The Comedians

I mean the directors, not the actors, though some of them were both.

In Hollywood, the first guy that comes to mind is Woody Allen. He made several good films, one as recently as a couple of years ago. Most of these had wonderful humour, mostly about human relationships, but also a lot of other things. Sometimes dark humour, but very witty. And delivered with deadpan expressions. A genius.

A very different kind of humour (in your face, slaspstick) is to be found in Mel Brooks' films. Usually spoofs on something (Silent Movie was about Hollywood itself), I still remembers scenes from films of his I watched many years ago-Blazing Saddles (spoof on Western Cowboy movies), History of the World (about major events in history), To Be Or Not To Be (on Hitler), and a Star Wars spoof called Spaceballs. I remembered the last again while watching The Martian recently.

Closer home in India, directors of good comedy were Basu Chatterjee and Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Both masters of situational humour, they made between them, great films like Chupke Chupke, Chhoti Si Baat, Shaukeen, Gol Maal and Naram Garam. Angoor by Gulzar was another great comedy. Though not known for comedy, Satyen Bose's Chalti ka Naam Gaadi with Kishore Kumar was an excellent romantic comedy. So was Padosan, directed by Jyoti Swaroop. Mehmood's role in it was immortal, on of the best ever.

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