Top header Banner
Top header Banner
Middle top Banner

Remembering Satish Kaushik: His lasting legacy in Bollywood

In his 41-year career, Satish Kaushik has left behind a treasure trove of films that deserve to be celebrated. While most of us fondly remember him as an actor/comedian, he has contributed to almost all spheres of filmmaking. His illustrious legacy includes credits as a writer, director, and producer as well.

Kaushik’s breakout role as Calendar in ‘Mr. India’ (1987) has left a lasting impact on our childhoods. Before finding such great success, he starred in the cult classic ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ (1983) and also wrote the memorable dialogue. His comedy style became a staple in many films and formed most of his acting career. But Kaushik always managed to go beyond the two-dimensional comedy with his roles, which is evident in many of his performances, like in ‘Calcutta Mail’ (2003) and ‘Thar’ (2022).

Kaushik has directed several films in his career, starting with Sridevi and Anil Kapoor starrer ‘Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja’ (1993). He found significant success with ‘Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain’ (1999). However, the biggest opportunity came with Salman Khan’s comeback ‘Tere Naam’ (2003). From spawning the cult haircut to introducing an everlasting soundtrack, ‘Tere Naam’ became an instant cultural phenomenon, reviving Khan’s status as the country’s heartthrob. Kaushik’s film set a new trend in Bollywood and marked one of Khan’s best performances to date.

Beyond films, Kaushik’s acting career was more experimental. On TV, he started off with ‘Phillips Top 10’ (1993) – the humorous countdown show. Another highlight would be ‘Malini Iyer’, a sweet sitcom starring Sridevi and directed by Kaushik, which was a breath of fresh air in the TV landscape dominated by shows like ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’. More recently, he starred as Jasbir Walia in ‘Sumit Sambhal Lega’ (2015), the Indian adaptation of the wildly popular ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’. He managed to find a new rhythm of comedy in the father’s role, making it fresh and interesting for viewers who were familiar with the original.

Kaushik also dabbled in work overseas. In 2007, he starred in a British drama ‘Brick Lane’. His character Chanu was somber and grayer than what we were used to seeing. Continuing the trend, web series ‘Scam 1992’ (2020) and ‘Guilty Minds’ (2022) showed him in a villainous role as well. Here, the funny man became fearsome and authoritative with such ease, and found a new audience with admiration for his more intense work.

His latest directorial release ‘Kaagaz’ (2021) stars Kaushik as a lawyer in a satirical comedy lead by Pankaj Tripathi. Season 2 is planning to release soon. He is also featured in Khan’s Eid release ‘Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan’, and Raj & DK’s much-anticipated ‘Guns and Gulaabs’.