Ten of my favourite funny songs

Considering the ‘comic side plot’ used to be such an integral part of old Hindi cinema—and that the presence of a Johnny Walker, a Rajendranath, or a Mehmood almost invariably meant that there would be not just laughs but also a secondary (light-hearted and often outright comic) romance, and at least one song picturized on the comedian in question. Oddly enough, then, there aren’t those many songs that I find outright funny. Even an iconic ‘comic’ song (or what most people seem to refer to as a comic song—Sar jo tera chakraaye)—is actually more philosophical than comic.

So I set out to compile a list of ten songs that are actually funny. Funny because of the lyrics, the rendition, the picturization—whatever (in some stellar instances, all of the above). These may not be songs that make me laugh out loud (I am not a guffawer, anyway), but they are songs that always make me smile rather more widely than usual. As always, these are all from pre-1970s films (except one) that I’ve seen, and they’re in no particular order. Just songs that I find funny. And—I hasten to add—which are intentionally funny.

Funny songs from Hindi cinema

1. Aake seedhi lagi dil pe (Half Ticket, 1962): I am not one of those who finds men in drag funny. But this song, with Kishore Kumar masquerading as a village belle and Pran—the villain—as ‘her’ lover—is an utter delight. That delight derives not from the music or the lyrics (which would be a fairly straightforward love poem), but from the rendition and the picturization. Kishore sings, in what is probably a unique instance, a duet—rendering both the male part (in his regular voice) and the female (in a squeaky, high-pitched voice—which, I’ve read somewhere, was originally to have been sung by Lata).

Of particular note here are the expressions of the two actors. If you can imagine a real woman in Kishore’s place, that mischievous flirting, the coyness, the roothna—everything looks just right. Except that, because it’s Kishore, dancing in that exaggerated fashion, it suddenly becomes funny. And Pran is equally hilarious, what with that caveman-like pursuit of his lady love.
In my introduction to this post, I wrote that the song need not literally make me laugh out loud, but the end of this song actually did elicit a snort of laughter from me.

Aake seedhi lagi dil pe, from Half Ticket

2. Jungle mein mor naacha (Madhumati, 1958): I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Johnny Walker is my favourite Hindi film comedian. He’s brilliantly funny, and always in a wholesome, never-cringeworthy way. No wonder he had such a stellar career, even acting as the comic hero in several films. There are plenty of Johnny Walker songs, some of them quite funny too (more in this post), but of all of Johnny Walker’s funny songs, this is my favourite. As the village drunk who cribs about how everybody—instead of watching the beauty of the dancing peacock, or the girls who flirt and flit, or the corruption all around—only stares goggle-eyed at him. Such injustice!

Good lyrics, but what makes this song a hit for me is Johnny Walker’s acting, Rafi’s rendition (those slurred words, that drawl: oh, so tipsy!), and Salil Choudhary’s music. Not to mention the picturization itself, in which Bimal Roy (unless there was a separate director for the songs?) does a fabulous job of fitting Johnny Walker’s antics to the music.

Jungle mein mor naacha, from Madhumati

3. Daiyya yeh main kahaan aa phansi (Caravan, 1971): Instances of women acting the uninhibited madcap in Hindi films are few and far between—especially not women when they’re the heroine. But Daiyya yeh main kahaan aa phansi has Asha Parekh being a complete nutter. Supported by Jeetendra, Junior Mehmood, Surinder Kapoor, motley hens, and a large audience of shifty-eyed and shady-looking characters, she puts up a show. A show which involves much despairing of how on earth she’s ever going to get through this one, but she carries gamely on. Dancing about, dodging hens, wearing a lampshade on her head, swinging from a rope—all without missing a note. A delight.

Daiyya yeh main kahaan aa phansi, from Caravan

4. Paanch rupaiyya baarah aana (Chalti ka Naam Gaadi, 1958): Kishore Kumar again, and this time paired up with real-life sweetheart, Madhubala. This song’s a scream all the way through: a beautiful woman draws attention to her gorgeousness, and while her admirer concedes all of that, he keeps harping, too, on the money she owes him. Kishore’s dancing (especially in that bit about Majnu having to subsist on khoon-e-dil and lakht-e-jigar) is hilarious, the parodies are a hoot, and Kishore’s  lunatic hopping about in the last verse always cracks me up. And if Kishore’s totally uninhibited tomfoolery is delightful, so is Madhubala’s somewhat more contained but still clownish partnering of him. Oh, and I love the way she clutches gamely on to her handbag, no matter if she’s dressed up as princess or whatever. A brilliant song.

(Incidentally, it’s said that Kishore—before he came to Bombay and the film industry—used to study in an Indore college, where he’d run up a credit of Rs 5 and 12 annas at the college canteen. He never got around to paying it, but when this particular song came up in his career, he suggested that sum for the amount).

Paanch rupaiyya baarah aana, from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi

5. Lipstick lagaanewaale (Shrimatiji, 1952): Although the picturization of this relatively little-known song from Shrimatiji is amusing, what really makes me grin are the situation and the lyrics of it. Shyama and her three roommates, all of them in very dire straits (financially speaking) have been reduced to doing all their housework on their own—but take it on the chin. By singing as they work—singing of how those who used to jalaao dils are now jalaaoing choolhas, and those who used to chalaao teers are now chalaaoing karchhis. A lot of witty punning, of converting all the adaas and nakhraas of the quintessential Hindi film heroine into something as prosaic as housework.

