Moin Akhtar: Greatest
By Anis Ahmed Shakur
Rise to your feet! The funniest man of our time has exhaled happiness into our air.
A variety show was held in Karachi on September 6, 1966, defense day of Pakistan.
Numerous artists presented their items, including Nihal Abdullah, Taj Multani, Rubina Badar.
A skinny youth by the name of Moin Akhtar also stepped up on the stage and entertained the audience with sound
Additionally, he also copied the voice and gestures of various Pakistani luminaries including Mohammad Ali.
The public who were all wearing smiles chanted: ‘Once more, once more”.
People felt power in that boy’s voice. He acted with confidence. There was a strange, enchanting way he conducted
Defense day was a celebration of people who have lifted our nation’s pride.
The show ended amidst incessant clapping. Moin was ambitious but implacably determined to build a new world.
That September night he must have dreamed a mighty dream and in a few dedicated years made it come true.
In his teens, Moin was highly talented and – by dint of desire and hard work—was thriving ahead of
his compatriots. His voice holds the power to gladden mortal hearts and his singular appearance and etiquette persists to
Between 1966 and 1975, Moin performed in hundreds of shows. In the 1970s, face everyone knew.
Memorable among his public appearance was a show held at the Beach Luxury Hotel, sponsored by the Singer industries.
Equally impressive was another musical evening also hosted by the Singer company, in which Moin entertained the public both
as a comedian and the host.
However, fans remember Moin’s true legacy—his comedy and that is a huge plus. When Urdu speaking people
the world over, think of popular comedy, Moin is what they think of first.
His innumerable achievements have dwarfed the most ambitious comedians in the past three decades. To think of Moin
after so many accomplished years is to visualize life and humor.
The Pakistani nation in general and experts in particular have never come across anybody like him, not even close.
A passionate voice, a magnetic stage presence and fans like Dilip Kumar, have brought international acclaim to this dynamic
comedian of the Indo-Pak subcontinent.
All these years his passion for stage never ebbed. He has been flexible from day one. The secret of his success
is that he remains open to change, Professionally and Personally.
As an artist of highest repute, he is demanding in his discipline. With artists like Moin, it is often hard to
tell where the screen persona end and the civilian life begins.
Truth be told, Moin soon became the heart throb of millions of people around the globe. He set a standard of style
and substance that all of his successors admired.
The spirit of self-reliance that his elders had taught him carried Moin though every performance. Moin, an ambassador of goodwill, captivated the hearts of his adorers with dignity, love and laughter.
The image of this greatest Pakistani comedian is imprinted on the retinas of every fan. So dominating are the accomplishments
of Moin that his admirers can not think about any other entertainer.
In the early eighties, he achieved tremendous success as host of a show, held in Dubai. Literally speaking, there
is no sphere of the Pakistani society, which Moin has not copied, through his parody. From the role of a poor beggar to the
character of the highest ranking bureaucrat, Moin has filled in the role of every single being.
What more could Moin wish for, when the greatest Indian actor, Dilip Kumar, himself passed these comments: ‘Moin
Akhtar’s great artistry is worth copying.
That Moin continued to work as an individual artist on what was, in fact, a group feat of organizers, is presumably
the secret of his potency.
Today, thirty eight years after his first performance, the wistful magic of Moin gives him an aliveness uncommon
in the Pakistani entertainment.
An average Moin fan cannot easily explain the wellsprings of his art. It seems that it comes from within.
Moin found a perfect unanimity of tone with his colleagues, particularly Shoaib Mansoor and Anwer Maqsood. Moin,
whose life and achievements inspired others, is all sweetness and light and on top of that has never let down his fans.
His wit and wisdom took his fame to every nook and corner of this world. All his shows have an enduring quality.
Most importantly, he never lost his power to inspire, entertain and even change lives.
From’ pilot Yaqoob’ of ‘Buddha ghar per hai’ to ‘Seth Manjoor’ in ‘Such
Much’: ‘Kaan Aap ki phemli kidar hai’, his ability to devote unswerving attention to his task produced success
in his field.
His parody in English, Urdu, Sindhi, Bengali, Punjabi, Memon, Pushto, Gujrati and many other dialects distinguish
him from all other entertainers. He was apt to be successful in Haseena Moin’s television comedy play, ‘Eid train’: ‘Bhabi samosa khayia’ and numerous other programs like
‘Studio Ponay teen’, ‘Show time’, ‘Half plate’ and ‘Excuse me’.
