Umer Sharif passes away: King of Comedy's top five stage shows

Sharif’s stage plays such as Bakra Qistoon Pe and Buddha Ghar Pe Hai catapulted him into the comedy big leagues

Entertainment Desk October 02, 2021

Veteran comedian Umer Sharif, with a career spanning over five decades and an influence to match, passed away on Saturday after a prolonged illness. Credited with spreading laughter within Pakistan, as well as beyond its borders, Sharif’s loss is one that has sent reverberations across the entertainment industry.

The comedian, who had been undergoing treatment in Germany for heart and kidney ailments, succumbed to his illness at the age of 66 despite being flown abroad on priority by the government following a video request by Sharif.

Sharif’s stage plays such as Bakra Qistoon Pe and Buddha Ghar Pe Hai found immense success and catapulted Sharif into the comedy big leagues. His audio cassette recordings becoming available for the first time in 1980, with Sharif finding success later in 2009 through the popular late-night talk show The Shareef Show. Awarded with a Tamgha-e-Imtiaz for his cultural services, the comedian also won national prestige for direction and acting in 1992 via his film Mr 420.

Here are five of his biggest stage shows:

1. Baqra Qiston Pay:

2. Hum Sab Eik Hain

3. Buddha Ghar Pe Hai

4. Yes Sir Eid No Sir Eid

5. Hum Sa Ho Toh Samne Aye

Epitomising a style of stand-up that found instant and massive success across South Asia, Sharif had humble origins in Karachi. Born Mohammed Umer, the comedian added ‘Sharif’ to his name after being left spellbound by Egyptian actor Omar Sharif’s performance in the Hollywood film Lawrence of Arabia.

He broke into the world of comedy as a stage performer at the tender age of 14, finding success via his sharp wit and the ability to deliver a joke of any magnitude of humour with a completely straight face. However, there was no dearth of laughs, as the audience more than made up for the lack of a reaction on part of the comedian. His improv left onlookers in splits, his recorded shows becoming a staple in every home with cable television in the late 80s and early 90s.

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