Growing up, most movies that we watched had that one drunk character, whose antics made you laugh out loud. In the case of Indian cinema, more times than not, that character was portrayed by one of industry’s most competent comedians, Keshto Mukherjee.
In a 30-year-long career, Keshto Mukherjee acted in over 90 movies. And no matter the length of the role, his impeccable comic timing was impossible to ignore.
But perhaps the one role that Keshto Mukherjee is most remembered for is that of a comical drunkard when in real life, he was actually a teetotaller.
Tribute to KESHTO MUKHERJEE on death anniversary.— Film History Pics (@FilmHistoryPic) March 3, 2018
Popular comedian in Hindi Films.
Despite often playing the role of a drunk, Keshto was a teetotaller. pic.twitter.com/xalTdX13Io
His character of comical drunkard became so well-known because the movies where he played this role went on to become blockbuster hits, like Zanjeer, Aap Ki Kasam and Sholay.
The first time he played the role of a drunkard was in the 1970 drama Maa Aur Mamta. But that wasn’t the only role he played. Movies like Bombay to Goa, Padosan, Chupke Chupke, etc. saw him portray different characters, like that of a dozing passenger or a driver.
What was common across his films was his ability to portray each character in an effortlessly, hilarious manner. Simply put, the laughs he earned were not just because of how a character was written. It was also because of how he depicted the character.
Perhaps that was what convinced an entire generation that he was a drunk for real, when in fact, he never consumed alcohol.
Keshto Mukherjee’s acting career is proof that irrespective of whether you’re the lead, a supporting actor, or a ‘character actor’, genuine performances always leave a lasting impression on the audience.