If I asked you to pick the top comedic performances in Bollywood films or Hindi shows, I'm sure you'd come up with a long list of male actors. And it's not that those actors haven't established a reputation for themselves with outstanding performances, but even after years of work, female actresses are still given little space in this genre.
However, with the addition of some new projects and the introduction of OTT, the situation appears to be shifting, and these exceptional actresses have played a part in that change.
1. Neena Gupta
With Badhaai Ho, Neena Gupta began the second half of her career, and her journey has been nothing short of spectacular. Fortunately, we saw her take on a variety of roles and work on some incredible projects. The actress' comic side has been underlined even more in the current hit Panchayat. And we're certain that her acting prowess will enable her to seamlessly headline such ventures.
2. Seema Pahwa
Seema Pahwa is another actress in the same league who was often typecast till Gangubai Kathiawadi showed a new side of her talent. In fact, despite her limited screen time in films like Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Bala, and Badhaai Do, she emerged as one of the characters to keep an eye on.
3. Sunita Rajwar
Sunita Rajwar is a part of the web series Panchayat's stellar cast. While the audience is enamoured with Banrakas' character, the actress who plays his wife is equally outstanding. Aside from that, she is the star of Gullak, a wholesome series that would be incomplete without her nameless character.
4. Sheeba Chaddha
Sheeba Chaddha has been a part of Bollywood for almost two decades and has played a plethora of challenging roles. And the actress has excelled in almost every role she has taken on. Her subtle expression and comic timing, though, in films like Badhaai Do and Sharmaji Namkeen compel the audience to want to see more of her.
5. Geetanjali Kulkarni
Unfortunately, Bollywood discovered Geetanjali Kulkarni a bit too late, but we are grateful to have found a performer of her calibre. Despite the fact that we haven't seen her in many humorous roles, her performance in Gullak strongly suggests that she deserves more chances to express her comedic side.
6. Supriya Pathak
Supriya Pathak is best known for her role as Hansa in Khichdi, a popular Indian television series. The actress has returned with a lighthearted comedy series called Home Shanti, after a long period of playing many versatile roles on-screen. And this series reminded us of how much we miss seeing her play lighthearted and delightful characters on screen.
7. Nimrat Kaur
Nimrat Kaur's body of work is still limited, and the actress is rarely seen in comical roles. We saw her in a humorous space for the very first time with Netflix's Dasvi. The project showed that she can captivate an audience with her comedic timing as well as her nuanced performances.
8. Sanya Malhotra
Ludo and Pagglait are two of Sanya Malhotra's projects that have come close to being a comedy. And in both films, she has established herself as an appealing protagonist. It would be wonderful to see her explore more of this genre.
9. Juhi Chawla
I've always been impressed by Juhi Chawla's impeccable comedy, which at times completely overshadows the male characters. However, she never received adequate recognition for her contributions to the genre.
10. Divya Seth
Divya Seth, who has worked in the entertainment industry for more than three decades, has featured in a number of minor roles. She's appeared in major movies like Jab We Met, English Vinglish, and Dil Dhadakne Do, but she's never had much screen time. Recently, her comedic ability emerged brightly when she played Sanyukta Shastri in the web comedy Sandwiched Forever.
It's high time we see female actors take the centre stage in comedic projects as well.