The late humorist is known for his versatile impersonations.
Moin Akhtar may have left the world but his spirit lives on in the hearts of all those who grew up watching him on their television screens. He made us laugh, and inspired a whole new wave of satire in Pakistani comedy with his impersonations, and his skill is not lost on anyone, not even Google. The search engine decided to honour his birthday with a pop art doodle of him.
He passed away on April 22, 2011 at the age of 60. December 24 would have been his 71st birthday.
The doodle has the comedian popping out of a TV screen — probably exiting it to find a place in the viewers’ hearts. It’s a colourful design with smaller TV screens piling up on the sides like blocks, highlighting the one with Akhtar in it.
The humorist, writer, comedian and director was a master impersonator and rose to fame alongside costars writer Anwar Maqsood and Bushra Ansari in the era of Radio Pakistan. He revolutionised Pakistani comedy by pairing mimicry with a satirical element that lacked deprecation of any form.
Some of his iconic dramas include Family 93, Rozi, Aangan Terha and Such Much.
The man was revered by fans and peers alike. In an earlier interview with Dawn, Maqsood remembered him as the ‘”best star in a night sky”’. On another occasion, the writer joined his son Bilal Maqsood on IGTV for a Q&A and when asked if he still misses the late icon, he said, “Memories never leave your heart. Like a vine, it wraps itself around a tree. Moin is like that vine wrapped around my heart.
“Thirty-two years I wrote for Moin,” he continued, “big people [like him] they might leave [our] sight but are here… Moin is here. He’s in every house, he’s in every heart.”
He also shared, “Often times when I’m writing something like Loose Talk, I write my name and instinctively start writing Moin’s… then have to remove it.”
Acclaimed actor Samina Peerzada also shared her memories with the late comedian: “I have worked with Moin in both theatre and TV and I had an amazing time with him. He was truly an icon, a legend. There was nobody like him and there will be no one like him. I truly miss him.”
His acts were not only lauded in Pakistan but he was admired in India as well by the likes of Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan.
Fans also took to Twitter to celebrate the great humorist.
Combining watching Akhtar on TV with the pleasant memories from his childhood, this user said “legends like him are not born everyday.”
In lieu of his contributions to art and the Pakistani society as a whole, Akhtar was awarded the Pride of Performance Award in 2003, Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 2004 and a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.