Lipstick lagaanewaale, from Shrimatiji

6. Jodi hamaari jamega kaise jaani (Aulad, 1968): Not a very funny picturization (that exaggerated fast-forward dancing of Mehmood’s, à la Charlie Chaplin, along with the equally Chaplinesque look, irritates me no end). But the lyrics make up for it—and beyond. Not the pretty little ‘desi is good’ stuff sung by Aruna Irani’s character, but the ‘what a bombshell you’ll be if you turn non-desi’ proclamations of Mehmood. He’s persistent, he’s ungrammatical, and he’s funny. That  ‘Laao main kaat doon lambi-lambi yeh lat, tumko toh Heer se banna hai Juli-yat’, especially, always makes me grin.

Jodi hamaari jamega kaise jaani, from Aulad

7. Bade miyaan deewaane aise na bano (Shagird, 1967): Like Jodi hamaari jamega kaise jaani, another makeover song—but not ‘threatening’ a makeover, since the addressee of the song wants one. Joy Mukherjee, as the once-disciple of a misogynist, falls in love—and ends up, later, having to advise his old prof when he falls in love. This is the advice he gives: how to get spruced up and win the lady. Exercise, dress up well, straighten up the gait, sing a good song, and more.

What makes this song for me are the combination of lyrics—light-hearted and fun; the music; and—best of all—the picturization. The contrast between IS Johar and Joy Mukherjee is delightfully exaggerated, not just in the way they look, but also in the general demeanour. And IS Johar’s expression when his shagird sings ‘Mere labh par kab chhalkega tere labh ka jaam’ is priceless.

Bade miyaan deewaane, from Shagird

8. Arre na na na na tauba tauba tauba (Aar Paar, 1954): When you have Johnny Walker sing a romantic song, you can be pretty certain there’s going to be some element of clownishness even in it (with, perhaps, the exception of the very unusual Gareeb jaanke). Here, teamed up with real-life sweetheart and soon-to-be-wife Noor, Johnny Walker is in his element, coaxing his girlfriend into admitting that she loves him. They traipse about the zoo (while her little siblings get up to mischief and her mother—played by Tuntun—goes for a ride on an elephant). And they sing. The fun stuff here is especially in the lyrics: his promises to do anything for her—dig up the earth, climb trees and mountains—only draws derision: she wonders if these ursine and simian tendencies indicate non-human ancestry? And his hoping that she stays up at nights, her heart fluttering, only makes her retort that she’s perfectly well, thank you.

Arre na na na tauba tauba tauba, from Aar Paar

9. Meri pyaari Bindu (Padosan, 1968): Padosan is one of those films about which my opinion has changed over the years. As a child and a teenager I thought it very funny; now, I find much of it too OTT and stereotypical. It still, in parts, makes me grin, though the helpless giggles of my earlier years are a thing of the past.

This is one of the things that still makes me laugh: a song in which poor, naïve, inept but deeply in love Bhola is given some lessons in courtship by his friend, mentor and guru. Guru’s advice is simple: say it with a song (though, since Bhola can’t sing to save his life, that’s probably poor advice). But the lyrics still hold good—if Bindu, Bhola’s beloved, has a sense of humour. After all, which woman wouldn’t want to be called ‘mere maathe ki bindu, meri sindoori bindu’ (‘the dot on my forehead, my vermilion dot’)? And who wouldn’t be totally bowled over by the plea that ‘mere prem ki naiyya beech bhanwar mein gud-gud gote khaaye, jhatpat paar lagaa de’ (‘the boat that is my love bobs about, dub-dub, dub-dub, in a whirlpool; hurry up and save me’)?

The actions that accompany the crazy lyrics and the simple (very appropriate) music are equally funny: Kishore Kumar and Co. prancing about Sunil Dutt, who sits in the middle with that idiotic smile plastered on his face, dreaming of how his sweetheart will succumb to his charms…

Meri pyaari Bindu, from Padosan

10. Aa thha jab janam liya thha (Biwi aur Makaan, 1966): A somewhat recent entrant to my list of favourite funny songs, but one which makes it here by dint of funny lyrics coupled with a hilarious situation. Biswajeet and Keshto Mukherjee play the roles of two friends—from among a bunch of five—who are forced to act as women because their landlord refuses to rent out accommodation to single men: he only wants couples as tenants.

Bullied and cajoled by the more canny Mehmood, our heroes become heroines (and fairly convincing ones too), only to find, as time passes, that it is just too difficult a role to play day in, day out. The breaking point comes, and they crumple, complaining—in song. The lyrics are delightful: the ‘Mar gaya apna pant-coat jo dhota thha, reh gayi yeh petticoat dhoti hai’ (‘he who washed trousers and coats has died; the one left behind washes petticoats’) has a quick little pun woven in around the word dhoti, for example—and Mehmood’s reply to their song, ‘bore kare sasuri’—and his assertion that their song has driven off even the crows—is fun.

Notice that the picturization is really well done: for instance, when Keshto Mukherjee is first shown doing the laundry, he’s scrubbing the clothes absolutely in time to the music.

Aa thha jab janam liya thha, from Biwi Aur Makaan

Which are the songs that make you grin?

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103 thoughts on “Ten of my favourite funny songs

  1. Brilliant post, Madhu! Brilliant even by your usual high standards.

    One song comes to mind almost immediately. Slightly beyond your usual timeframe, but it never fails to have me in splits every time I listen to it. Maybe because, unlike what you rightly said about Padosan, it’s restrained, nowhere near OTT, notwithstanding the utter zaniness of the lyrics.

