Funniest Hockey Humor: Khalid Abbas Dar & Co.

Posted on July 1, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Humor, People, Sports, TV, Movies & Theatre
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Adil Najam

It is not often that one dares to place a headline as bold as the one above. We have used such superlatives a few times before, but very few: for the dialogues from Maula Jatt, for the blockbuster movie Aina, twice for the PTV show Fifty-Fifty, once for the show and once for its skits (both times with question marks), and once for the miracle cricket match in Sharjah and Miandad’s fabulous sixer to clinch the game on the last ball. Today, we use it again.

Khalid Abbas DarThis is certainly not the best work of Khalid Abbas Dar – for my money, the most brilliant stand-up comic Pakistan has ever produced (I was never a fan of his stage dramas, but his solo routines, especially the old PTV ones were a superb – but it may well be the funniest hockey commentary ever, anywhere. Khalid sahib’s all-time greatest performance is the “classical” singing he does with made up words – it is side-splitting funny – originally recorded during the 1971 election transmission and recorded multiple times later.

But this performance, from the 1987 PTV Awards show is as hilarious (especially for those who know the context) and probably familiar to more people. I remember being in the audience that day and for many weeks after that this skit was the talk of the country. Especially that last 10 seconds antic from Khalid Abbas Dar, which is a true depiction of his comic genius.

I should confess that this post is triggered directly by the recent post by Syed Ahsan Ali on Pakistan hockey’s chances in the forthcoming Olympics. That set me thinking about the late 1980s, when Pakistan began its slide from the peak of its hockey prowess. I searched for video clips of games from that era and found this instead. I am so glad that I did.

The skit mentions the two pivotal points in Pakistan’s slide downwards. The loss to Korea in the 1986 Asian Games, followed immediately afterwards by ending 11th (out of 12th) in the 1986 London World Cup. I hope that was not the beginning of the ‘end’, but it was certainly the beginning of the slide downwards. Remembe, this was the time when we still believed that the slide was temporary. To be fair, Pakistan did regain the hockey World Cup title in Sydney in 1994, and we are still the country that has won it the most times (four; Holland is catching up with three World Cup titles). But the best seems to be behind us… so very far behind us.

To get a flavor of just how different the times were for Pakistan hockey. Note at the camera getting fixed on Samiullah and (is that?) Hassan Sardar. Both are, literally, squirming in embarrassment at the performance of the Pakistani team. Remember, what had happened was not the norm as it is now!

Anyhow, that was then. This is now. Then, to have come home without any medal was a huge surprise. Today, to come home with any medal would be the surprise. Hockey, like all sports, goes up and down. As it should. But good humur is timeless. Even when it is based on current events as this one is. Enjoy!

38 Comments on “Funniest Hockey Humor: Khalid Abbas Dar & Co.”

  1. SJH says:
    July 1st, 2008 10:53 pm

    Well, not much can be done in the short term – maybe Pakistan Hockey can target Chicago (Insha-allah) in 2016!

  2. Owais Mughal says:
    July 1st, 2008 11:00 pm

    I remeber seeing this program live. You are right, one has to know the right context, and then the skipt becomes very funny. Losing to Korea was unheard of until Asian Games of 1986 therefore it was an embarrassing moment for our hockey team and hence this skit.

    I also vividly remember Iftikhar’s misses in World Cup. He missed quited a few open chances of goals and hence Khalid Abbas Dar’s skit ‘abay O Iftikhar..’

    The thing that has always appeared funny to me is Khalid Abbas Dar’s special accent of ‘androon Lahore shehr’. It is very unique style of talking where among other things an ‘r’ sound is pronounced as a hard ‘R’.

  3. Eidee Man says:
    July 1st, 2008 11:12 pm

    Not relevant, but:

    Aitzaz Ahsan’s interview by Charlie Rose.

  4. jk says:
    July 1st, 2008 11:37 pm

    Thank you for posting that video. I have been searching for it since a long time. I remember that we had it recorded on tape when I was little.

    Wonderful memories.

  5. Wah Wah says:
    July 2nd, 2008 1:28 am

    Hillarious. Specially how it ends.

    I do not remember this era because I was very young and had not seen Khalid Dar before. He has great timing and presence. Wish the picture quality was better, though.

    Excellent humour.

  6. Adnan Ahmad says:
    July 2nd, 2008 1:37 am

    Simply brilliant! I remember my family being glued to tv watching this show, even though I didn’t see it till next morning when it was rerun which again was ODD for ptv. Shoaib Mansoor produced it and people still talk about the show. Dar’s pitch eeftikhaaar is almost perfect. Iftikhar’s pathetic show was magnified due to the fact that he was replacing perhaps the greatest stricker (center forward) there ever was in Hasan Sardar. Too bad that in my memory I have only a handful games of his. People who knew him say that he rarely practiced with the team and just played the matches. In my opinion he was as big a talent as Maradona.

