The Funniest Fifty-Fifty Skits Ever?

Posted on November 26, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Humor, TV, Movies & Theatre
Total Views: 100873


Adil Najam

Some time back I had done a post with the title: Fifty-Fifty: The Best PTV Show Ever and included a clip from the show. The show was loosely based on Saturday Night Live and was the brainchild of Shoaib Mansoor and Anwar Maqsood, with the starring brilliance of Majid Jehangir, Ismail Tara and Zeba Shahnaz. It generated some interesting discussion and much nostalgia. Although not everone agreed it was the best show ever, there was a general sense that it had to be ‘amongst the very best.’

Today we bring you two clips from Fifty-Fifty, which may well be amongst the very best that the show ever offered, and may be amongst the best comedy skits even produced for Pakistan Television. The first of these skits may well be the iconic skit that defined the show in many memories; certainly mine. To those not familair with the Fifty-Fifty mystique or with the music of the time this may not seem all that funny, but when these were first telecast the whole country – quite literally – were talking about them. Enjoy.

22 Comments on “The Funniest Fifty-Fifty Skits Ever?”

  1. November 26th, 2006 12:40 am

    These were classic. And Adil, people were doing more than just talking about it :). I have embarassing pictures of myself dressed up in Michael jackson clothes and dancing at a school tableau. The funniest part is that i am sure we did not have access to MTV etc then so I had not seen the video, and clearly even though my dress was copied from photographs of Michael Jackson, the dance must have been copied from Ismail Tara. Oh, how I would love to have a video copy of that!

  2. November 26th, 2006 12:50 am

    Bilal, yes that was well before we had MTV. One of the impacts of having MTV is that now the parody can also go the other way… so it no longer has to be Ismail Tara lipsyncing to Michael Jackson, now you can also have Michael Jackson dancing to a Pushto song (from Rahim Shah)!

  3. November 26th, 2006 1:21 am

    [quote post="439"]and was the brainchild of Shoaib Mansoor and Anwar Maqsood,[/quote]

    Sorry it was not between Shaoib Mansoor and AM only. The half or less episodes were produced by late Mohsin Ali as well. That’s other thing one could make a difference between work by mohsin and shoaib. No doubt shoaib sahib is a genius guy and his last drama Alpha BRavo Charlie is still the most modern drama in the history of PTV due to camera techniques he used to shoot different stunts.

  4. Daktar says:
    November 26th, 2006 1:48 pm

    These clips are truly classic stuff. Especially the first one. I agree, that may be the best ever. Like the very best of comedy, it needs no words and is timeless. There is some new TV comedy now but it has a tendency to go overboard and become uncouth. The great thing about both these clips is that even if you have seen it before, you still enjoy the surprise at the very end. Thanks for putting this.

  5. November 26th, 2006 2:12 pm

    Folks, do not know where else to post this, so will do so here.

    ‘Urdu Talk Radio Chicago’ – name is self explanatory – is right now talking about this blog ( on their weekly Urdu show. I just found out and tuned in to the show online here. (Every Sunday 1- 3pm CST) (2-4pm EST) (11am-1pm PST).

    I am told that you can also leave comments for them or find information on them at or call at 847-475-1555 (56, 57).

    Amongst the issues being discussed today is teh tragic fire that just consumed part of Devon Street in Chicago, including the famous Sabri Nihari.

  6. shbn says:
    November 26th, 2006 3:29 pm

    Ahh, the famous “Disco Chor”!! I found quite a few Fifty Fifty clips on Google video and YouTube. Thanks to these websites, we can still enjoy these classics wherever we are.

    But it’s a shame that I was unable to find PTV classics like these at video stores in lahore. I was there for two weeks and didn’t have a lot of time to go looking. Does anyone know a good website where I can order them??

  7. Owais Mughal says:
    November 26th, 2006 4:09 pm

    Fifty Fity to date remains my favourite program ever to be produced by PTV :) thanks for sharing these videos

  8. TURAB says:
    November 26th, 2006 8:17 pm

    some user by the name of princeali85 has loaded more then 60 short clips on . Kudos to him

  9. Mutazalzaluzzaman Tarar says:
    November 26th, 2006 9:21 pm

    My top three sketches would be “Basheera In Trouble”, Ismaeel Tara dancing to “one way ticket to the moon” in a lacha, and the “Mutazalzaluzzaman Tarar” sketch.

  10. Haathi says:
    November 26th, 2006 9:55 pm

    Another funny one was where Ismail Tara is dresseed as a cowboy and enters a saloon with the theme music from Shane playing in the background. No words are spoken. Tara sits at a table and starts sipping chai but is clearly displeased with what he tastes. The music and his expression turn ominous as he walks toward the counter with the keeper visibly scared. Tara points his gun at the keeper. The keeper starts taking cash (played by blank colored pieces of paper) out from under the counter. Tara disapproves. The keeper takes out some more cash. Tara still disapproves. The keeper starts shaking with fear. Tara reaches under the counter and pulls out a pot of sugar. The music stops and Tara says “cheeny chupata hai!” I’m told this was done around the time foodstuff was beeing rationed in Pakistan.