    Swapan Chakravorty – Pritam Aan Milo (Angoor, 1981)

    • Thank you, Abhik, both for the appreciation, and for the song (actually, even more for the song). Preetam aan milo is such a delight. Deven Verma is a hoot in Angoor, and so earnest about singing this. :-)

  2. And another one. This one’s all about unfettered nonsense, meanings to it philosophical or otherwise. Shows what Kishore could come up with when guided by a really good director (Kamal Mazumdar, no relation) and a good MD (Hemant Kumar). It’s a rip-off of Danny Kaye’s ‘On the Road to San Domingo’, but that’s beside the point.

    Kishore – Shing Nei Tobu (Lukochuri, 1956)

  3. I love all these songs. Will have fun listening to them in the evening.

    Here is one I really like. The sweet teasing romance between Nanda and Jagdeep was one of the best parts of Bhabhi.

    • Thank you, Ava! Yes, Tie lagaake maana ban gaye is a funny song. This film was so much fun till a point, and then it just went downhill and became so horribly melodramatic and weepy and full of self-sacrifice…

    • Yes, I had a hard time deciding between Hum thhe woh thhi and Paanch rupaiyya, too: especially since I make it a policy never to include two or more songs from the same film. I kept dilly-dallying till the end, and then decided on the latter – but the former does have a brief appearance on this post: the first screenshot is from it. Thanks for posting the song, Ava! I love it.

  4. My favourite is Paanch rupaiya baraah Anna – heard first time when seeing the movie on DD…fantastic list!
    I had things slightly outside the timeframe like
    Meri bhains ko danda (don’t know the picturization) but J Singh used to sing it in KL Saigal style to have us in splits.

    A particular fav, again outside the time frame, but this has happened to one sometimes!

    • I have to admit to a dislike for Thande-thande paani se. I don’t know why, but from the very first time I watched the movie (which must have been shortly after it was released), I didn’t like the picturisation. I think it’s the chaddis and Sanjeev Kumar’s paunch which put me off. ;-)

  5. What a lovely, lovely, lovely idea for a post, Madhu! This one had me smiling from the beginning. The only song I didn’t know was the one from Shrimatiji. Others have added some of the other songs that I like that fit this theme. This one’s way past your blog’s time-frame, but surely it would fit? (My name is Anthony Gonsalves)

    And this one from Chupke Chupke which always makes me smile:

    Shammi, of course – from Pagla Kahin Ka wondering why anyone would beat his buffalo.

    And can Dev be far behind – he and his topi from Funtoosh

    • I like all the songs you’ve posted, Anu – especially Geet pehle bana thha. That song is just so delightful, and even though the picturization is simple, it’s so well choreographed, and these two men are so good together… it all works brilliantly.

      Makes me want to watch Chupke Chupke all over again!

  6. A very good selection,especially songs 1to 4 and then again sl no 9. Wish u could include one more Johnny walker song like that from Musafirkhana or Baharein Phi bhi aayegi. What about the Gumnaam song of Mehmood Hum kale hai to kya hua which was almost a trend setter.

    • I have somehow never been able to warm to Hum kaale hain toh kya hua – and whatever liking I had for that song went even further down the drain when I bought the Gumnaam VCD (years ago, when DVDs had still not arrived in India) – only to discover that that was the only song that was retained in its entirety! I was so annoyed to find Jaan-pehchaan ho and Jaan-e-chaman shola badan (among others) ruthlessly edited at the cost of this song, that I’ve never really liked it much since. But Mehmood is hilarious in that film, and he gets some brilliant dialogues.

  7. Lovely post Madhu didi.. Loved all the songs :)
    Here are some songs which I thought were funny.
    Ek chatur naar kar kar shringar from Jhoola (1941)
    Mohe laga solva saal from Mashaal (1950)
    (this song is not technically funny but the lyrics are especially when Shamsad Begum says ‘haay badi zaalim hain saas meri moti’. You should hear it didi.) It does make me smile.

    Muskurate hue yun teer chalaya na karo from Bhanwara (1941). Again the lyrics and the way the song is sung make it funny.

    And finally, a song which I’m doubtful about but you should hear it didi
    Aji dil ho kaabu from Village girl (1945)

    A very subject selection didi.. I hope you don’t mind :)

    • Thank you, Rahul! And no, of course I don’t mind about your selection being subjective. I firmly believe that everybody is entitled to their own opinion, and the appreciation of any form of art is something very personal (quite literally that thing about beauty lying in the eye of the beholder). So, as long as people are not rude about disagreeing with me or with other commenters, it’s fine with me. :-)

      I loved Mohe lagaa solvaa saal. So much fun! And that line about the moti saas made me chuckle. So here it is:

      Muskuraate hue yoon teer chalaaya na karo struck me as more unintentionally funny than anything else.

      Aji dil ho qaabu mein is fun. This one – like Muskuraate hue… was new to me.

      • I think this song is intentionally funny didi especially when Ashok Kumar goes to bathe and then starts singing while shivering

        Another song which came to my mind is:
        Aana meri Jaan Sunday ke Sunday from Shehnai

        And lastly

        And thank you for those lines on personal choices didi.. They were very meaningful :)

        • The original Ek chatur naar from Jhoola is amusing. :-) I just wish it were longer…

          And thank you for adding both Aana meri jaan Sunday ke Sunday and Lara lappa – both are fun!

  8. Entertaining post Madhulika. One song I like from “Baharen phir bhi ayengi” is “Suno, suno Miss Chatterjee kya hai dil ka matterjee” which features Johnny Walker with an actress – probably the girl who plays Sargam in “Mera Saaya” & “Aaja meri jaan yeh hai June ka mahina, garmee hi garmee pasina hi pasina” with Mehmood & Aruna Irani in “Jawab”.

