Legendary Actor Moeen Akhtar passed away today. This is just a tribute to him. One of the greatest talent of the soil. Brought to you by AnkhMacholi.com Achievers: Samaa TV Interview by Maryam Arif “Rozee” is still afresh in our minds, “Half Plate” still leaves us in gales of laughter and “Eid Train” is still [...]
Legendary Actor Moeen Akhtar passed away today. This is just a tribute to him. One of the greatest talent of the soil. Brought to you by AnkhMacholi.com
Achievers: Samaa TV
Interview by Maryam Arif
“Rozee” is still afresh in our minds, “Half Plate” still leaves us in gales of laughter and “Eid Train” is still watched on YouTube, with about 40,000 views … think of comedy and you automatically think of Moin Akhtar.
The very name symbolises wit and a rare understanding of the nuances of comedy. The trajectory of comedy on television would be substantially bare without this stalwart and the troika of humour that he forms with Anwar Maqsood and Bushra Ansari.
We explores the legend’s literary endeavours and his thoughts on the entertainment scene of the country through a candid discussion with Pakistan’s ace comedian.
What made you who you are today?
I wanted to do something different from my childhood. I believe I was hardly 13 years old when I played the role of Shylock from Shakespeare’s play Merchant of Venice. So I always wanted to do something different but never knew what.
I started doing stand-up comedy in the year 1966-67, something different from other comedians, impersonating Anthony Queen and the speech of John F Kennedy in which I also copied his voice. It created a little difference and this was the reason [I believe that I] was received very well by the audience.
Tell us about your book?
I have penned my experiences with foreign diplomats and Indian icons who I have met and have had the privilege of performing with. Lata Mangeshker, Dilip Kumar and Madhuri Dixit are just to name a few.
In the book, I have been very precise, writing no soliloquies. [It’s more like] a video in which change of events take place with usual and unusual gossip. But I have tried not criticised anybody. There is not a single controversy in it. I want people to understand the man behind the book, who has created a positive vibe.
How did you maintain your signature style of comedy?
Anything which clicks is a classic. I was witty and it clicked. There is a very thin line between sobriety and obscenity.
What’s the most memorable compliment you’ve ever received?
It was way back in 2004. I was at the American Embassy for the processing of my visa. On my turn, the lady at the counter did not ask the routine investigation questions. I asked her the reason and she said, “There is no interview for the entertainers of this country. I saw your play Rozee and you were 100 times better than Dustin Hoffman.” Now there has never been a more credible comment coming my way than this one. I don’t know her name but to date I cherish her memory.
How do you see Pakistan’s current entertainment scene?
We are eliminating our own culture, by [promoting] Indian style of performances. If this trend continues, tomorrow there will be no celebrity in our society.
We need to categorise the Indian programming, so that we can continue to promote our own artists. We must educate the younger generation, compelling them to watch our way of cultural representation.
The media says that, “This is what people want to see.” It’s wrong, it’s what you show them!
Any final words on your contribution to Pakistani comedy?
Everything I did is a part of history now. To live with history is difficult but there will be people, who will say one day, “There was a man who did it and did it so differently.”