  11. Owais Mughal says:
    November 26th, 2006 11:35 pm

    Dear Haathi, You made me laugh out loud at the way you described Ismail Tara’s stunt of ‘cheeni chupaata hai’. It must be very fuuny to watch it in actual. I’ve seen many many episodes of 50-50 but this one had so far escaped me attention. I’ll look for it now.

  12. Zakintosh says:
    November 27th, 2006 12:18 am

    Maybe it’s a generation gap. Funny as 50-50 may have been, I did not think it was a patch on Such Gup (with Salima and Shoaib Hashmi, Arshad Mahmud, Navid Shehzad, Samina, Salman Shahid as The Gainda Guy, and of course, Nayyara Noor).

    For those who have never seen Such Gup (certain episodes are now being released on DVD), there is one skit that defined our state of moral confusion at that time, when girl and boy students in KU were being targeted by the Jamiyat for standing less than 3 feet apart! The goons actually carried a yardstick around to check.]

    Here’s the gist of the scene, from memory:

    An inspector from the fisheries department is visiting the zoo to deal with a request for supply of additional fish. He is upset because only a few months ago he’d sent loads of them, but is informed that most have died. The aquarium-keeper then takes him to see the two ponds: one for male fish; one for female fish! The inspector screams and asks why this stupid separation was made, only to be told: Sir Jee, ham nay aquarium khola hae, fahhaashi ka adda to naheeñ khola hae!

    For days, afterwards, the phrase ‘fahaashi ka adda’ was used by everyone to laughingly describe the most innocent of situations. But it was really side-splitting to hear, on a trip to India (where buses, unlike in Pakistan, do not have a separate women’s section) a Dillivaala friend telling me: is jagah taxi to naheeñ milay gee, fahhaashi kay adday par safar karna ho ga!

  13. November 27th, 2006 12:26 am

    kiya yaad dila diya!!!

    Yes, Such Gup was in a class by itself. I do think that Fifty-Fifty was closer to teh humor of the ‘proletariat’ but Such Gup has iconic status and quite amazing.

    I must confess that the ‘Gainda guy’ was my favorite…. any idea where he went!

    My all-time favorite Such Gup moment was a short skit with no faces visible but Arshad Mahmood reciting the children’s poem ‘cheechouN cheechouN chacha’ while scribling the mouse going up the clock and all that. I have obviously not done a good job of describing the skit but for some reason it is imprinted in my memory.

    After reading your comment I am so very glad that I had put that question mark in the original headline.

  14. November 27th, 2006 8:56 am

    The 2nd one was awesome and I had never seen it before.

    Shoaib Mansoor ne jisey chuwa usey Sona banadiya.

  15. November 27th, 2006 9:02 am

    Kasoti . :D

    I posted the clip in wrong post,’The nihari one’, remove it:)

  16. November 27th, 2006 9:07 am

    Sorry, another one :D

    Pakistani Sputnik

  17. November 28th, 2006 3:15 pm

    I think one of the funniest skits i recall from Fifty fifty is a parody on Alamgir’s song ‘Daykh Tera kya rang kar diya hae/ Khushboo ka Jhonka tayray sang kar diya hae’. Initially the camera only shows the face of the man lip synching to the song. Towards the end the camera zooms out and you see an overflowing garbage dump in the middle of a street.

  18. Ahmer Khan says:
    November 29th, 2006 10:07 am
  19. December 17th, 2006 9:37 pm

    Fifty-Fifty fans, the clips from teh show are now much better organized on YouTube and can be seen at:

  20. bnanno says:
    May 7th, 2007 2:32 am

    Another two favourite sketches from 50-50 are related to cricket (I have been unable to find them on youtube postings).
    When Pakistan toured India for the first time in years and years, and Imran Khan missed a game or two because of injury, fifty-fifty sang that classic of Ghalib (tune as in Suraiya’s version)
    “Arre Imran tujhe hua kya hai
    akhir tere dard ki dawa kya..”

    and there Ode to One Day Cricket when it was fairly new (based on the “One Way Ticket” tune

    One day cricket(x5)
    Ka hae rule

    Tez- tez khel
    aage ho ke khel
    boundary he baar
    chauke-chchakke maar
    oye time zaaya na kar ve phazool

    can’t remember the rest.

    Such gup was of course, another classic.

  21. shahid hussain says:
    December 20th, 2007 12:15 pm

    thanx for providing clips but should unlock to copy

  22. Babur Rafiq says:
    January 19th, 2008 1:10 pm

    Gone are the days when such a talented, devoted and intelectual personalities like Shoaib Mansoor, Anwar Maqsood and late Mohsin Ali etc, also a number of others, were there. That was golden era of PTV. It was one of the outstanding and classic program PTV ever produced. Like the very best of comedy, it needs no words and is timeless. The great thing about both these clips is that even if you have seen it before, you still enjoy the surprise at the very end.

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