    • Yes, Suno suno Miss Chatterjee is fun, though if it comes to Johnny Walker-wooing-a-lady ‘funny songs’ (and there are so many of them, several of which had been on my shortlist), for me Jaane kahaan mera jigar gaya ji and Tu hi meri Laxmi would win in terms of sheer funniness.

      I didn’t recall hearing the Jawaab song before, but when I began listening to it, I realized I had heard it.

  9. Another brilliant idea for a list, Madhuji, and great selection, as always.

    A few more:
    “Meri patni mujhe satati hai” by Manna Dey, Surendra, and Johnny Walker, from Pati Patni (1966)

    “Main Baangaali chokra”, Kishore Kumar & Asha Bhosle, “Raagini”

    “Aiyaiya karoon main kya suku suku”, Mohd Rafi, Junglee

    “Charandas ko peene ki”, Kishore Kumar, Pehli Jhalak, 1954

    “Mere piya gaen Rangoon”

    “Sa sa sa re”, Naughty Boy

    • Thank goodness I had finished my coffee by the time I began watching Charandas ko peene ki… I had never heard or seen this before, and I loved it! The lyrics, the rendition, and Kishore’s dancing are absolutely hilarious. Thank you so much for this. :-) All the others you’ve suggested are good too, and it just makes me think: Kishore is perhaps very underrated as a comic actor. He has a huge fan following as a singer (and rightly so), but almost everybody seems to ignore him when it comes to comic acting. Johnny Walker, Mehmood, Rajendranath, Jagdeep – those are among the usual names, but I personally enjoy watching Kishore too, especially in the songs. He has an uninhibited quality that makes him lots of fun to watch.

      P.S. I hope you don’t mind. I removed your comment with the corrected URLs for the videos amd corrected the URLs in your original comment. Just to reduce the number of embedded videos in the page, because that increases the loading time of the page…

  10. Some of songs which make laugh/smile are
    1) Paanch rupaiya barah anna- Madhu and Kishore playful as usual
    2) Aey Baby idhar aa – Beautiful rendition, picturisation and acting.
    3) Daiyya ye main kahan aa phasi – Both the Ashas are impeccable
    4) Aa dance karein – what a clumsy dance!!! and ofcourse lyrics. The man in that song is irritating but Mumtaz is fine though her dance as stated earlier is clumsy.
    5) Maara gaya Bramchari – Chitralekha, a horrible movie but its songs are really classic. This particular song is somewhat unfit for this list even though there are some similarities for instance the lyrics and acting.
    6) a song with some South Indian words like mutthu jodi…
    There are many others also but right now only these are coming in my mind.

    • I have to admit I don’t mind Mumtaz’s dancing in Aa dance karein:

      … if one keeps in mind that there was a lot of this type of dancing for example in Aajkal tere-mere pyaar ke charche) in Hindi cinema at the time. That aside, though, I love the tune, and it is funny, especially Om Prakash and Manmohan Krishna doing all that lurking and looking scandalized…

      It’s been so many years since I watched Chitralekha, I’d forgotten about Ke maara gaya brahmchari. Yes, funny – and probably one of those rare instance of a period film that has a funny song.

  11. Nice post, with lots of good selections in the main part as well as the comments.

    Madhu, I was intrigued by your thought at the beginning about how a funny song could be too philosophical. Where does one draw the line? I think this one is rather philosophical:

    I don’t know how philosophical this next song is, because it doesn’t have subtitles. I know there’s a lot of discussion about birds… I didn’t get the appeal of this comedian, Charlie, the first couple of times I saw him, but I saw this song and he really started to crack me up – just his mannerisms, etc. Of course, he is another comedian who was influenced by Charlie Chaplin, but I think he has a pretty unique side, too…

    Should a funny song be disqualified if it has too much wonderful dancing? This one is actually hilarious.

    Quite a few of my favorite funny songs are dance songs. This is the funniest peacock dance:

    • Thank you, Richard! For the appreciation, and for the songs you’ve suggested. I think when it comes to philosophy versus humour, there can be an overlap. Sar jo tera chakraaye, I feel, is more philosophy than humour, though a lot of people – perhaps simply because it features Johnny Walker and his antics – tend to classify it as funny. Of course, if one doesn’t pay any attention to the lyrics and only goes by the picturization, it would be a funny song… which is about the case with the second song you’ve suggested, Udte hue panchhi. That was new to me; it looks hilarious, but the lyrics are fairly commonplace romantic.

      I think Kismat ki hawa kabhi naram is one of those examples of a song that manages to be philosophical as well as funny. The lyrics are funny, and Bhagwan does elicit a smile (although small) from me. :-)

      I think the dancing in Aaja toh aaja far outshines whatever (little) humour there is in the lyrics, the situation, and the acting – which is (for me) the same with Sunoji more rasiya. Yes, Sandhya does amuse me a little more than do Padmini and Vyjyanthimala, but she also tends to usually irritate me a good deal, so I’m caught in the middle of thinking she’s good, and thinking some of her expressions are just too over the top.

  12. Great post Madhu. I like funny songs but I realize it is much harder for a song to maintain that character over a period of time. Most of the songs you mentioned make that timelessness test. This is predominantly Kishore Kumar territory and yes Johny Walker is another one whose presence on screen is an automatic smile inducer….