    Eidee Man, thanks for the link from someone who doesn’t get to watch these shows anymore. Aitazaz showed his class as a top class lawyer.

  7. Obi Wan Kenobi says:
    July 2nd, 2008 2:11 am

    You find this funny? This is quite embarrassing and disappointing to make fun of national heroes after few failures. I remember listening to commentary on radio for 1986 world cup and I know we did not perform well but I would not hit below the belt for that. After all we all are humans and we do perform well below avg. at some time during our lives.

    I feel sorry for Samiullah and Hasan Sardar(two of the greatest hockey players for ALL time) had to undergo such embarrassment in front of thousands of people on national TV and one can certainly feel the pains in their eyes.

  8. Agha says:
    July 2nd, 2008 2:36 am

    Extremely funny. Thanks for posting this. Excellent writing and excellently executed. Humor at its best really. That last few seconds of Khalid Abbas Dar coming back are priceless.

    Also, so many memories of other stars sitting in the audience. Marina Khan. Mohammad Ali. Allan.

    Thank you for this.

  9. -Farid says:
    July 2nd, 2008 3:51 am

    Brilliant !! I remember watching the original on TV. The last few seconds are printed on my memory and I’d been looking around for this on the web.

    This was actually quite common then. The treatment went to cricket players also after a particular disappointment – I remember a skit (fifty fifty I think) that went on after some spectacular losses to West Indies. The song went something like: Rabba kalian nu apni paa de, goriyan da haq marde…and so on. All in good fun.

  10. Hamza says:
    July 2nd, 2008 6:31 am

    This is too funny. Excellent. Thank you for posting.

    By the way, what is the name of the third person in the skit. With Khalid Abbas Dar and Arshad Mahmood? I remember him from the good PTV days but forget his name.

    Love the part right at the end. Have been laughing out loud at it.

  11. JH says:
    July 2nd, 2008 7:08 am

    For some reason the video link does not seem to work on my browser page but it does not make any difference because it is imprinted on the memory :)

    The song was a parody from an old indian song (by either Noor Jehan or Suraya). In one of his later interviews, Khalid Abbas Dar revealed that the last 30 seconds of the skit (when he goes back and comes around) were not a part of the original script and he did that on the fly. amazing!

    Coming to hockey, it was really a dissappointment to see the once top two teams in the world play for number 11 and 12 spot in the London world cup. I watched that match in Mumtaz Hall TV room and it was a classical encounter of two arch rivals, both using the Asian hockey style. For someone without prior knowledge of the tournament, it would be hard to believe that such a high quality match was being played for the 11th spot by the bottom two rated teams in the World Cup 86. I think 84 Olympics saw the best of us and it was a decline thereafter…. with occassional glimpses of the best days.

  12. JH says:
    July 2nd, 2008 7:20 am

    So the link finally worked! Just wanted to add one more comment that from their reaction and claps, the audience seemed to precisely know each and every incident/player that was being referred to in the skit. This is the extent to which hockey was closely followed in those days. As for today, I think there will be very few people who can name 5 players of the present national hockey team.

    The way our cricket team is performing, I think it may take another decade and our interest in cricket will be at the same level as that of hockey today.

  13. July 2nd, 2008 11:20 am


  14. Zaka says:
    July 2nd, 2008 12:13 pm

    I always thought Khalid Abbas Dar has a lot of resemblance to American Comedian Jeff Foxworthy, watching Foxworthy always reminded me of Khalid Abbas Dar, both are highly respected comedians with unique styles.

  15. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:
    July 2nd, 2008 2:11 pm

    Very funny stuff. I had the good fortune of being at the same time and at the same place with Khalid Abbas Dar. He was a regular at the college plays and variety shows. He also designed publicity posters for these events. His signature was a new born chic coming out of an egg shell. It also earned him a nick name ‘Gantha Unda’ (rotten egg). He is a natural and immense talent. Thanks for the video.

  16. Irfan Gul says:
    July 3rd, 2008 6:30 am

    Wah. Mazza aa gaya yaar. Kiya yaad dila diya.

    The memory of this skit and of the days when we were kings of hockey come flooding back.

    I doubt that we will ever become that good at the game again. I dont think that it was astroturf that killed Pakistan hockey. I think Pakistan cricket killed Pakistan hockey!

  17. shahran says:
    July 3rd, 2008 7:31 am

    Nice post on Khalid Abbas Daar, a great talent artist. I remember his famous drama Parchi with his famous lines “Hamid Piya Kuch Nahin Kiya”. At that time every school going kid had those lines on their lips.

