Stories about comedy

Delhi belly: Bollywood’s successful attempt at adult humour

Much has been said about the expletive filled language used in Delhi Belly. However, there are very few films which make you cringe with delight, and this movie happens to be one of them. In Aamir Khan Productions’ latest venture we meet three roommates, living in the filthiest bachelor pad ever in Delhi: 1. We have journalist Taashi (Imran Khan), who is stuck in limbo and has to decide whether he really wants to marry his annoyingly shrill OCD airhostess girlfriend Sonia (Shenaz Treasury) and sought after by his sexy co-worker Menaka (Poorna Jagganathan). 2. Photojournalist Nitin (Kunal Roy Kapoor) who suffers one ...

Read Full Post

With Moin Akhtar, a piece of my childhood dies

Those who remember the 80s well will also be familiar with the brilliance that existed on Pakistan Television (PTV) at that time. In days of severe censorship and fear of the government, PTV (especially its Karachi centre) always found ways of subverting the system and poking fun at the dictator and his lackeys. There were three names, Anwar Maqsood, Bushra Ansari and Moin Akhtar, who were the mainstay of such satire where things had to be said subtly in order pass through the censor board. In a rather twisted bit of irony, PTV’s golden days of comedy died with Ziaul ...

Read Full Post

Moin Akhtar: Laughter through genius

Making people laugh is serious business. Moin Akhtar taught me that when I was six-years-old. He was performing live at a family wedding I was being forced to attend (at that age you are forced to do pretty much everything). I remember being quite thrilled that the man who makes me laugh on TV was there in real life, performing on stage. Positioning myself right in front, I got to watch him transform from character to character with just a well aimed hunch of the shoulder or lilt of the accent, all with rapid fire ability. His big closer for the ...

Read Full Post

Tantrums of my favourite Maulana

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman is a funny guy. Just recently, he took a moral stand (his own words) a week ago to quit the government because the PM fired his minister. At that point in time, he was praised by many within his party and even nationally for finally showing some spine and taking action. But now that the adrenaline rush is over, Maulana sahab fears that he might have gone a bit too far and that there may not be a way back. His most recent comments highlight this anxiety. He stood outside the National Assembly and ...

Read Full Post

Be nice to comedians and maybe they’ll stay

The other day a friend of mine spotted a local standup comedian at the supermarket at the cashier next to us and did, what she thought, was the nonchalant head tilt in his direction and the excited whisper to me. I told her she should go say hi but I guess she was shy or something. Or that no one did that sort of thing unless the said person was a high paid celebrity wearing dark glasses and surrounded by security guards and paparazzi. This guy was wearing thick framed glasses and paying his grocery bill, alone. I told her ...

Read Full Post

Let there be laughter

One of the many parallels to the chaos theory demonstrate how, even when everything goes terribly wrong, the result can be inherently ‘right’…for reasons that defy explanation. Such was the packed audience’s reaction to Production Illusion’s farce titled ‘Noises Off’ that opened at Al-hamra on August 5, 2010. The play was written by English playwright Michael Frayn in 1982, after he contemplated the nature of ‘backstage’ drama. According to the playwright, “It was funnier from behind than in front and I thought that one day I must write a farce from behind.” Noises Off, thereby is a play within a play ...

Read Full Post