    Few of my additions
    1. Cheel Cheel Chillake – Half Ticket – Kishore Kumar (half ticket was full of funny songs. Ankhon main tum ho is another super funny song)

    2. Khush Hain Zamana Aaj Pehli Tarikh Hai – Pehli Tarikh, 1954 (Kishore)

    3. Main Bumbai Ka Babu (Naya Daur – Rafi)

    4. Sabse Mehnagi Cheez Muhabbat (Anjan 1956 – Rafi)

    Paanch Rupaiya Parah Aana anecdote was very interesting. It is not hard to imagine that a person like Kishore can come up with songs like these instantaneously…

    • This is why I like doing song lists. They always introduce me to ‘new’ (if something more than 50 years old can be considered ‘new’!) stuff that deserves to be better known. Look at Sabse mehengi cheez; I had never heard it before, but it’s such a fabulous song. So good. Thank you especially for that, Ashish!

      Yes, I agree that a timelessness is what makes a certain song succeed as far as its comic element is concerned. I guess it’s a question of what is considered funny (pie in the face? blackface?) in one age becoming politically incorrect or at least tired and stereotyped in another.

      P.S. I hope you don’t mind. I removed your comment with the corrected URLs for the videos amd corrected the URLs in your original comment. Just to reduce the number of embedded videos in the page, because that increases the loading time of the page…

      • Thanks for fixing the links!

        There are so many good funny songs to chose from and I agree with you that what is considered funny can change over time. As long as the spirit of the act is not to laugh at anyone, I think it should pass the test..

        All line clear from Chori-Chori is not bad (I especially like what Rafi did with “line clear hai bhai…” where it matches exactly JW)

        Here’s one song from Aao Pyar Karen which as a song may not be funny (very melodious regardless) but the dialogues in between can be considered funny

        I rarely find anything in new songs funny but this one had something that I liked (the line “pani milena maro aisi jagah” I find very funny) – Action Replay 2010

        • All line clear was on my shortlist, and almost till the end, I was wondering: Should I include it? Should I not? Finally didn’t, but it’s a delightful little song nevertheless. I also love the look on Indira Bansal’s face the first time her husband refers to her as ‘tope ka gola :-)

          I have watched Aao Pyaar Karein, but so long back that the only thing I remember about it is the bullfight at the climax! Had forgotten all about this song, but the dialogues in between are funny.

          Zor ka jhatka was absolutely new to me. While talking about funny songs that are anti-shaadi, there’s Hum-tum jise kehta hai shaadi from Kaagaz ke Phool, with the inimitable Johnny Walker:

          • This lovely song provides welcome comic relief in the serious and heavy Kaagaz ke Phool. I love the way Johnny Walker says “Mr. Iyer, are you there?” I read somewhere recently that Rafi sang almost 150 songs for Johnny Walker. Amazing.

          • Hum-tum jise kehta hai shadi is such an awesome light song, isn’t it? I call these “emotional painkiller” which I think works well in the context of a serious movie like Kagaz ke phool.

  13. One of the all time best comedy songs I have heard so far is Beta samhal ke chalna from Mr JOHN superbly sung and enacted by Rafi & Johnny Walker. Then there is also one from Guru Dutt’s 12 oclock again on Johnny Walker. I also feel that there can be none to match him in delightful comedy with or without songs.

  14. There are two more delightful comedy songs one from BOY FRIEND Kyonji mujhe pehchana with Shammi Kapoor and from NIGHT IN LONDON Bagh mein phool kisne khilaye hai enacted by Johnny Walker , Biswajeet and Mala Sinha which I wish to name here.

  15. Madhuji,

    This post was enjoyable. Not only did I come across something new, even the comments were interesting. I did notice some that some fairly well known songs were missing. I am not saying that they deserve to be in the top 10. Only thing is that they are fairly enjoyable when you prefer light stuff.
    1. Phool gendwa na maro – Manna Dey singing for Agha in Dooj Ka Chand
    2. Pyar ki aag mein – Manna Dey singing for Mehmood in Ziddi
    3. Hai apna dil to awara – Hemant Kumar singing for Dev. May not be a very funny song but the situation in which Waheeda Rehman and her boyfriend are in and ribbed by Dev makes me chuckle.
    4. Main Bhookha Hoon – RD Burman and Mehmood singing for themselves in the horror comedy “Bhoot Bangla”.
    5. Pehli Taarikh Hai – The song which every Radio Ceylon fan is familiar with, from Pehli Taarikh.

    6. Husnwalon ko na dil do – Talat Mehmood singing for Dilip Kumar in Babul. The song starts of as a romantic one but the comical expressions of Munawar Sultana makes me laugh.
    7. Humein to loot liya milke husn valon ne – Ismail Azad Qawwal in Al Hilal. The only problem is that one should have a working knowledge of Urdu to enjoy this song. The lyrics are thoroughly enjoyable.
    8. Peene Walo Ko Peene Ka Bahana Chahiye – Kishore Kumar and Hema Malini are the singers here singing for Randhir Kapoor and Hema Malini who are portraying the roles of Devdas and Chandramukhi.

    • Thank you; glad you liked the post. :-)

      ” I did notice some that some fairly well known songs were missing.

      I think that’s because (as I mentioned in my introduction to the post, and as another commenter – Rahul Saran – and I discussed, the appreciation of humour is very subjective. What I may find funny could be something that doesn’t even elicit a smile from you, and vice-versa. But it’s always interesting to see what other people find amusing, and – as in some cases – you ‘discover’ songs (like the Charandas ko peene ki instance!) which enrich your life.

      I like some of the songs you’ve suggested – especially Hai apna dil toh awara and Humein toh loot liya – though I don’t find the first one funny, really.

