Chris' personal opinion and definitely not as a film critic. I was really disappointed to see Khader Khan's name on the list. I believe he was a fine comedian. Tushaar should have topped the list. Keep writing Chris,it's a talent. God bless.
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sayed, manjeshwar/riyadhMonday, August 12, 2013
i m not agree with all.
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gerald, modankapMonday, August 12, 2013

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R.Bhandarkar, M'loreMonday, August 12, 2013
I think the author has to know what 'comedy' is all about before writing about the subject. Then come the comedians. Think he will surely see some 'humour' in his article after reading all the backlashes.Think Chris's perception of 'comedy' is different from the others..or the rest of the world! No problems Chris-To each his own....
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Arun Dsouza, Doha / bangaloreMonday, August 12, 2013
This article has definitely made me laugh. With due respect to the author he lacks information and seems to be ignorant of many facts.
The ignorance stems from the sheer audacity of this author who has equated the likes of Khader Khan, Shakti Kapoor, Govinda, Akshay Kumar, Johnny Lever who all have achieved something in thier career and more so are all known to us, if not for their talent we would not have known them. The Article is biased and deserves contempt.
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nelson, mangalore/kuwaitMonday, August 12, 2013
Chris I think you became Keshto Mukherjee of Bombay to Goa when you started writing this article
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rahil, MangaloreMonday, August 12, 2013
The writer has missed the real point here. They were very good actors. But the scripts were substandard. You cannot compare these actors with todays actors as by now Indian film has evolved immensley. Indian film before was about a girl meeting a boy but now the script has changed and we as audiance are ready to accept all kinds of scripts.
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ashok, bantakal/dubaiMonday, August 12, 2013
Dear Chris,
Honestly i don't agree with your view.
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Shakeel, Mangalore/ BajpeSunday, August 11, 2013
Chris Emmanuel D'Souza,,

Am writing this with an extreme anger.. you better keep your personal opinion with yourself.

what do you know about film industry, If you think that Kader khan and Johny Lever are not good comedian ? I agree with you for Tushar Kapoor, but rest you dont know how to enjoy the comedy.
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Thomas Saldanha, Kanajar/BangaloreSaturday, August 10, 2013
I am not sure what the writer was trying to convey here. But let me tell him one thing, that these are the big names in bollywood who are born comedians and done enough justice to their roles in the 70s 80s and early 90s. Kadar Khan, Shakti Kapoor, Johney Lever, Deven Verma, Keshtu Muukheri were are all lead actors in comic role and Johney Lever is extremely good in wehatever he does, even today. And they have done such a fabulous acting and made everyone laugh for nearly 4 decades. Whereas Govinda, Anupam Kher and even Big B were not supposed to be comedians but they did include comedy in their respective roles either as main actors/sometimes as villains.
As everything else has changed, the way the comedy is written has also changed. We are all evolving, therefore it is but natural that our current generation will not like Kadar Khan or Keshtu Mukherji. Their taste is obviously new comedians, new dialogues that suits the current affairs in all spheres of life.
So the writer just cannot compare the great comedians of yester-years to the modern day comedians just the same way one cannot compare actors like Bharat Bhooshan of 60s to Shah Rukh Khan of 2013. I hope it is clear now, any comments?
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Gladson, BrahmavarSaturday, August 10, 2013
If Johny Lever cannot make one laugh, then he/she must consult a doctor, physician as well as psychologist. He will always be counted one of India’s best if not ‘the best’. How the hell Saurab Shukla became a comedian of repute to the writer? Akshay Kumar and Govinda are not comedians. They male leads who can also do a bit of comedy just like Tendulkar, Suresh Raina and Sehwag who are leading batsmen and okay bowlers. Anupam is not explicit comedian either. If the intension was comparing comedians of different era then only the comedians such as Lever, Walker, Kestho, Mehmood, Sanjay Mishra, Rajpal Yadav, Khader Khan, Jagdeep, Rajendranath, Boman Irani must have made to the list. Over the years leading actors such as Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgan too have acted in comedy films but we never call them comedians. Writer is on a mission to compare apples with oranges but ends up buying mangoes with ‘sour grapes’
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Shameer, UAESaturday, August 10, 2013
I agree with comments from Prakash. The writer cannot compare the comedians of the 70, 80 and 90's to the comedians these days. It all used to depend on the script,story line of the movies those days. The comedy scripts in movies these days is all copied from anonymous jokes etc.

