Umer Sharif, TI (Urdu: عمر شریف, also spelled Omer Sharif; born 19 April 1955 in the town of Liaquatabad in Karachi, Sindh) is a Pakistani stand-up comedian, stage, film and television actor, writer, director and producer. His original name is Mohammad Umer, however he changed that to Umer Zarif when he joined the theater and later changed that to Umer Sharif.
He rose to fame due to his work on stage and his stage shows are considered among the most popular in Pakistan. He started his showbiz career from Karachi as stage performer at the age of 14.
Born in Urdu speaking family, Sharif became one of the most well known stage performers in Pakistan after his extremely popular 1989 comedy stage plays Bakra Qistoon Pay and Buddha Ghar Pe Hai. In both of them he starred along with another comedy legend Moin Akhter. Much of the success comes from the fact that he started to record his stage shows and the videocassettes were rented out in a similar fashion to movies. Yes Sir Eid, No Sir Eid, followed by Bakra Qistoon Pay were the first stage shows to come out on video.
He is known in the Hindi,Urdu,Punjabi and other South Asian belt as the King of Comedy. He was rated as best comedian ever even by Indian audiences. Indian comedy kings Johnny Lever and Raju Srivastava have called him the God Of Asian Comedy on the Indian comedy show ” Comedy Circus”. In India his videos are released by Music Track and are sold at premium prices across all stores.
Bakra Qistoon Pay is considered to be the show that made stage plays what they are today in Pakistan. Before the advent of Bakra Qistoon Pay majority stage shows in Pakistan used to be classy with rather poetic dialogs. After Bakra Qistoon Pay (Goat on installments) stage shows became a vibrant, majorly comical (and often gritty) part of the Pakistani culture. It has also sparked many sequels. He has also produced films like Mr. 420, Mr. Charlie, Miss Fitna, etc. The popularity of Bakra Qistoon Pay also crossed the border into India as well and Umer Sharif became a famous name in India as well.
He also was a judge in the famous Indian comedy show The Great Indian Laughter Challenge along with Siddu and Shekar Suman.
Umer Sharif does his own show, on Geo TV called, “The Sharif Show,” where he interviews a variety of actors, actresses, entertainers of all kinds as well musicians. Also from time to time, Sharif is seen as Masters of Ceremonies for various important events.
He has received the following awards:
Best comedian and Best Actor National Awards in 1992 for Mr. 420
Ten (10) Nigar Awards – He is the only one to receive 4 Nigar Awards in a single year
Three (3) Graduate Awards
Best Drama Writer
Four (4) qaumi awards
Best Stage Actor (1984)
Best Stage Director (1988)
Cassette Melody Awards
Best Award for Hat trick in Audio Cassettes
One (1) International Emirates Award in Dubai
National Defence College Pakistan Shield
Two (2) Bolan Awards
Chicago Award (1992)
Award in Los Angeles (1996)
Waheed Murad Award
Trend Changer Award from Karachi in 1993
Lahore Press Club Award for Excellent Performance, 1996
Jang Akhbar Award
Sadaaqat News Paper Award
Award from Allama Iqbal Medical College
Key to the City of Karachi: For the first time in the history of Pakistan’s film industry the key of any city was presented to an actor.