Disclaimer & Author Note:
This list is not exclusive and no order was intended for their respective class. We can refer this article as Top Hindi Comedians/ Actors or Top Urdu Comedians/ Actors. This article also intended to show how relevant & related culture of Pakistani & India is? This blog article is a kind of mutual respect for the people of both countries.
People of sub-continent are always very fertile and versatile like their fertile land and versatile land. Pakistan & Indian make the biggest chunk of sub-continent or say SAARC countries. They shared thousands year history, culture, traditions & language. From ancient history people of sub-continental region always prove to be very congenial, humorous and caring. Also this list in intended to show how biased and limited selection of Hollywood is for their so called biggest performing art award; Oscar? I am referring those peoples, who are way above those denominations and awards.
Today, delightfully I am presenting the list of best comedians & actors from Indian & Pakistan. Most of them like university in their own. They are the legend of legends; They are the teacher of teachers. They are the biggest thieves of tears. They made and making million of people laugh. Here is my take on past and present comedian legends:
1. Moin Akhtar (1950-2011)
Moin Akhtar was not just a normal comedian who do acts, skits, mimic other in funky suits. He was a class and pioneer in his own. Before him comedian was known for their funkier make over and costumes. He was a witty observer, deep reader of literature and was the first most priority for every high status gathering; whether event set by Government officials or by Great Likes Dilip Kumar or Imran Khan.
He inspired a new whole lot of irreplaceable comedian like Umer Sharif, Bushra Ansari, Malik Anokha, Shehzad Raza, Ayaz Khan etc. Legend Umar Sharif recognize himself as his teacher and he used to said that “Moin Akhtar is our introduction, people know us because of him.” Moin Akhtar perform thousands of getup roles, but his most memorable performance was his con role of women name Rozzee. He was the great friend of Dillip Kumar, who used to suggest his name for event host to all event organizers. His pair with Anwar Maqsood & Bushra Ansari was impeccable. They produced various social & political satire based shows which include the longest run talk show of ARY; Loose Talk.
2. Umar Sharif (1955-2021)
Umar Sharif is the undisputed king of comedy in India & Pakistan. He made million people laugh due to his unmatchable comic timing and witty sharp responses. He can’t be controllable. He was the true successor of Moin Akhtar. He was heartedly admired in Bollywood India. Bollywood legends and comedy artists used to take advice from him and inspiration from his stage dramas. Akshay Kumar, Johny Lever, Kapil Sharma, Govinda are one of the very few names who took ideas and inspiration from Umar Sharif.
He changed the face and pace of Urdu comedy stage drama. His created block buster dramas like Bakra Qistun Par, Buddha Ghar Par He, Umar Sharif Hazir Ho, Pardah Na Uthao are some of his few. His show The Sharif Show on Geo TV was one of the longest run show covering interviews of celebrities from all walk of life.
Here is some glimpse of Little Comedy Maestro:
3. Amanullah (1950-2020)
Defining him as Legendary Punjabi/ Urdu Comedian is not a good enough justification for Amanullah Khan stature. He was the social & behavioral scientist without any formal education. He was the biggest sensation from Lahore, Punjab who changed the shape of Lahore Theatre. His open air theatre dramas success enforced serious drama creators to hire him for their dramas. Once in Coffee With Karan Show, Indian comedian Kapil Sharma referred him as his inspiration.
Inspite of his belonging from musician family, he chose acting and comedy field. His funny stage dramas were equally popular in Indian Punjab & Pakistani Punjab.
4. Munawar Zareef (1940-1976)
He may not be so known to current generation. But in fact he was the trend setter comedian who inspired the legend from Bollywood, India and Lollywood, Pakistan. He was sort of spiritual leader of Dharmindra, Govinda, Umar Sharif and Moin Akhtar. Comic role can easily be define in two eras; one before Munawar Zarif and second after Munawar Zarif.
He was the first sub-continental or Hindi comedian who took primary lead role as comedy hero. Before Munawar Zareef comedian used to perform secondary roles along with main lead. He was spontaneous, wasn’t limited to script and was a good dance performer too.
5. Bushra Ansari
The rarest of bleed and in class of her own. She can’t be describe in one character. She is complete actress, singer & writer. By complete actress we mean she can perform serious roles and she can perform comic roles. She is one of the triangular pod of legendary trio of Moin Akhtar and Anwar Maqsood. Their political & social satirical show was one of the longest run show of Pakistan Television (PTV) with name Studio Arhai, Studio Pony Teen.
6. Sohail Ahmad
Sohail Ahmad is a genuine actor of TV, Film & Theatre. His versatility can be seen in variety of his roles. Most of his career consists of funny stage roles and as co-host of mega hit Hasb-e-Hall, Dunya TV talk show. Nonetheless, his serious character actor and villain roles in PTV drama serials were in match to none. He is the torch bearer of ethical social comedy.
7. Kapil Sharma
Kapil by far the most popular Indian comedian, actor and host. His show Comedy Night With Kapil almost running for 9 years on different Indian TV Channels. Due to high TRP ratings, his show once considered to be the biggest film promotion channel, even for the likes of Shahrukh Khan & Salman Khan etc. By far he is the biggest product of Indian Laughter Challenge Shows.
8. Johny Lever
Johny Lever is purely a comedy actor whose career started as standup comedian, later he dedicated himself for Bollywood. He un-disputedly is the first choice of every producer-director making comedy movie in Bollywood. His comics and skills inherited by his next generation; Jamie Lever & Jessey Lever. He is friend with everybody. He is also equally respected in Pakistan.
9. Paresh Rawal
He is not so surprising entry in this list of pure comedians. His acting skill and his performances are the piece of learning for many generations to come. At the same time he is a biggest and most hatred villain and also he is the center character of Indian Cult Classics like Andaz Apna Apna, Heera Pheri, Phir Hera Peri and Welcome etc.
10. Boman Irani
Boman Irani is the perfect example of “You’re never too late to be successful”. He was introduced in film industry at the age of thirty five (35) in a roll of Doctor J.C Asthana, which prove to be a great act out piece. He then in a quick span proved his versatility & class in movies 3 Idiots, Don, Don 2 & Dostana. He also hosted IEFA Film Fare Awards as a comic partner with other Indian fellow actors.
He I am mentioning some honorable names based on their performances and likeability. Rangeela, Sunil Grover, Mehmood, Iftikhar Thakur, Lehri, Govinda, Rajpal Yadav, Shakti Kapoor, Vijay Raaz, Ismail Tara, Shakeel Siddiqui, Durdana Butt and Nana Patekar.