  16. I know you don’t like men in drag, but some of the funniest songs have been featured on them. One is mentioned in your favourite “Jewellery” songs post “Nathania haale to bada mazaa ho” featured on Mehmood & I.S. Johar in “Johar & Mehmood in Hong Kong” (link below), in which Mehmood “becomes” a Sindhi woman, “Mrs.Hingorani” complete with a hideous wig & a “baazu bandh” ! And the other with the same twosome in “Johar, Mehmood in Goa” “Ooi, marr gayi Allah chhod de palla, baat badhegi mehfil mein” (Why was Shamshad Begum reduced to playbacking for men in drag as she does for Biswajeet also in “Kajra mohabbat waala”). The third song is one I couldn’t find on the net , but remember from the terrible movie “Dil ne phir yaad kia”, it features I.S. Johar in a flared Bhopali kurta & choodidaars as he hides from a guy while singing a song. He’s buried upto his neck in a stack of harvested wheat emoting with his eyes as they dart to & fro, it’s hilarious!

      • Mar gayi Allah chhod de palla was fine until Mehmood and IS Johar barged in. ;-) No, not amusing for me, but I can see why someone else would find it funny.

        I think the main reason I find men in drag unfunny is when the people they encounter seem to be so completely taken in by what is obviously a bad disguise. BIwi aur Makaan is an exception, because Biswajeet and Keshto Mukherjee are made up very convincingly. And Aake seedhi lagi is a class apart for the antics of Kishore and Pran.

    • Aaargh. :-D Mehmood as a ‘woman’ puts me off, to be honest. I find him distinctly unfunny, even though the dialogues in this clip from Johar Mehmood in Hong Kong are funny.

  17. Very interesting post with a great selection of funny songs! The comic song was an very important genre in Hindi films and is sorely missed today. Of course there is a plethora of funny songs picturised on Johnny Walker – here are two I’d like to mention (the first one is a bit philosophical but should qualify, I think, and the second one is unique in terms of naming many singers and music directors of that era):

    “Ek musafir ko duniya mein” from Door ki Awaaz

    “Ghoom ke aaya hoon main” from Basant

    Chalti Ka Naam Gadi had many funny songs, and this one features the three Ganguly brothers at their zaniest:

    “Babu samjho ishaare”

    Here is a funny song picturised on one of the finest comic actors, Om Prakash:

    “Chhuri ban kaanta ban” from Jaali Note

    This Kishore Kumar number has absolutely wacky lyrics – listen carefully:

    “Babu aana” from Jhumroo

    A song which showcases Dilip Kumar’s flair for comedy:

    “Saala main to saab ban gaya” from Sagina

    A madcap song featuring Raj Kapoor:

    “Worli ka naaka” from Do Ustad

    • Thank you! The only song here which was somewhat new to me was Worli ka naaka – I had heard it before, but hadn’t seen it. Such an infectious beat.

      And thank you, especially, for posting Babu samjho ishaare. That had been on my shortlist too, but got nudged out by the other song from Chalti ka Naam Gaadi. :-)

  18. Thanks for this post – I didn’t now one song, from Shrimatiji, it is very nice. All this songs (including mentioned in comments) were very well-timed because we have a little seasonal depression here:)
    You are absolutely right about Kishore – for me he was fantastic comedy actor and above it he could sing funny – not a lot of singers can make it. So I add another funniest Kishor song from Miss Mary Gana Na Aaya Bajana Na Aaya – he is amazing here both like vocalist and artist

    and another one Din Jawani Ke Char Yaar from Payar Kiye Ja

    I’m surprised that nobody posted an absolutely hilarious Dil Ki Umange Hain Jawan from Munimji – I suppose that Pran sung for himself and it is killingly funny

    Do Bichare from Victoria No. 203 is a bit out of your frames but it is very funny also.

    • Thank you, Anna! Yes, Kishore is delightful, isn’t he? I really must watch Miss Mary one of these days; I’ve heard lots of good things about it, and this song is so funny!

      Oh, yes: Dil ki umangein hain jawaan is funny. Nalini Jaywant and Dev Anand look as if they’re having a good deal of fun at Pran’s expense. :-) Actually quite ironic, considering the otherwise somewhat grim way the movie plays out… by the way, no, the song wasn’t sung by Pran himself. I’ve forgotten who sang playback for him, but I do remember it was a singer – we had an audio tape of Munimji songs when I was a teenager, and the singer’s name was listed on that. Will let you know if I remember.

      • Miss Mary is very lovely and lighthearted movie, I think you like it – as well as Lukochuri which sells two Kishores for the price of one:)

        I remember one more song – I’m not sure about text but the picturisation is definitively funny – Hum Ko Haste Dekh Zamana Jalta Hai from Hum Sab Chor Hain

      • The third singer is Thakur.
        i have CD of the movie, i mean audio CD, that mentions the singers as geeta dutt hemant da & thakur

  19. Funny songs, a difficult topic indeed! It happens to me many a times, that what I’d felt funny yesterday was not funny today anymore.
    And songs for to be funny, have to be funny on so many levels, it depends of the lyrics, the actors, the melody, the situation. Comedy is a serious business for sure!

    Love aake sidhi lagi. In fact there are hardly any funny Kishore songs, which I don’t find funny. Even love:
    ge ge geli zara timbuktu from Jhumroo

    jungle me mor naacha is nice, but not totally funny. Johnny Walker is surely one of the best comedian the Hindi cinema ever had.
    Good that you’ve included the Aar-Paar song as well. Even all line clear from Chori Chori with Johnny Walker makes me smile.

    daiyya ye main kahaan aa phansi is surely a difficult song to sing.

    paanch rupaiya barah aana is hott, but which song in Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi is not. Love all of them.

    lipstick lagaanewale was totally new for me. It surely is new. I hardly recognised Shyama in it. Who is bespectaled lady in it? She looks like Tabassum, but she was a
    child actress in 1952.

    jodi hamari banega kaise jaani, eh? one of my cousins used to sing it as, ‘paad maro saiyaan, ban jao hindustani’.

