Stories about comedy

Jumanji returns after 22 years, but with a remote-controlled twist

If you were a kid growing up in the 90s, chances are you saw Jumanji and loved it. Following the story of a sinister board game whose gameplay affects real life, the film was one of the benchmark children films of the 90s and for many people, one of their first introductions to the late and great Robin Williams. Now some 22 years later, it makes a return in the form of a sequel but there’s a twist. Instead of a board game, this one is about a Jumanji videogame which when played, consequently sucks its players into its world and transforms them into the characters of ...

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Dear Twitterati, Pakistan thanks you for making 2016 bearable

Decades later… in classrooms… with high speed internet (if PTCL ever catches up), children will be studying the history of our beloved homeland, Pakistan. With pride, they will be taught how our country boasts strengths like having the most formidable army in the world (take that India! Hope you’re not thinking of another hopeless ‘surgical’ operation), having nukes (yes India, at least ours work), the quietest president in the history of the world and, of course, having the sassiest sense of humour on the face of this earth. Ours is a nation with a strappy sense of resilience that stands smiling in the face of relentless ...

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Lahore Se Aagey: Don’t miss this roller coaster ride

Subtle comedy has never been Pakistani cinema’s forte; there are only a handful of writers who have successfully managed to pull off the art of subtle slapstick. Last year’s release of Karachi Se Lahore received mixed response from the audience. Some couldn’t stop laughing and loved it, while some thought it was needlessly dragged with dry humour. Whatever the response, most thought it was one of a kind; a Pakistani rom-com featuring a road trip through Pakistan – definitely not something the local audience has ever seen before. Director Wajahat Rauf was content with the response he got and hence decided to make a sequel, ...

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Jeewan Hathi – A case study on how a movie should not be made

There are some actors that directors and writers depend on a bit too much, even more than they should. Everyone in Pakistan wants to be the next Anwar Maqsood and Moin Akhtar (late) combination. But it’s not as easy it sounds. I suppose Fasih Bari Khan thought he could build the same association with Hina Dilpazeer. The recently released telefilm Jeewan Hathi is hardly 65–70 minutes long and features Hina Dilpazeer, Samiya Mumtaz, Kiran Tabeer, Adnan Jaffar, Saife Hassan, Fawad Khan and Naseeruddin Shah. Let’s see what this elephant has to offer. Jeewan Hathi revolves around the lives of people involved in the television industry; an ageing TV hostess (Hina ...

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Housefull 3: Awful, painful, and anything but cheerful

How is it even possible that you go watch a movie with zero expectations, but yet walk out of it feeling utterly let down. And that my friends, is precisely the kind of feat the third instalment of the Housefull series managed to pull off. Promoted as a rib-tickling screwball comedy, the only reaction Housefull 3 got out of yours truly was that of head-scratching. It surely must be a record of some sorts making a 145 minutes long comedy where not a single joke lands. So in between all the failed attempts at humour, there is this laughably ridiculous plot ...

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Zoolander 2: Too many cooks spoil the broth!

Fashion icons, catwalks, style statements, and cameo appearances run wild in Zoolander 2, the sequel to Zoolander (2001). Ben Stiller reprises his role of Derek Zoolander, a silly male model while Owen Wilson returns as Hansel McDonald, another male model who was Derek’s arch nemesis in Zoolander but becomes his best friend in the sequel. Stiller has appeared in notable movies including There’s Something About Mary (1998) Mystery Men (1999), Meet the Parents (2000), Meet the Fockers (2004), Starsky & Hutch (2004), Night at the Museum (2006) and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) giving stellar performances in each ...

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AIB Controversy: Who has the last laugh, India or the moral police?

Although New Delhi’s legislative assembly elections are just round the corner and the city that has been the helm of power in the subcontinent for centuries will choose between its ‘aam aadmis’ and ‘khaas aadmis’, the fulcrum of debate instead is a comedy show uploaded to YouTube, a video-sharing website, that many Pakistanis wouldn’t know of, on January 28, 2015. It is fascinating how one chooses to become a comedian in a part of the world where something funny is going on all the time. A few years back a group of witty comedians, comprising Tanmay Bhat, Gursimran Khamba, Rohan ...

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If you’re looking for brainless fun, Dolly Ki Doli is the movie for you!

Dolly Ki Doli is a cinematic venture that has been hyped up beyond understanding. One reason that comes to my mind, surrounding this hype, is the fact that this is the first time Arbaaz Khan, Salman Khan’s baby brother, has chosen a lead who is not his own brother. Dolly Ki Doli revolves around a con artist named Dolly (Sonam Kapoor) who marries young men from different backgrounds and religions, and then steals their money. To help her complete such feats, she has a gang of con artists who act as her family members. Zeeshan Ayub (one of the ‘family members’) extracts information ...

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Dear ZaidAliT, stealing jokes isn’t funny

Carrying a Facebook page over two million ‘likes’ strong, it would be safe to say that young Pakistani-Canadian comedian Zaid Ali T has moulded himself into an internet sensation. Each update from the young entertainer earns countless shares, likes and comments within seconds of hitting the internet. His audience is primarily South Asians, though his followers originate from many countries. Zaid’s weapons are his disarming smile and jokes that hilariously channel our exasperation with Asian cultural norms. When I first discovered Zaid, I spent hours combing through his Facebook page, chortling at every one of his shenanigans. His strict father, who gave him ...

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Karachi’s comedy scene – Can you handle it?

If you’ve lived in Karachi, you’re sure to have heard the complaint about there being a lack of entertainment options in the city. Eating out represents the obvious choice for entertainment but there is always the “and now what do we do?” question that hangs in the air after the meal. It’s too early to go home and unfortunately the debate about ‘what next’ rarely moves beyond dessert options. The thought of why there aren’t more regular entertainment options in our city has been annoying me for a while now. If one looks at the thriving theatre industry or the packed ...

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