Stories about comedy

Quddusi Sahab Ki Bewah will have you in fits of laughter

They say good laughter is a form of internal jogging, so when was the last time you laughed out really hard? You know, the uncontrollable, hearty kind of laughter that leaves you appreciating the object that triggered it? Yup, that kind. I laugh out loud every time I watch ARY Digital’s drama serial Quddusi Sahab Ki Bewah. Though many people I know are quite skeptical about the authentic humour it contains, I admire it for the realistic portrayal of events that the socio-economically lower class witness in their everyday lives. Quddusi Sahab Ki Bewah is a comedy drama serial which aired for the first time ...

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Does ‘Taroo Maroo’ really promote paedophilia?

A blog in The Express Tribune written by Ayesha Asghar (@ashsultana on Twitter) argues that Ali Gul Pir’s video Taroo Maroo, about the Pakistani man’s vulgar habit of staring at anyone and everyone, anything and everything in a way that makes you feel as though he’s just raped you with his eyes, promotes paedophilia. The few seconds of the video in question show Ali Gul Pir’s “maila” bragging how he’ll stare at a goat, a job, a car, a building – and a bachi. The Urdu word for bachi literally means little girl, but in slang, it also means a young woman ...

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A day from the life of Lehri

In the past 10 days, my thoughts were floating just like my wafting expressions in the year 1956. It was the year when the world saw the first hint of amusement in my words. No! I was not a madman running on the streets of Karachi but the famous “Lehri”. Those were the golden days of my life and also of the Pakistani industry, but today I lay quiet at my final resting place. There were days when I was the king of comedy ─ a king who was not entertained but was a source of entertainment. I did not have ...

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Vicky Donor: Of fertility and revolutionary ideas

There was a time when an action sequence was all that was needed to capture the audience. Vengeance and thrill always succeeded at the box office. Add a little romance to the story, and you were sure to have yourself an award winner. Now, however, modern audiences have grown tired of the same old stories. Movies today have different plots, a lot of which address social issues and real life concerns. These would previously have been condemned by people at large which is why taking them to the big screen was never an option. Interestingly enough, the audience of the 21st ...

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The misunderstood orphan

In Pakistan you don’t need money. You don’t need good looks. You certainly don’t need to work. You just need one phrase. That’s it just one. One phrase and all doors are majestically and mysteriously opened with the meanest, vilest and most dangerous of men succumbing in fear to your presence. For any would-be travelers to Pakistan (this is a rhetorical scenario) I can let you in on the secret. All you need to say is:  Tumhay pata hai mera baap kon hai? (Do you know who my father is?). There is nothing you can do in Pakistan without this phrase. You want ...

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Rape is not funny

“Yaar main nay toh exam ka rape kar dya” (Man I totally raped the exam) …I overheard someone triumphantly say as I was packing my bag in school. My fingers fumbled with the strap as I tried to drown out the peals of laughter that erupted after the inappropriate comment. Sadly, it isn’t that strange to hear someone use the word ‘rape’ in such a frivolous manner. People have now become accustomed to using this word casually in contexts that are far from serious. This immature use takes away from the gravity of the issue, and attributes a humorous quality to a crime that is far from a ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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