Bollywood’s evergreen comic characters

The characters which still make us laugh


March 15, 2020

/ By / Kolkata

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Bollywood has its own share of entertaining comedy movies and iconic comic characters who never fail to bring a smile on audiences’ face every time they are onscreen.

As a Jewish proverb says, “As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul,” humour has that cleansing effect on the daily-life stress. And what better way to get that relief than watching a comedy to catch a laugh at the end of a tiring day. Bollywood has a rich collection of comedies which can brighten even the bleakest day. These movies have also given us a few iconic comedic characters who have made a mark of their own on the silver screen. Sometimes these comedies can be impactful enough to influence the minds of people and propagate important messages too.

Badruddin Kazi, popularly known as Johnny Walker, was one of Bollywood’s prominent comedian artist had worked in more than 300 movies. He was last seen playing a make-up artist in Chachi 420, another comic role. Here are a few such evergreen comic characters from iconic Bollywood movies:


Even if you haven’t watched the movie Padosan (1968), you must have heard or seen the Chatur Naar song. The acclaimed artist Mehmood Ali was revered for his performances and even called the king of comedy. While there are many such roles played by him, Mehmood as the south-Indian music teacher Master Pillai or Masterji has remained iconic. The competition between him and Bhola (Sunil Dutt), the neighbour, to win the affections of the main lady (Saira Banoo) make for a hilarious watch.


Johnny Lever is one of the best-known new generation comedians the industry has produced and has given us a lot of such characters to laugh with. Babulal in Baazigar (1993) may be termed as the first movie where he was noticed for his reprisal of the role of the forgetful head servant. Since then he has gone to play many more memorable characters making people laugh with himself.

Laxmi Godbole

While cross-dressing has many times been used as the source of laughs in Bollywood movies, Kamal Haasan in Chachi 420 (1997) played the character with great enthusiasm and dedication which made the character evergreen. The transformation of Jai, a dance-instructor into Laxmi, a Marathi governess, to be near his daughter and fending off the amorous advances of his land-lord and father-in-law make for a fun watch.

Baburao Ganpat Rao Apte

Baburao is the lifeline of the Hera Pheri (2000, 2006) movie series. The irate dim-witted old man with his thick-framed glasses and a kind heart is a landlord caught in the confusion and deception caused by a wrong number along with his two tenants. While Paresh Rawal has played many a comic character in his career, this is one of his most successful roles.


The name itself induces laughter. Circuit, the lovable goon sidekick in the Munna Bhai (2003, 2006) movie series is a treat to watch. With his complete faith in Munna Bhai, the protagonist, he is ready to do anything to help. Arshad Warsi’s perfect dialogue delivery in the tapori (name for street thugs in Mumbai) dialect along with his acting skills made the character a household name.

Chhote Pandit

The 2007 movie Bhool Bhulaiya is one of the best comedy horrors of Bollywood and one character that remains imprinted in the minds of the audience is Rajpal Yadav’s Chhote Pandit, the priest gone mad. Smeared in a vermilion hue, with incense sticks tucked on his ears, he makes for a hilarious watch in an otherwise short role.

Chatur Ramalingam

The movie 3 Idiots (2009) still remains a classic movie on the exhausted education system of the country. And the movie would have been incomplete without the character of the nerd Chatur played by Omi Vaidya. Also known as the Silencer for his silent, stinky farts, Chatur was also representative of the system where students memorise everything without even understanding as seen with his teacher’s day speech.

Not only these, there have been many other such memorable characters in the Bollywood movies which have etched a place of their own in the hearts of the audience and are still remembered by their iconic dialogues.



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