Comedian Farid Khan dies after long battle with cancer
KARACHI: Comedian and actor Farid Khan, who died on Saturday, aged 62, after suffering from jaw cancer for 15 years, was a superstar on stage in the late 1980s and early 1990s whose jokes were clean and contained amusing observations about people.
He emerged at a time when Moin Akhtar had yet to make his mark and Umar Sharif was nowhere on the horizon. With his repertoire of jokes which he belted out in great spontaneity and effortlessness, he became so popular with the corporate sector, who often invited him for their variety shows, and this is much before when fashion shows became mandatory during corporate shows, that he would often perform in 20 such shows, stuffing money in his socks, recalls actor Bushra Ansari, who worked with him on stage in the 1980s.
Hailing from Gwalior, Farid Khan was born in 1953 to a contractor father and a housewife mother. His college friend Asad Karim remembers a jolly fellow who often entertained his friends when they were studying in National College in 1974-1975. “Never in our wildest dreams did we think that Farid would acquire so much fame.”
He also worked on television in plays such as Nai Dunya, Bas Bhayee Bas and in the famous TV sketch show Fifty Fifty.
Farid Khan moved with his family to Rawalpindi to work as the public relations officer for an intelligence agency.
According to film and TV journalist Ather Javed Sufi, he did so because the situation in mid-1990s in Karachi had spiralled out of control due to lawlessness which brought life in the city to a standstill.
But as a wise man once said: “All is ephemeral — fame and the famous as well.” Farid Khan was unable to reinvent himself and went on to live a life of obscurity. He, once again, emerged on TV channels albeit in a different manner altogether. He was seen appealing to the government to help finance his cancer treatment which he was unable to do so as his fate had cruelly inflicted upon him the disease of jaw cancer.
He is survived by his wife, two sons and as many daughters.
He was buried in a local graveyard in the evening. His funeral prayers were attended by a large number of people, including showbiz personalities.