The Nawab of Wisecracks – Mehmood
With his on-the-dot comic timing, pure physical comedy, he delighted his viewers for 4 decades. For a mood-elevating movie experience in all probability, his films are recommended. Son of Mumtaz Ali, a film and stage actor-cum-dancer, Mehmood was born with a funny streak. The inimitable Mehmood was Hindi cinema’s one of the best-known comedians. There were many other comedians in the industry before him but he made the comedian’s role an integral part of the story line. Comedy was at its zenith during Mehmood’s heydays and he was the uncrowned king!!
Born on 29th September 1932, Mehmood was one of the 8 siblings. He began acting as a child actor in some Bombay Talkies’ films like Kismet. After he grew up, he pursued several odd jobs — including that of a motor car driver. For a short while, he was a chauffeur for director P.L. Santoshi, table tennis coach to Meena Kumari. He did some unnoticed roles in several films. In his first real role in films, he played a murder victim in Guru Dutt’s suspense thriller “CID”. After that, Guru Dutt gave him a small part in “Pyasa”. He got his first noticeable “break” in Parvarish (1958), in which he landed a role as the brother of the hero, Raj Kapoor.
After Parvarish, Mehmood came to be recognized for his comic talent. The zany actor went ahead with hit films like Gumnaam, Pyar kiye jaa, Love in Tokyo, Ziddi. As the 60s progressed, Mehmood kept expanding the role of the comedian in Hindi movies. He teamed with I.S.Johar, the duo went on to make several capers – which immortalized them in Hindi cinema’s muster, by incorporating their names in the film’s titles – Johar Mehmood in Goa, Johar Mehmood in Hong Kong.
Bhoot Bangla, Ginny aur Johny, Kunwara Baap are some of the movies which he directed, while Chhote Nawab which also announced the arrival of R D Burman was produced by him (his family). Mehmood’s role of a conductor named Khanna makes the journey from Bombay to Goa extremely thrilling and engulfing for the audience. Mehmood’s portrayal of role of a south Indian classical music teacher in love with his student in Padosan, under his own production house became immortal. He was able to carve a niche for himself, which has made him be remembered as an artist who not only introduced himself in the industry but gave a platform for many upcoming actors like Amitabh Bachchan then. Mehmood will forever be remembered as the king of comedy in Hindi cinema.
We bring some of his movie songs & scenes that established him as a comic star.
1. Master Pillai in Padosan:
2. Atma in Pyar kiye jaa:
3. The South Indian butler in Gumnaam:
4. Bajrang in Sadhu aur Shaitaan:
5. Ganpat in Dil Tera Deewana: