Meet Shafaat Ali, the man behind the viral political impersonation videos

Published: November 30, 2016
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PHOTO: PUBLICITY

PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Shafaat Ali is taking the internet by storm. Known for impersonating all the major players in Pakistani politics, he is exceptional when it comes to acting and singing ability. If you think enactment is his sole forte, you’ll be surprised to learn what else he has in store for everyone.

This comedian’s take on Pakistani politicians will leave you in fits

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Shafaat shared that he was a complex, silent and very shy kid. An engineering student from Peshawar, he was prompted by his brother to send in his voice notes to a producer and that’s how it all began.

In 2006, Shafaat made it to the infamous 4 Man Show where he’d make calls impersonating political leaders. Fast forward to 2007, he made it big and appeared as journalist Shahid Masood on the series, where he continued working for three and a half years. Then he stepped up his game with BNN and made his mark more prominent in the industry.

He shared how life changing BNN truly was for him. It was an uphill task indeed, to be innovative and bring out the best and Shafaat said that scripts, get-ups, everything required a lot of backbreaking work and practice.

After leaving Geo, he started his own production called Mere Aziz Ham Watno. This gave him a lot of room to be creative. He claims it was definitely a satiating experience to do so.

Coming together with Tina Sani and Sheema Kermani at a event proved to be a defining moment in his life. Soon after, Tina made a video of him impersonating Imran Khan, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Shahbaz Sharif — which went viral within hours.

Shafaat shared how he woke up to a thousands of messages and calls not knowing what actually had unfolded. “I had over 999  messages and requests, I didn’t know what hit what,” he said.

The video by Tina went viral and he became an over-night sensation. “The age of TV has ended and the era of social media has started,” Shafaat declares after realising that a decade in TV didn’t bring him the fame the video did.

In order to actually accept that social media rules today’s generation, he made a 30-second video in which he impersonated Bilawal. To his surprise, that too went viral and he surrendered to the power of the “new age”.

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With that being said, he shared that Moin Akhtar was his idol and he wished to reach that level of comedy one day. Not stopping there, Shafaat has been working on Comedy for a Cause which aims to educate people about pertinent social issues and more.

When after 45 mins of Stand up, people ask you to mimic #AtifAslam …

A video posted by Syed Shafaat Ali (@shafaatsyed) on

“It is important to take major social causes seriously and I feel that comedy is an appropriate means of delivering your message across to a vast audience. People also need to take certain things lightly. Fanaticism should end, be it in terms of religion or politics,” he said.

Moreover, Shafaat shared that the revival of awami comedy was absolutely necessary as Pakistanis needed a fitting platform to showcase their talent. Comedians like Shafaat and his ilk are on their A game and have been striving to ensure that Pakistan’s comedy scene goes from strength to strength.

Here, check out his video:

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Reader Comments (1)

  • SK
    Dec 1, 2016 - 10:16AM

    very talented guy!!! he is breaking all type of boundaries these days. Wish him all the bestRecommend

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