One of the most hilarious moments of Indian cinema has been that in JAANE BHI DO YAARON and the moments of the film which raise the quotient of laughter are those in which Satish Shah is a player as a dead man and this could be one of the few films in the world of cinema where the character for most of the times is dead on the screen. To be able to generate laughter by either pretending dead or having passed away in actuality has been one of the most serious challenges for an actor to enact. It establishes the virtuosity of an actor as a performer. The first instance of this kind which comes into mind is that of Sunil Dutt in PADOSAN where he is unable to control his pretence of having passed away, as the coiffer of Saira Banu is playing prank with his nocturnal senses. The ultimate exposition of this kind however was done by Satish Shah in JAANE BHI DO YAARON and it was indeed his swan song, as he did not get any other opportunity to do the same. To be able to generate humour after dying as well is indeed a defining moment for any actor.
Tiku Talsania got an opportunity to include this genre in his oeuvre in MALAMAAL WEEKLY, and though his role was small as compared to what was done by Satish Shah it was able to generate tickle and laughter. Anupam Kher also tried the same in BUDDHA MAR GAYA but he could not carry the momentum in the same manner.
During the earlier times pretence of death was used to create situations of comedy and it ultimately gave a pretext for initiation of a romantic song, be it the song, O Meri Mehbooba in DHARAM VEER or Amitabh Bachchan in AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY. Probably the situation to create comedy from position of being dead has been replaced by bawdy comedy owing to the fact that it demands great control over the faculties of the body, while in other humouros scenes one has the freedom to throw caution to the wind as far as creating a hilarious situation is concerned.