ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Wit, Irreverence, and a Mirror

A Tribute to Jaspal Bhatti and Moin Akhter

Legendary comedians Jaspal Bhatti and Moin Akhter on either side of the India–Pakistan border showed the mirror to their hypocritical governments and societies, but with hearty laughs.

Comedian Jaspal Bhatti became a household name in the 1990s in India, epitomising brutal satire and humour through his takes on different facets of life. Moin Akhter, from across the border in Pakistan, was no different. Bhatti wrote his own sketches for his shows like Flop Show (1989), Ulta Pulta (1986), Thank You Jijaji (2005), and the film Mahaul Theek Hai (1999). Akhter depended on Anwar Maqsood for his meticulous and much-loved performances—together they were called “the lethal combination,” with excellent “tuning” in a partnership that created many masterpieces like Angan Terha (1984), Half Plate (1980s), Studio DhaiStudio Pony Teen, and Loose Talk (2005).

The titles of the programmes presented by both Bhatti and Akhter are a perfect peek into the humorous insights of comedy writers Bhatti and Maqsood. Displaying self-deprecating humour, both poked fun at and threw light on the most serious problems of their respective societies with wit and irreverence. While Bhatti’s humour was often simple and straightforward, demanding very little effort from his audience in understanding it, Akhter’s performance of Maqsood’s writing was sometimes subtle, demanding the audience’s attention and requiring their own insights to understand the hidden satire, perhaps because of Maqsood’s literary writing.

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Updated On : 6th Feb, 2021
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