Brilliance, wit, spontaneous humor and stage theatrics, all of these essential elements combine to produce a stellar comedian. Pakistan has had its fair share of comedians who have made audiences roar with laughter in various, diverse genres. Be it live theater, TV shows or stand-up-comedy, Pakistani comedians have never let us down. Here’s a list of comedians we have compiled who used to/are still entertaining audiences with their humorous jibes and dialogues.
The face of comedy in Pakistan, Umar Sharif remains an unrivaled, unmatched comedian who is in his very own league. This Karachi based comedian became famous overnight back in the late 80s for his two stellar plays, namely Baqra Qiston Pay and Buddha Ghar Pe Hai. These stage shows of his were the very first comedy theater plays to be recorded on video and sold like hot cakes not just within the country but in neighboring India as well. Umar Sharif has also had the privilege of performing on Indian award shows, one in which he particularly made fun of Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan! The witty comedian currently hosts his own show titled Har Lamha Purjosh on ARY News and is still making us laugh since three decades consecutively!!
Producer, writer, TV host, actor and stand-up comedian. You name it, he had it. Moin Akhtar was the most versatile personality in the Pakistani entertainment industry and was considered one of the greatest of all time before he succumbed to a heart attack on 22nd April 2012. Also a product of Karachi’s theater, he rose to acclaim following the two stage plays Baqra Qiston Pay and Buddha Ghar Pe Hai in which he starred alongside Umar Sharif. With a multitude of shows that made him a hit, including Rozie, Half Plate, Makaan No.47, Bandar Road se Kaemari Tak and Sach Much, Moin Akhtar cemented his place in out hearts. His excellent show Loose Talk with Anwar Maqsood featured him portraying almost 400 different personalities in as much roles. Having performed on stage with legendary Indian artists such as Lata Mangeshkar, Madhuri Dixit and Dilip Kumar, there’s no doubt Moin’s legacy remains unmatched even to this day.
3. Sikander Sanum
Sikander Sanum was one of the most popular acts to have graced the Pakistani entertainment scene in recent times. He changed his name from Muhammad Sikander to Sikander Sanum as a result of the love admirers showed him. And why not, since the man was immensely talented at portraying a funny angle to everything serious. His rip-offs of Bollywood characters such as Amir Khan from Ghajini, Salman Khan from Tere Naam and Sanjay Dutt from Munna Bhai M.B.B.S, were loved by the audience. Unfortunately, Sanum passed away on November 5, 2012 due to liver cancer.
This lad has done Pakistan proud on more than one occasion. He made it into the semifinalist list of top 10 Funniest Person in The World competition which was organized by the Laugh Factory. Saad was the only Pakistani in the category and the global recognition put his country on the world map, for all the right reasons. He is the first Pakistani to introduce English stand-up comedy in Pakistan and writes his own scripts. He is a producer as well and has toured the country as well as abroad in carrying out a show for the English-savvy audience. Recently, Saad’s clip was shown in the acclaimed American show Tonight with Conan O’Brein. Saad was the pioneer of Pakistan’s first improvisational comedy show, with Blackfish. We wish this lad all the best and hope he continues to scale the heights of greatness in the coming days!
Always by Saad’s side, Danish Ali broke a record by being the first Pakistani to achieve more than 1 million views on YouTube for his show The Real News. Danish has a slick style of his own, often making fun of Pakistani society’s dilemmas and rhetorical situations. He also has the honor to be invited on a U.S State Department sponsored comedy tour and performed in cities such as Providence, Worcester and New York.
6. Hanif Raja
One of Pakistan’s most famous acts from the 90s, Hanif Raja is synonymous with stand-up comedy. His PIA jokes were immensely enjoyed by the audience as well as his satirical take on men and women in Pakistan’s society. Hanif is perhaps most famous for hosting the comedy show Chup Chupa Kay, which became instantly popular for its street smart pranks. Hanif has also performed with various Indian comedians and also has a following in India.
7. Kashif Khan
He is a talented comedian who has always enchanted audiences with his gentle soothing voice and soft personality. kashif has the ability to be spontaneous and frequently also indulges with the audience in funny banter. He is perhaps best known for winning the Comedy Circus show along with Ali Asghar in his team.
8 and 9. Irfan and Ali Hassan
They are currently the funniest duo in Pakistan! Irfan and Ali Hassan enchant and mesmerize the audience to no end! Their verbal jabs and jocular references to each others’ physical attributes is immensely loved by audiences throughout Pakistan. Both often indulge in scripted arguments which lead to one insulting the other, much to the audience’s delight. As a pair, their act is impressive and inseparable. Currently, the two are seen every night on ARY News in the Umar Sharif-hosted Har Lamha Purjosh comedy show. Their humorous verbal tirades against Basit Ali, Umar Sharif and themselves can drive one into hysterics!
10. Zaid Ali
He stands out in this list of comedians. Zaid uploads his funny videos on his official Facebook page as opposed to other comedians who prefer live performances or TV shows. With more than 3,000,000 fans on Facebook (thanks largely to his cutting edge humor and satirical take on typical Pakistani elements) this lad was even offered a Hollywood movie, which he rejected. If you can relate to crazy females taking selfies in midst of arguments or typical plastic cricket fans or how Pakistani mothers embark on rishta-seeking adventures, look no further than Zaid Ali’s web videos!