    “Padosan is one of those films about which my opinion has changed over the years. As a child and a teenager I thought it very funny; now, I find much of it too OTT and stereotypical. It still, in parts, makes me grin, though the helpless giggles of my earlier years are a thing of the past.”
    Agree totally!!!! And meri pyaari bindu is a hoot!

    Other songs, which I find funny are, and which I can remember and are not Johnny Walker of Kishore Kumar songs:
    lara lappa lara lappa laayi rakhda

    dil ka hal sune dilwala from Shree 420

    And this one, which always makes me laugh out loud, particularly the part Anupam Kher singing yaho yahoo and chahe mujhe koi jungle kahe to the tune of babul mora nahiyar.

    and of course, meri jaan, meri jaan sunday ke sunday, mere piya gaye rangoon

    And since you don’t like men in drag songs, I will not mention any, but only give the link to my list. ;)
    https://harveypam.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/men-who-are-not-afraid-to-be-a-woman/

    • Thank you, Harvey! (and, oh, how I wish you hadn’t told me that parody your friend made of Jodi hamaari… now I will never forget that!) I don’t know, either, who the Tabassum-like actress in Shrimatiji was. Wondered back then when I reviewed the film, still wondering…

      So glad you suggested Dil ka haal sune dilwaala – I had that on my shortlist too, and even though I eventually didn’t include it, I like the somewhat different type of humour in this song: satire is somewhat less common than slapstick in Hindi cinema, at least back then.

      The Lamhe medley is funny, even though I am not a Sridevi fan (or an Anupam Kher one). :-)

      I revisited your ‘men-in-drag’ songs post, saw the first screenshot and exited straightaway! :-D Shudder.

      • Sorry about … ban jao hindustani. :D
        And a bigger sorry for including the links for lara lappa and all line clear. I only saw later that the songs have already been mentioned. You can delete the links, if you want, since that would help to load the page faster.
        :)

        • “And a bigger sorry for including the links for lara lappa and all line clear. I only saw later that the songs have already been mentioned

          Arre, no problem. There are so many comments here, it’s a little too much to expect someone to read the post, and read all the comments!

    • Hehe. There was a time this used to be very popular – I heard it all over the place (and always found it funny), but had never seen it before. Thanks for that. :-)

  20. and in a very subtle way, i think this is light-hearted too , if you see it in the context of its picturisation
    Apni toh har aah ik toofan hai from Kala Bazaar

    • Yes, this is a subtly funny song – but it’s important to know the context. In fact, Apni toh har aah ek toofaan hai was one song I mentioned when explaining to someone who asked me why I always impose this rule on myself that all songs I list must be from films I’ve seen. This, like Manzil wohi hai pyaar ki, is a song that’s actually quite different from what it seems at first glance (though if you pay close attention to the acting, you can see here what’s not being said).

  21. An iconic one (for an entire generation i suspect), i guess you could call it light-hearted funny . Pyaar Humein Kis Mod pe le Aaya from Satte pe Satta

  22. and a new one, quite hilarious actually (and an OTT Kiron Kher) . Ma da Laadla from Dostana; well picturised given the context

  23. I have my own list of funny song but that I will post later, but how about a bit of trivia to go with your post? nothing new though, I have mentioned these at some time or the other.
    The Madhumati song, you were wondering whether Bimal Roy or someone else was responsible for the picturization. Back then it was the director who called the shots, the choreographer only choreographed. Some years after my father passed away I was shocked to learn from cinematographer Kamal Bose that choreographers directed the songs and the action directors the fight scenes, the film’s director did not bother to step into the sets. Another bit about the Madhumati song, Bimal Roy was thinking of editing out this song as the film was getting too long. My father told Roy not to do so as Johnny Walker was a very popular comedian and the audience was bound to enjoy this song.
    The Caravan song, well in a TV interview, Asha Parekh who is an accomplished dancer said that while doing this song, she really felt daiyare main kahan aa phansi, because pretending not to know how to dance despite being a dancer was tough on her.
    My parents loved the bindure bindure song and they wondered why it was not on the film’s record. Once we were having dinner at a restaurant when my father noticed R.D. Burman dining with his wife. My father decided to ask him, he then told my father that the song was not recorded in a studio, it was decided on the sts, Kishore Kumar wrote the lyrics and composed it and it was picturzed. Those days since films were not dubbed, such a thing was possible.

    • So we have your father to thank for Bimal Roy retaining Jungle mein mor naacha? Wow, thank goodness! That is (as you already know, from this post) one of my favourite songs, and it’s also one of my favourite Johnny Walker songs – so much fun.

      I had heard about Asha Parekh having difficulty pretending she couldn’t dance, but I hadn’t known that anecdote about Meri pyaari Bindu. That’s quite impressive, actually.

      • I am posting two Kishore Kumar songs, both in Bengali, these are not film songs. These two songs were two of his earliest non-film Bengali songs. I remember when these were launched my father made a beeline to the record store to buy the records. These were singles, you know the good old 78rpm of the good old days, on one side there was one of these funny songs and on the other was a serious song sung by Kishore Kumar. The music was composed by R.D.Burman. He later used the compositions of the serous songs in Hindi, the songs are tum bin jaaoon kahan and yeh sham mastani. If you could understand the words you would enjoy them more. Kishore Kumar took a line from bom chik bom chik bom and inserted it in ek chatur naar, you have to listen very carefully to both the songs to be able to understand which line it is.

