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Remembering Mehmood: The King of Comedy

Mehmood has a lot of memorable roles to his credit – we pick our top 5 must watch films starring the king of comedy.

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In a career spanning over four decades, Mehmood worked in over 300 films. On his birth anniversary, we pick five films featuring the inimitable king of comedy that you absolutely must watch.

1. Padosan (1968)

Mehmood has a lot of memorable roles to his credit – we pick our top 5 must watch films starring the king of comedy.
Mehmood with Saira Banu in Padosan

Mehmood was the co-producer of Padosan, in which he also plays Bindu’s (Saira Banu) south Indian music teacher named Master Pillai, who is totally besotted with her. Masterji competes with Bhola (Sunil Dutt) for Bindu’s attention and also has to deal with Bhola’s friend Guru Vidyapati (Kishore Kumar).

Apart from the catchy Mere Saamne Wali Khidki Mein..., Padosan remains memorable for the outrageous musical face-off between Masterji on one side and Bhola with Guru on the other, in the song - Ek Chatur Naar....

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2. Bhoot Bungla (1965)

Mehmood has a lot of memorable roles to his credit – we pick our top 5 must watch films starring the king of comedy.
Mehmood with RD Burman in Bhoot Bungla

Mehmood wanted to combine two genres, comedy and horror – that’s when he wrote Bhoot Bungla along with Rangan Bose. Once the script was ready, he decided to produce, direct and act in it. A murder mystery set inside a haunted house, apart from scaring the daylights out of people, the film also gave them a hearty laugh with Mehmood’s awesome comic timing. Tanuja played his love interest in Bhoot Bungla, which also established Mehmood as a comedian to reckon with.

3. Johar Mehmood in Goa (1965)

Mehmood has a lot of memorable roles to his credit – we pick our top 5 must watch films starring the king of comedy.
Mehmood with IS Johar in Johar Mehmood in Goa

Imagine Mehmood and I S Johar as revolutionaries planning and executing anti-state activities in a Portuguese ruled Goa! They rob the Bank of Portugal, disrobe an arrogant senior police officer, set his house on fire and join hands with a dacoit in this dramedy. And it all starts with Bollywood’s favourite ‘lost and found’ plot involving two brothers. Revolutions were never this fun!

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4. Pyar Kiye Jaa (1966)

Mehmood has a lot of memorable roles to his credit – we pick our top 5 must watch films starring the king of comedy.
Mehmood and Om Prakash in Pyaar Kiye Jaa

With actors like Shashi Kapoor, Kishore Kumar, Mehmood and Mumtaz the star-cast of Pyar Kiye Jaa was a big draw. A remake of the Tamil comedy Kaadhalikka Neramillai, Mehmood won the Filmfare award for Best Comedian for his brilliant comic timing in this one. The scene in which Mehmood narrates his script to Om Prakash with scary sound effects is considered one of his best performances ever.

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5. Bombay To Goa (1972)

Mehmood has a lot of memorable roles to his credit – we pick our top 5 must watch films starring the king of comedy.
Kishore Kumar makes a guest appearance in Bombay To Goa, in a scene with Mehmood and Anwar Ali

A runaway aspiring actress on a road trip from Bombay to Goa - this was quite a memorable journey. The film brought Amitabh Bachchan under the spotlight and also had Shatrughan Sinha as the baddie and Aruna Irani in the lead. Mehmood played the key character Khanna, the conductor of the bus and contributed to all the funny moments in the movie along with good friend Anwar Ali who played the driver.

(This piece is from The Quint’s archives. It is being republished to mark Mehmood’s birth anniversary.)

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