Why compare only comedy? Compare the music and stories of bollywood movies these days. Not a single movie is worth watching. They ain't family movies anymore. Forget the music and songs. The songs have no meaning and the senseless music gives you a headache.

Better to watch Tulu nataka than watch bollywood movies.
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joyer, kinnigoliSaturday, August 10, 2013
Good article,
Fairly accurate too according to my perspective.
But, sounds a little one sided because of choice of words and adjectives.

Standard of Bollywood is abysmal in most of the parameters in a creative spectrum.

But, In India there are many who keep their brains in a refrigerator when they watch a movie. For them writers comments may sound , meaningless, inaccurate and perhaps blasphemous.

Pasand Apni Apni.....
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Prakash Shetty, MangaloreSaturday, August 10, 2013
Dear Chris,
I have been in film business for 27yrs (Editing) am sure no one here as seen the mentioned actors as close as me, They are God gifted artists, For eg. Khader Khan would deliver his dialogue on the sets without any script, while Lever bai used to take shoots without a retake. This could be your opinion please do not make this write up. God bless you, If interested please watch some of Khader Khan's stage shows then come up with such write up......
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prakash, mangaloreSaturday, August 10, 2013
I do agree offlate we saw some silly comedy in Hindi Cinemas . However Mehmood,asrani,Paresh Rawal were kings of comedians. Apart from these Khader Khan,Johny Liver,Shakti Kapoor,Anupam Kher,Govinda,Anupam Kher were also considerably good at given times.One cannot say Akshay Kumar is a comedian. I think final crown goes to Mehmood who breathed and ate comedy. There were others like Jagdeep,Satish Shah,Khesto Mukherji etc. Satish Shah was also a good comedian. Utpal datt,Deven Varma were also there in fray and cannot be neglected.
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Santhosh D'souza, Mangalore / DubaiSaturday, August 10, 2013
I don't agree with chris's article. Chris you are not a film critic. You don't even fall into the film critic category.
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santhosh, manipalSaturday, August 10, 2013
now this person is realyy makin a comedy and making me to laugh by sayn kadar khan,jhonny lever,shakti kapoor r poor comedians...they are t best comedians of their time..its time for u to watch cartoons lol...
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Vishal, MangaloreSaturday, August 10, 2013
With the sole exception of Keshto Mukherjee, I don't think we have had any comedian of note. For that matter, even Keshto's performances were monotonous - other than the 'sharabi' roles, he did not have much to offer. But the roles that he enacted were any day better than those dished out by Mehmood, the so called comedian. Mehmood was a better character actor than a comedian. At least Rajendranath was a better comedian than him.
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sanil, USSaturday, August 10, 2013
Chris, although its your personal opinion, I'm sure you don't have a good sense of humor. Among the list I doubt anybody can deny the fact that Khader Khan, Govinda and Johnny Lever are best of the best when it comes to comedy. Even Shakti is very decent in comic roles. Better you re-post again with d list.
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M W Pereira, MangaloreFriday, August 09, 2013
To the Daiji readers!
I recommend you to see Benny Hill, Jerry Lewis, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy on You tube.
They are world class comedians!
None of the Indian comedians can even come closer to them.
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Oliver, IndiaFriday, August 09, 2013
If akshay Kumar isn't funny, no one is. I havn't watched "rowdy rathore" but think about "hera pheri"

thats the funniest Bollywood movie ever
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aladdin pais, Mangalore / MumbaiFriday, August 09, 2013

Comedy was real comedy when it came from those like - Keshto Mukherjee / Asrani / Paintal / Mehmood / Jagdeep....

All of them were real good comedy actors.

The present day comedians are just no way close to them.

However there are still these very good actors who do any role real well like - Paresh Rawal / Bomman Irani..

Kind Regards

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Rita Martis, Barkur/Doha- QatarFriday, August 09, 2013
Dear Chris,

I agree with most of your points but totally disagree when you have put Kader Khan and Johnny Lever in this list... I assume they are fine actors when it comes to comedy. Johnny Lever with his weird Facial expressions and Kader Khan with his comic timing have been successful enough in making people laugh....
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Ramakrishna. K. , MangaloreFriday, August 09, 2013
Raj Kapoor tried to copy legendary Charlie Chaplin and now Sharukh Khan is trying to imitate the body language and dialogue delivery style of Chinese Comic hero of Hollywood Jackie Chan, but both Rajkapoor and Sharukh are failures as compared to Original Actors.
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Golbert C Pinto, Mangalore/MuscatFriday, August 09, 2013
Dear Chris,
Audience can not laugh, if....they are doze off...!!!
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