        The other song baba khoka is a duet representing father and son both being sung by Kishore Kumar.

        • What delightful songs, Shilpi! Okay, I have to admit my Bengali is too rickety for me to understand more than a couple of words here and there in both songs, but even Kishore’s rendition is so funny, it makes me laugh even if I don’t understand anything. Thank you. :-)

  24. What a fun theme, Madhu! My funny bone thanks you. I giggled all the way through the post and the comments and have now reached the point where just looking at Kishore or Jhonny Walker’s face makes me breakout in a smile.

    Here’s another silly number from Kishore, this time from the movie “Bandhi” on a topic after my own um, stomach – food. :-D

    Ek roz hamari bhi dall galegii

    And because it’s nice to see women cutting loose for a change, here’s a zany one from the 70s film “Dil Deewana.” Asha’s rendition of “sun mere bandhu re” always cracks me up.
    (OT – was very happy to see the “Shrimatiji” song in your list. I really liked the film).

    Main ladki tu ladka

    • Heh. I have just finished making some dal parathas for my daughter, so all that stuff about dal, atta, mirchi, etc made me grin even more than they would have otherwise! I’d never heard this one before, Shalini – but, oh, what an utterly delightful song! I loved it so much that I have already sent off links to a couple of people I know will like it. :-)

      And the second song was new to me, too. Quite loony, and much fun.

      “(OT – was very happy to see the “Shrimatiji” song in your list. I really liked the film).

      Same here. That film – along with Dholak – deserves to be better known than it is.

  25. Fab post Madhulika. Agree to all.
    3 more songs I might add to the list are
    1. Jaane kaha mera jigar gaya ji. Johnny Walker is really funny in it.
    2. CAT maney billi RAT maney chuha. Kishore kumar antics!!!
    3. Merey piya gayein rangoon. I find the expression of Bhagwan in the telephone scene extremely funny.

  26. I want to add three songs. one is of vinod khanna singing priy praneshwari hridyeshwari agar aap humey aadhesh karey toh prem ka hum shri ganesh karey. its funny song with girls troubling vinod khanna and his dhoti. song is from hum tum aur woh. another one is of kishore kumar jai govindam jai gopalam where he describes all actors of 70s. and does funny dance. like dancing towards girl even if he is a pandit. i also like parody in haseena maan jayegi with shashi ji dancing in girl get up and its absolute joy. want to say even if some songs that even if they are not funny they make me laugh like gulabi aakhey jo teri dekhi dancing running around trees and in jab chali thandi hwaa. music starts girls start dancing in rhythm it makes me laugh.

  27. Oh Madhu! This was hilarious- Half Ticket is my all time favourite Kishore Kumar film and that the song from that film topped the list just made my day. So is Chalti Ka Naam Gadi, though I prefer ‘Hum the woh the aur samaan rangeen’, also because my two brothers used to enact it as teenagers while discussing their love lives, screaming, ‘Oh Manu tera hoa ab mera kya hoga!’
    I love all these songs and most of those mentioned in the comments too. My addition is ‘O meri maina’ from Pyaar Kiye Jaa.
    Post more on funny songs, oh please do!

    • Simrita, so glad you liked the post – and how could I have forgotten O meri maina! What a delightful song that is. I guess familiarity with it made me forget about it – it’s among my daughter’s very favourite songs, so we end up listening to it at least a couple of times daily. :-)

      Hehe. That anecdote about Hum thhe woh thhi – I can just imagine! I was really torn between this song and Paanch rupaiyya baarah aana – couldn’t decide which one to include (and I always do only one song per film). But as you can see from the first screenshot, I did pay a small tribute to it.

      Oh, I can’t think of any more funny songs! But do have a look through the comments – there are some absolutely fabulous ones listed there, including a hilarious Kishore Kumar one about Ek din hamaari bhi daal galegi, which cracked me up. It’s a treasure. :-)

  28. Hi Madhu. I found this blog while navigating through Anu’s and noticing your comments on her blog. And its no wonder, since you both blog about my favorite era of movies and music! What a delightful post! Love “Aake seedhi lagi”, “Meri pyari Bindu” (about all I like of this movie!), “Main sitaron ka tarana” and the Johnny Walker songs. I’d like to add one more zany Kishore Kumar song from Aansoo aur muskaan. Its priceless especially at the end when bhakt Kishoram begins the “chalchitra ki katha”! :))

    • Hi Supriya, welcome to my blog, and thank you for commenting! I’m so glad you liked these songs. :-) I had forgotten about Guni jaano bhaktjanon, even though I have seen Aansoo aur Muskaan. Kishore is a hoot!

  29. I’ll add two more to the list curated here (from comments and the post) – Eena Meena Deeka (both versions – Kishore Kumar’s fun antics and Vyjanthimala doing a Chaplin).

    The second is Gentleman, Gentleman from Gopi (which can be like the transformation songs you talk about). Find this song entertaining for two reasons – funny lyrics and Dilip Kumar’s outfit

    • Yes, Eena meena deeka is great fun, both versions. And Gentleman gentleman, my parents tell me, used to be a huge favourite of mine when I was a toddler. Along with Saala main toh sahab ban gaya. :-D

  30. hi, one song i want to add

    Khali pili kahe ko akhha din bomb marta hai from tamasha
    can u believe, the lyrics are by bharat vyas!

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