Old Bollywood clip - Influenced by Marx Bros.? Stooges? etc.?

This is a clip from the 1957 film Aasha starring Kishore Kumar, who was for many years India’s biggest movie star. Almost anyone with a connection to India will immediately recognize the music.

It was only recently though that I actually saw the segment from the actual film, and it struck me how so much about it — the music (clarinet-heavy jazz or swing), the dancing, the costumes —seem to be heavily influenced by American comedic musicals of the first half of the 20th century.

Except for the fact that some of the lyrics are in Hindi and some of the women are wearing Indian clothes, this segment to me doesn’t seem like it would be out of place in a Marx Brothers movie, or something from that era.

Add to it the fact that the title of the song, “Eena Meena Deeka,” and a hefty chunk of the rest of the lyrics are just nonsense syllables adds to the Marx Bros-ian-esque-ishness to me.

What do you think?

Some of the dance steps vaguely resembled Groucho dancing, but I think this was influenced by US musicals in general and not by any particular act.

Before I look, I’m betting tis clip will “Eena Meena Deka.”

Edit: Yep. This is one of my favorite videos. I wonder if the OP is the Doper who first recommended it to me.

One of the comments on the YouTube clip claims that it was lifted from the Danny Kaye movie “Knock On Wood”. I’ve never seen it and probably won’t (I don’t see movies featuring ventriloquists as a general rule.)

So, Marx Brothers via Danny Kaye.

I don’t recall seeing Danny Kaye doing a ventriloquist act.

Then I guess you haven’t seen Knock on Wood.

But yeah, mid-century Bollywood musicals were definitely influenced by contemporary Hollywood musicals, although I don’t think the Marx Brothers specifically were a major contributor to the genre.

LOL never seen the piece actually, but I have had it in my itunes folder for 4 or 5 years =)

I freaked out some of the Indian women in my old department, I was on break and watching Jai Santoshi Maa on my laptop. They were not quite sure what was going on, I am so caucasian I pretty much glow in the dark and bollywood is not normally popular in the area unless you are actually Indian :stuck_out_tongue:

I got turned onto bollywood years ago :smiley:

I love Bollywood movies, but since my local, Indian-run video store closed, I no longer have a source for movies and a friend with a reliable opinion.

I’ve seen a lot of really great ones, but not a big fan of Bollywood comedies. The humor is fairly sophomoric in my opinion. Last one I saw and really liked was Delhi-6.


I just came in to see if - “Almost anyone with a connection to India will immediately recognize the music.”

I do. :slight_smile: As soon as I saw the “Eena meena deeka.”