Moin, an adornment to the entertainment world, is a gift that keeps on giving: His parody of a Bengali film director
, Silver Jubilee in 1983: ‘Mubeen Aktar, kaum chahiye’. Is yet another example of the poise and intelligence he
In the process he transformed his life into an exciting adventure that constantly challenges, rewarded and rejuvenated
him. His parody of a bus driver in Pushto accent, ‘Aur aik baat hum bhi bata dayta hai’, is yet another instance
of his artistry.
Moin, the jewel of the Pakistani film, radio, television, stage and music, whose eyes smile with the joy of today,
the promise of tomorrow, said: ‘I have confidence in my own abilities.’
Moreover, he has such good judgment and intuition, that he rarely makes a wrong decision. Majority of Pakistanis
believe that had there been an artist of Moin’s caliber in U.S.A. then the American people would have carved his statues
and the U.S. postal service would have issued stamps of Moin Akhtar.
In fact, Moin has raised his God gifted talents to compere and act to a point where no other actor will be able
to reach in the next hundred years. Further, what distinguish Moin from other comedians is his par excellence—comedy
of the highest quality.
Furthermore, Moin is the only host in the annals of the Pakistani showbiz, who had the honor to be the host of
maximum number of shows in which the head of states from both Pakistan and abroad were invited:
He was the host of the show in which King Husain of Jordan was invited.
He was the host of the show in which the Prime minister of Gambia, Dawoodi-Al-Joza, was invited.
He was the host of the show in which President Zia-ul-Haq was invited.
He was the host of the show in which Prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was invited.
He was the host of the show in which President General Yahya Khan was invited.
He was the host of the show in which President Ghulam Ishaq Khan was invited.
Apart from that, he was the host of the Imran Khan show, Dilip Kumar
show and Madhuri show.
During Imran Khan show, Raza Murad of India, paid tributes to Moin in these words: ‘Moin is to stage as Imran
Khan and Sunil Gavaskar are to cricket and Dilip Kumar is to the films.’
This is how Moin differentiates between a host and an actor: ‘Actor is like the passenger of the plane, while
host is the captain of the plane’. The success and failure of the show, according to Moin, depends on the host.
Moin Akhtar was the host of the sixth Pakistan television award show, while Shoaib Mansoor wrote and directed that
show. Generally speaking, sixth Pakistan television award show is considered the best award ceremony ever held.
Additionally, Moin believes that Anwer Maqsood is the best writer
he has ever seen. The latter leaves no margin to add or edit the script. Besides, Moin himself has written a lot for programs,
but used the names of other writers.
He maintains that if he concentrates on writing, then he will be unable to do justice as an actor and a compere.
Moin worked in the film ‘Taaj daar’. He also appeared
in the film ‘Mr. K-2.’
Talking of music, Moin is also a very good singer. Years ago numerous songs were recorded in his voice, which were
originally sung by Ahmed Rushdi.
Moin is the master of parody. In the past thirty eight years, he has copied the voice and gestures of thousands
of artists, including Mohammad Ali, Waheed Murad, Mehdi Hasan, Ahmed Rushdi and many more.
He appeared in various Pakistan television programs. Most prominent among them was ‘Rozi’. While playing
the role of ‘Miss Rozi’, his craftsmanship seemed effortless. He also worked in numerous stage shows from Lahore,
The entire Pakistani nation had prayed for his health and longevity, when he was admitted to the cardiac hospital,
after suffering a heart attack.
He hosted the Pakistan television show on the ‘Martyrs of Kargil’ He interviewed the son of a Kargil
martyr. Everyone in the audience became very emotional as the child replied that following the footsteps of his father, he,
too, desires to achieve martyrdom to uphold the honor of his country.
The public were remarkably quiet and reflective. With tears in his eyes, Moin concluded the show with these words:
‘Who could defeat this nation whose innocent little children have so much love and devotion for their country’.
While Moin is in our midst, one has to admit that there will never be another Moin, that is for sure.
Most of all, triumphs of the
human spirit keeps reminding us that there is hope and there is wisdom.