Comedy in Pakistan ranges from the bhaand to the highbrow: from Khalid Abbas Dar to Shafiq ur Rehman to Omer Sharif and Moin Akhtar to Anwar Maqsood and Ibn e Insha. You gotta love a joke if it’s in Urdu, which is a language that can politely take down the loftiest to make an otherwise polite event sound absolutely scandalous.
While we’ve had other comics for what we will loosely dub a younger generation, it is with the opportunity to create digital content that local comedy finally has a permanence it didn’t before. Whom are we laughing at today (in a good way!)? The present, and hopefully, the future of comedy in Pakistan. Instep is proud to present some of the brightest, funniest voices on the local comedy circuit today:
Usman Mazhar is an actor, a stand-up comic and a math teacher. He has performed theater and stand-up comedy across Pakistan and can also be seen in various TV shows and commercials.
Akbar Chaudry is a stand-up comedian from Karachi. He’s been closely involved with the comedy scene in the city and also leads the improvisational comedy troupe, LOLWaalay, in addition to performing internationally, having toured the UAE, KSA and most recently, USA. However, ever since the pandemic started, his focus shifted to digital content with his weekly series Ranty Ronay which was well-received by online audiences. Previously, he hosted a morning show on a local channel, Chai Toast aur Host and has taught improv and performing arts at the Institute of Business Management. Akbar also has a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering. His knowledge of aerodynamics helps him ensure his jokes don’t drag..
Ammar Zaidi, a multi-talented individual, is a writer, stand-up comedian, and digital creator who has made his mark in the comedy world. With over five years dedicated to perfecting his craft, he has worked for his passion wholeheartedly, even turning his BBA degree into comedic material.
Ammar’s storytelling skills and the ability to craft relatable stories allows him to create a strong bond with his audience. He has performed on platforms like Maansals, Tapmad, and Laughter After Iftar, showcasing his versatility across various stages.
Over the past few years, Ammar has dedicated his efforts to developing an online presence through his digital content and has successfully built his audience there as well.
Notably, his collaborations with prominent brands such as Daraz have refined his livestream hosting skills, elevating his presence in the digital world.
A proud highlight in his career is his participation in Shapatour, where he joined forces with fellow renowned comedians, bringing laughter to cities like Multan, Faisalabad, and Peshawar. Their shows marked a milestone as the first comedy show in these cities.
Distinguished by his street smartness, Ammar infuses his unique perspective into his comedic material. This particular perspective adds an extra layer of authenticity to his performances, which is why watching him perform often feels like a meet up with an old friend. For a Karachiite, Ammar Zaidi’s performances definitely feel like home.
Hassaan Bin Shaheen is a writer, lawyer, performer and content creator.
His background in law and comedy has allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the interplay between creative and critical thinking. Hassaan won the Public Speaking Championship in 2015 at the World’s University Debating Championship. Hassaan has trained employees of Karachi Electric, fellows at DICE for the British Council, and has worked within various consulting roles with Unilever. Most recently he was the writer of the Lux Style Awards in 2022, which had a TRP rating of 7.8, one of the highest for the show.
As a creative professional Hassaan is a stand-up comedian, who has performed in multiple cities in Pakistan and has performed on the US and UK comedy circuits. His series White Vloggers met critical acclaim across the border and was covered by various news outlets.
His comedy and music can be found on his channels under his name across all social media and streaming platforms.
Meet Syed Muhammad Kumail, the multi-talented performer and educator who is taking the world by storm! With a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA under his belt, Kumail has an impressive professional background in installing gas turbines in the rugged deserts of Balochistan, Pakistan.
But that’s just the beginning of Kumail’s story. He’s also an accomplished actor, improvisational comedian, and stand-up comic who has been wowing audiences with his quick wit and hilarious characters for years. He’s a key member of Pakistan’s longest-standing improv troupe LOL Waalay, bringing laughter and joy to crowds all over the country.
As if that wasn’t enough, Kumail is also a talented singer of Eastern classical music, with a voice that can transport you to another world. His passion for the arts extends to his work as a physics and math teacher, where he uses his creativity and performance skills to make complex concepts accessible and fun for his students.
If you’re looking for a fun and engaging way to learn about physics, look no further than Kumail’s YouTube channel, Bhin Physic. Through his entertaining character-based lessons, Kumail makes even the most daunting topics approachable and entertaining. With his boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm, Syed Muhammad Kumail is a force to be reckoned with in the worlds of comedy, education, and beyond!
Ali Abdullah is an IT graduate and supply chain professional. He has proven himself to be an accomplished comedian and digital content creator. He performed for various stand-up comedy platforms including Mansaals and The Circus, Mangal Madness, Tapmad and Nashpati Prime where he left his audience in fits. Recently, he did his first international show in Dubai, which was a huge hit.