    I know that PTV awards 1987 were one of the best events even by today’s standards. A nice stage in Liaquat Gymnasium with a number of skits. The show was directed by Shoaib Mansoor and ofcourse Anwar Maqsood,Moin Akhtar were part of the team.

    I remember some of the lines which I believe Moin Akhtar recited

    This event deserves a separate post.

  18. Rabia says:
    July 3rd, 2008 9:31 am

    Very funny indeed. That last thing where he returns was just too hillarious. Still laughing at it.

    These old skits were so much cooler than the stuff you now see on Hum Sabb Umeed Say Hain, etc. which seems amatuerish in front of this.

  19. July 3rd, 2008 3:19 pm

    Hasan Sardar was an awesome Central Forward. Infact “Central forward” seemed so good with him. I had believed only he could be a central forward.

  20. Ayaz Siddiqui says:
    July 3rd, 2008 10:23 pm

    @hamza the third person was Khalid Nizami. A brilliant comedian and musician. He acted in Unkahi and also gave the music of Rubina Badar’s Tum sang naina lagay

    Samiullah and Hassan Sardar are not squirming but enjoying. Hasan Sardar was at his prime and he was dropped in favor of Iftikhar as center forward because in reality he was related to either one of the selector or the big wig of PHF of that time.

  21. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    July 4th, 2008 3:19 am

    @Dar, is indeed a great talent, has good voice for a
    singer, humour is gifted-not to ” all”

  22. Uzair says:
    July 9th, 2008 2:31 pm

    Yeh bohat he funny hai yaar.

  23. Adnan Ahmad says:
    July 9th, 2008 3:00 pm

    About Khalid Nizami’s talent friends mention that he once sang Kishore’s “khiltay hein gul yaha’n” in a private gathering in the 80s and the performance was as good ‘if not better’ than Kishore’s unforgettable delivery! This is from folks who know music.

  24. Amina says:
    July 10th, 2008 11:32 am

    I agree that Khalid Abbas Dar is one of the most talented stand-up single acts Pakistan has produced.

  25. saima says:
    July 16th, 2008 2:47 pm

    so nice & great pakistani army

  26. July 31st, 2008 7:10 pm

    yes .. agreeeed

  27. Jalal HB says:
    August 6th, 2008 12:07 pm

    Nice to show us this skit – is it in advance for the team’s performance in the coming Olympics?

  28. Farzad Piracha says:
    September 26th, 2008 11:21 pm

    Its’ sad to see that Pakistanis are becoming a serious people, 20 years ago we seem to have more sense of humor and character. I hope some day we can produce more comedians the likes of Khalid Abbas Dar, Kamal Ahmed Rizvi, Rafi Khawar, Moin Akhtar

  29. YASIR says:
    April 9th, 2009 1:53 pm

    This has to be one of the funniest clip ever.

  30. Bushra says:
    April 17th, 2009 12:48 am

    Lolz, Hsan Sardar or SamiUllah jaison ko nikala tha tu ye hal howa tha na.Iftakhar o Iftikhar mujh ko akaila mil zara ko Hasan Sardar ki jaga bherti kiy agiya tha,I guess

  31. ASAD says:
    May 3rd, 2009 11:37 am

    Amazingly funny. Laughed out so loud that it actually hurts.

  32. Waseem says:
    June 11th, 2009 2:06 pm

    Super comedy.

  33. Atif says:
    December 16th, 2009 11:36 am

    I remember watching this with my late father in 1987 PTV awards on TV in Riyadh. He had recorded this entire show and we had watched it couple of times.. Still very funny….

  34. Afsandyar says:
    March 3rd, 2010 10:12 am

    Super stuff!
    Yes, this is best hockey houmor ever.
    Khalid Abbas Dar at his best.
    Thank you for sharing

  35. Azhar says:
    April 25th, 2010 4:27 am

    I still remember watching it in Nov 1986 (as I remember) while studying at UET Lahore. This ever refreshing, outstanding performance by Khalid Abbas Dar roaming in my minds for years. Humour of this standard is hard to find. But there was one more prformance by Khalid Abbas Dar. Can someone share the source!

  36. Saleem A. says:
    July 18th, 2010 10:59 pm

    I am still rolling in laughter. This man is just too much. Specially because he can keep such a serious face.

  37. Sid says:
    July 23rd, 2010 12:16 am

    truly a funny artist.

    anyone know the the actual song that this is a spoof of. can’t remember the precise wording of the original

  38. lutf says:
    May 11th, 2011 3:04 am

    Intruder looking for videos of Shahbaz snr. as he use to majestically glide through opposition defense. But there are none available.

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