There was a time in Hindi Films, when heroes were serious. Always. They used to fight, love, cry and run around trees singing songs. But they didn't do comedy. That was the time, when in a Hindi film two stories used to run in parallel. The main story about the hero and the heroine along with a parallel track of a lead comedian to act as fillers. This trend was at its height in the times of Mehmood. He became such a huge star due to his comedy, that many people used to flock to cinema halls to see him in the movie and not the hero. From a film called Pyar Kiye Jaa (Carry on Loving), where Kishore Kumar and Shashi Kapoor play the leads, you might just remember the following scene featuring Mehmood and nothing else.
As the length of the films came down over the years and Amitabh Bachchan (in my memory) started doing comedy himself in early 80s (remember that bhaang scene from the film Mard), the parallel comedy tracks started vanishing. Light films and comedy films started ruling the roost with director David Dhawan and actor Govinda at the forefront of this movement in 90s. This made comedians redundant. For a brief time Johnny Lever resisted this change. That was more because of his immense talent. The industry itself didn't need comedians any more. Remember his parallel comedy track in Baazigar. It was a thriller where the leads had no scope for comedy. So a parallel track of a forgetful Baabulal, played by Lever was an integral part of the film to provide comic relief. Though this track had nothing to do with the main plot. Watch one of many such scenes below.
Just few facts to put things in context:
- Filmfare Awards started in 1954
- Awards for the best comedian category started in 1967 and the first winner was Mehmood for Pyar Kiye Jaa. He was nominee in this category 19 times and won it 4 times.
- Johnny Lever won the award in this category twice in 1998 and 1999. He was nominee in this category 13 times. He was nominated in this category for Baazigar too in 1994
- From 2000 to 2007 the award winners in best comedian category became more mainstream, with main leads winning in this category
- Award in this category hasn't been given out since 2007
My theme for this year's #AtoZchallenge is Hindi Film Industry / Bollywood cliches. You can read the theme reveal post here.
2017 Challenge Post from Letter P: Perfect Response - A post about responses that are sharp and just right. Click here to read.
2018 Challenge Post from Letter P: Pots in Restaurant Toilets - A detailed analysis on the subject and identification of 4 types. Click here to read.