From Asrani in Seeta Aur Geeta to Abhishek Bachchan in Salaam Namaste: 5 pricelessly funny cameos in Hindi Cinema

Cameos are a two-way street in Hindi cinema. The artiste may come in because of his or her star-status, dancing ability, mastery at enacting songs, being a great villain, or playing himself. Or the cameo may be of the blink-n-miss kind.

It is rightly believed that comedy is the most difficult part of acting. The latest but not the least funny cameo came with Kunal Kemmu, making a balmy appearance as a lost soul in his own directorial debut, Madgaon Express. He is first seen at a beach café in Goa and is responsible for the mad shenanigans in which the three heroes of the film get embroiled, thanks to a spiked substance he hands over to them. He is next seen in the last scene in the film, which is no less nutty!

It is exhilarating to move back memory lane to pinpoint 5 absolutely hilarious cameos in Hindi cinema. They remain immensely rib-tickling, if not uproarious!

Asrani in Seeta Aur Geeta (1972)
Those who remember this blockbuster cannot have forgotten this howlarious Asrani sequence right in the beginning, where he plays an obstetrician summoned on a rainy night in a sequence wherein a woman (who ultimately gives birth to Seeta and Geeta!) is on the verge of delivery. The doctor, who wears a hat and is both whimsical and absent-minded, is forever laughing and does so even when he finds that by the time he reaches his patient, she has already delivered! His unceasing laugh continues as he refuses his fees, then pockets them and almost leaves without his medicine chest!

Om Puri in Awara Pagal Deewana (2002)
Om Puri’s gangster act in the beginning of this caper sees the seasoned don recounting a scene that has just happened between his lawyer and him. He then has a sudden heart attack and when he is actually in agony, his associates ‘enjoy’ what they think is his terrific imitation of his ‘victim’. A screwball hospital sequence follows before he passes on.

Abhishek Bachchan in Salaam Namaste (2005)
Abhishek Bachchan’s mad act as the gynecologist in Salaam Namaste has no parallels and brought the house down in the climax of this romantic comedy featuring Saif Ali Khan and Preity Zinta. His comic timing, combined with that of Saif and Preity, made it easily one of the funniest sequences of all time.

Vinay Apte with Arshad Warsi and Jaaved Jafferi  in Dhamaal (2007)
Nothing can beat this whacky sequence of a South Indian cabbie in Goa informing his passengers Arshad Warsi (as Aditya) and Jaaved Jafferi (as Manav) about his long overall name, adding one word at a time! The late Vinay Apte’s genius lay in his effortless fluency even as the convoluted South Indian names he rattles off became more and more complicatedly long each time!

Aditya and Manav ask him how long they will take to reach Goa, and the cabbie replies that they will reach by the time introductions are complete. All Manav does is innocently ask him, “And your good name please?” and Vinay replies, “Iyer. Venugopal Iyer. Muthunswamy Venugopal Iyer…” and then goes on to add one name at a time to finally reach to “Prabhakarn Shriperavardhana Attapatu Jaisurya Laxman Shivramkrishna Shivavenkata Rajashekhar Shrinivasan Trichapally Ikaparam Pila Perambdur Chinnaswami Muthuswami Venugopal Iyer” before a frustrated Aditya screams at him to stop! By that time, the goggle-eyed Manav’s expression is simply priceless! And the climax is of the cabbie informing them that this is only his pet name!

Nana Patekar in Golmaal Again (2017)
In the plot of the film, Nana Patekar makes a brief cameo as Nana himself, an irascible star who is irritated by the babble of voices of the protagonist heroes who are wondering how to convince the villain about the existence of a spirit. All he wants, he scolds them, is some peace in the vicinity! Of course, Nana’s voice was also given to the mute (!) Tusshar and Shreyas Talpade, when both are possessed by a ghost speaking Nana’s iconic dialogues from various films!

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