Movies That Shaped Our Generation – Comedies

Jaibala/ April 4, 2017/ Musings/ 18 comments

Comedy has been a part of our movies forever.  What was initially used to induce humor, and provide relief has grown into such a big and diverse genre with sub genres and the like.

Comedies have been around forever and have taught us we can laugh at almost anything. Read on and find out Join here for the free NewsLetter delivered right into your inbox


Initially movies were not comedies, but they were comedic actors, whose sole role in the movie was to present comic relief. We have seen many stalwarts fill this role –  Keshto Mukherjee, Johnny Walker, Mehmood,  Johnny Lever, Ashok Saraf and Lakshimkant Berde. All these were stalwarts, in the sence of comedy and comedic timing. Though the comedian still played a very important role until the 90’s there was a very important shift during that time.

To me the shift came with movies like Andaz Apana Apna releasing. That is when the content was comedy and the hero was the comedian. There was no actually need for comedians to essay these roles, because the hero and his friend did a wonderful job themselves. Andaz Apna Apna was not really successful at the box office, but it is a cult classic for the lovers of this genre.

Slowly there were movies being made that showcased more and more slapstick comedy and the hero had no qualms play the roles these movies offered. Chunky Pandey, Govinda, Salman Khan and so many others, made this genre of mindless funny cinema a success.

As the leave your brains at home movies were enjoying success, another genre was slowly being created – that of situational comedy. Again the baton of the funny fire was in the hero’s hands and this time, it was hilarious if you applied your brains. Hera Pheri was once such kind of movie, actually most of Priyadarshan directed movies during the 2000’s, fell in this category.

Bollywood has experimented with a lot of sub genres of comedy – Dark Comedy and Satire but they are small experiments that have yielded results like Khosla ka Ghosla and Bheja Fry. Other then the ones mentioned, some of my favourite funny movies are – Jaane Bhi Do Yaroon, Chachi 420 (which was the Bollywood remake of Mrs. Doubtfire), Hey Baby, Bhool Bhulaiya, Bade Miyaan Chote Miyan, and Golmaal (yes the very same leave your brains at home and watch ones) and most of the David Dhawan – Govinda collaborations (they are my guilty pleasure).

Comedy as a genre has a long way to go and grow and I am looking forward to the journey. Let me know your favourite comedy movies in the comments below.


I am doing this A to Z Challenge in collaboration with Chandni Moudgil of Life In Third Dimension, where she will be speaking of women in contemporary cinema. Between us we are going to cover Bollywood  movies that were powerful enough to shape our generation.

If you find my theme and collaboration interesting, follow our blogs or follow us on twitter here and here to get the latest updates all April.

Every day I will be sharing other blogs that I find interesting throughout this challenge. Here are today’s recommendations.

This minimalist fiction project by Sreesha, will capture more than just your attention.

Mithila, the nerdy little girl will blow you away with her maturity.

About Jaibala

Academically a Microbiologist, I am a Web Columnist for popular magazines and websites, Freelance Writer and a Blogger. Words define me and writing and reading compete to be the love of my life. My biggest belief is that there is something good in everything and I always looks to highlight the best in things. Creative writing is my forte.You can reach me by dropping a mail at


  1. Why on earth do I don’t like comedy movies? Oh, yeah, my Hindi is so weak that I don’t understand half of the things. I keep pestering P when he bursts out laughing, poking and asking him to explain. Thus, we stopped watching it altogether. :d I have seen the movies you’ve mentioned here, most of them actually. I love Govinda the most. Some great choices there, Jai.
    Shalini recently posted…Eight Things to do in PattayaMy Profile

    1. You know what is funnier than a comdey movie, the subtitles of a comedy movie. Try those that will be fun.

  2. I think we never got our comic timing right after we lost it in the good old days when the hero and the side kick fumbled their way into our hearts in movies like Padosan.
    I feel this genre hasn’t been given its due in Indian Cinema and has over the years become synonymous with cheap jokes and double meaning dialogues.
    We need more LOLs in our movies JAI!! don’t we?

