Indian comedy films without Vivek Oberoi, Tusshar Kapoor or Anil Kapoor. Or, to put it in simpler terms, films that Alok Nath would approve of. Babuji Namaste!
Yeh, waisi waali films hai!
This is a definitive (almost!) list of CLEAN comedy films of Bollywood. If you grew up after 7th standard and are not the kind who only laugh at jokes that are references to human anatomy (body parts re!), underwear or sex, congratulations – this list is for you!
The silliest one on the list, the most slapstick as well! Rajpal Yadav’s character as a recurring punching bag and his final reaction to it is guaranteed to induce stomach hurting laughter. And the best part – Rimmi Sen was considered beautiful in that era. Did I mention there is Paresh Rawal in the film, too?
2. Tere Bin Laden
This is the cutest Ali Zafar has ever been on camera. This is also one of the best political and social satire films to have happened in India. Piyush Mishra is at his best as an upper middle class, Delhi, ugly, male businessman. If you remember 9/11, watch this film now!
3. Bheja Fry
Oh. My. Gawwd. This is comedy horror! Or horror comedy. Take a plot of a horror film – introduction to scary thing-bring scary thing into house-scary thing refuses to leave – and put it in a comedy film. This film marked the arrival of the jodi of Vinay Pathak and Ranvir Shorey. If you can watch this without killing someone, kudos!
Remember Urmila Matondkar? One of the few comedy films by Ram Gopal Verma (yes, the same one who made ‘Ram Gopal Verma ki Aag’; but he also made ‘Rangeela’, ‘Satya’ and ‘Bhoot’) this one follows a petty crook, Sanjay Dutt, and a cabaret dancer, Urmila Matondkar, as they evade both police and gangsters while carrying a nuclear bomb.
5. Hum Hai Rahi Pyaar Ke
Officially, the cutest film in our list. This was when Kunal Khemu was likeable as well! Three kids, one mama, a South Indian girl run away from her rich industrial dad, an obsessed Sindhi girl, and a thief who knows the worth of the namak he has tasted – this one is a timeless Aamir Khan cult movie, from much before he became the pretentious prick he is today. And it is a comedy film. Lots of LOL here.
Probably the raunchiest in our list. At least by 1980s standards! A middle class chain smoking Farooq Sheikh at his peak along with a beautiful beautiful Deepti Naval. Three bachelors in a poster (bikini girls waale!) laden house full of cigarette buds and strewn clothes each try to woo the same girl while telling each other lies about their success with her. And that is just the beginning of the movie! But here’s the clincher – all of this in 1981 by a lady director, Sai Paranjape!
7. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron
Like ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ and ‘Daud’, this movie was a commercial flop but later created a huge cult following. So much so that now there is a book on the making of this movie! From Vidhu Vinod Chopra to Ravi Baswani, Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapoor, Om Puri, Satish Shah, Neena Gupta and the absolutely brilliant Satish Kaushik, this film is a star studded extravaganza. Full of stars before they all became stars. Comic timing doesn’t get better than this.
8. Bombay to Goa
The old Bombay to Goa had Amitabh Bacchan doing all sorts of silly things. And Mehmood doing even sillier things. From running behind absconding chicken (lest the owner of the chicken curse them) to helping save the heroine from no-gooders, this movie’s bus driver and conductor jodi does everything but drive…and still manage to get the bus from Bombay to Goa! Before Goa was as cool as it is today, this movie was uber cool!
9. Chachi 420
For all intents and purposes, this one is a copy of ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’…not! While it takes inspiration from the basic premise – father changes his looks to resemble a maid in order to spend time with his family – the mood and plot of this film is entirely different. Kamal Hassan as Chachi is deceptively sweet and ingenious. The music by Vishal Bharadwaj is beautiful and some songs will stay with you forever. Even the classical version of “Hey Macarena”! And that Chachi seems extraordinarily attractive to at least two male characters in the movie while mistaken to be with at least three more makes it a comedy of intentional errors! Once you watch the film, you can’t believe it was Kamal Hassan’s directorial debut.
10. Welcome to Sajjanpur
First of all, they have got a Maharashtrian actor, playing a bhaiyya from UP. The cute Shreyas Talpade writes letters for a living. The kind of letters that come to him to be written, give us a bird’s eye view of the happenings in the village. A mother wants to marry her daughter to a dog to ward off bad omens lingering over her marriage, a clinic compounder has fallen in love with a widow, a newly wed has hardly spent time with her husband who works in far off Mumbai, a local politician wants to threaten the District Collector against letting a Eunuch stand for elections. All this while the letter writer pursues his own evil scheme to get the girl of his dreams while each member of the village battles every day and everything it brings. A must watch masterpiece by Shyam Benegal.
11. Khosla Ka Ghosla
One of the most underrated films of recent times. This one, along with ‘Bheja Fry’, signalled the era of small budget, plot heavy, character centric entertainment films. And if you think I am talking about a documentary or a boring art film, you couldn’t be more mistaken! What does a middle class family do when a rich landlord takes away their land bought from years of hard earned money? When lawyers, the police, social activists, politicians, all refuse to help, the family along with the help of friends hatch a brilliant but dangerous plan. Boman Irani is the perfect foil to Anupam Kher’s middle class acidity wali dakaar. Naveen Nischol and Ranvir Shorey shine crazy!
Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutt, presented by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. A middle class guy has to pretend to be his own twin to get a job. A hired actress has to pretend to be his mother as well as his maasi, just to help him keep his job. And a boss who loves one of the pretend twins. An LOL caper. Just watch the film, pay attention to the songs, and thank me for life.
That’s it! The definitive list of comedy movies of Bollywood that are SFW, Alok Nath approved, and mother-friendly. These are pretty popular films themselves but, sadly, don’t find too much mention in comedy circuits by those who only think Gogo ka Ghagra is the funniest thing that happened in Bollywood history. If you haven’t watched any of these films, it is highly recommended you get together with your buddies and watch them on super-high mega-level priority!
Did we miss any clean comedy movie? Which of these have you already watched?