Reader's Choice: Bollywood's greatest comic actor
Once again, dear readers, very well done.
We asked you to name Bollywood's greatest comic actor, and, with characteristic thoughtfulness, you picked names from both present-day and classic Bollywood to form a list of ten comedians who would enliven any film lucky enough to have them in it.
Here, then, is your list:
10. Vijay Raaz
There's a quite fantastic dryness about Vijay Raaz, an actor who manages to make the bizarrest of characters immensely enjoyable.
World-weary and laconic, he breezes through every role as if exhausted and cold. Most recently making us split our sides in Delhi Belly, Raaz is certainly a comic actor to treasure.
Image: Vijay Raaz
9. Paresh Rawal
These days we mostly see him in harebrained comedies but even in the weakest films, Paresh always makes us laugh out loud.
Image: Paresh Rawal
8. Uma Devi Khatri (Tuntun)
Initially a very good playback singer, she was sidelined by the rising Mangeshkar sisters and playback's loss was comedy's gain as she -- named Tun Tun by Dilip Kumar -- became a true comedic great, acting in almost 200 films while her nickname became a ubiquitous term for a fat woman.
Image: Uma Devi Khatri (Tuntun)
7. Deven Verma
Verma mostly played supporting foil to leading men, but his moment came in Gulzar's Comedy Of Errors remake Angoor, where he shone alongside the late Sanjeev Kumar.
Image: Deven Verma
He's so good at being loony that a lot of his comedy seems impossible to script.
5. Rajendra Nath
Magnificently clueless and also anachronistically English in his slapstick, Nath was an awesome entertainer who could wear only one hat -- that of the well-meaning, affluent nutjob given to much eccentricity -- but wore it with immense, hilarious flair.
Image: Rajendra Nath
4. Amitabh Bachchan
Bachchan, however, a prolific man adept at every kind of performance, sparkled deliciously in comedies, with some of his finest ever performances coming in funny films.
Unafraid and awesome, from Chupke Chupke to Namak Halaal, he's done it all many, many times over.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan
With hyperactive energy levels and completely off-the-wall lunacy, Mehmood was an unpredictable comic explosion just waiting to be unwrapped.
You never knew what to expect from the inimitable Mehmood, save that he'd make you split your sides laughing.
2. Utpal Dutt
Utpal Dutt *owned* it. Whenever he strolled onto the screen it was all his, and everyone else became instantly immaterial.
That booming voice, that iconic "eeeeeshh" exclamation, and that moustache all combined to turn this immaculate theatre actor into one of Hindi cinema's funniest, and most endearing, people.
Image: Utpal Dutt
1. Kishore Kumar
All hail KishoreDa, for there will never be another.
Image: Kishore Kumar