    and your shout outs capture my favourite themes in the challenge .. how good are they!
    chandni recently posted…[D] Dressing it up or maybe not? #AtoZChallenge Day4My Profile

    1. Yes, we really did lose our comic timing somewhere along the way. And we need it to be back now more than ever.

  3. Comedies are my favourite too!!! I love sunny comedies though… Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Chupke Chupke was my absolute favourite and I think I have seen it 26-27 times. There was a time I could recite all the dialogues… 🙂 I really hated the parallel comic and main track that used to be used in movies of the 70s (i think) so distracting from the story!

    I agree with your last statement though… they do have a long way to go 🙂
    anks recently posted…#AtoZChallenge : Carol Burnette QuoteMy Profile

    1. Oh Hrishikesh Mukherjee movies are my absolute favourtie. Comedies do have a long way to go.

  4. I don’t like Bollywood Comedy at all – these forced comedies are quite a pain. I liked Hera Pheri though and I think Akshay Kumar, Shahrukh Khan have good coming timings.
    Tina Basu recently posted…Chocolate Tart with Strawberry – No-Bake Easy Tart RecipeMy Profile

    1. I think what comedy in India needs is better writers and directors. I hope this improves soon.

  5. Comedy is my favorite genre 🙂 When it is time to watch movies, my choice will be comedy always!
    Swathi Shenoy recently posted…CrushesMy Profile

    1. Yes it is such a fun choice. Thank You Swati

  6. This would be my absolute favourite genre. I’m not much into slapstick but they do draw out a laugh at times. Andaz apna apna was somewhere in the middle and it was a laugh riot. I’m glad you mentioned Priyadarshan. I interviewed him once (in my other life :-)) and he hated slapstick (like films of Jim Carrey, he said). Hulchul and Hungama were such fun.
    Beat About the Book recently posted…A plain Jane #Teaser Tuesday 6My Profile

    1. You interviewed Priyadarshan. We must have an detailed discussion about that. I agree with every point you make Tulika.

  7. Most of Priyadarshans movies are remakes of his own Malayalam hits of 80s and early 90s… In Tamil movies a separate comedy track has always been around and i enjoy them most as they are in my mother tongue…. Like Chachi 420 there are quite a few rib tickling funny ones of Kamal Hassan….in Hindi the Abhishek Bachan starter Dostana was one comedy movie i really enjoyed…. I remember it because it had me laughing out loud during one of my bad mood days of my pregnancy

    1. These are the movies that I turn to in my bad mood periods too.

  8. OMG! Thank you for the shoutout. My jaw dropped when I saw my own name there! Muah!

    The thing I remember about 90s comedies is, most of them started out funny, but the second half there would be intense drama and waterworks and what not. Andaz Apna Apna is one of the first movies I loved to bits, which wasn’t split into two halves like that. Those kind of movies aren’t made anymore 🙁
    On the other hand, Govinda movies and I never got along well. Maybe as a kid I enjoyed one or two, but there was something about them that just rubbed me the wrong way.
    Sreesha recently posted…Call Me When You’re Sober | #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

    1. Andaz Apna Apna is such an awesome film, I guess even if it is remade frame by frame it wont be the same now. It as path breaking in so many ways. I do wish an attempt is made away from the slapstick and toward more intelligent comedies.

      As for the shout out You are so awesome, how couldn’t I?

  9. Leave-your-brain-at-home comedy. I love that definition!
    We had a periode of great popularity of that kind of comedies here in Italy too, back in the 1980s and early 1990s, but nowadays they have disappeared. Now there are more thought-out, more ‘social-commentary’ comedies, and personally, I like this kind a lot more.

    I think comedies have a great power in make people think… if they encourage the viewers to bring their brains with them 😉
    JazzFeathers recently posted…Berlin (1940s Film Noir – #AtoZChallenge)My Profile

    1. I agree, comedy a a genre has greater power only if they encourages the audience to think. I hope they do.

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