He danced, he sang and he acted... but no matter what he did, this great comedian ended up making his audience double up in laughter each time, and on some occasions, soon after he had made his appearance in a scene.

In spite of rarely playing the lead role, he was a superstar alright. His name helped producers sell more tickets and his picture on the poster ensured that scores turned up at the theatres. Such was the effect of this young, funny man and his self-effacing easy humour that it is said that some male stars of his time were insecure about sharing screen space with him.

The sixties belonged to this mad, mad man who was so effortless that sometimes it'd seem like he had forgotten that he was in front of the camera. There was a time when his presence in films was imperative for the film to do well at the box office.

He must be one of the few comedians who managed to deliver box-office hits with some films riding solely on his shoulders. A case in point is Do Phool where he played the double role of Chuttan and Phuttan with much aplomb.

Mehmood was not just a laugh-a-minute comedian. This intelligent man went on to make some sensitive films like Ginni Aur Johnny and Kunwara Baap. We speak to some new-age comedians to tell us about their impression of this one-time phenomenon...


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