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How Govinda went from auditioning for a small part in Mahabharat to Bollywood’s king of comedy.

It was late 1980s when Govinda was still trying to find his footing in Bollywood. Just two films down, Govinda thought of giving television a shot too. In fact he auditioned for the role of Abhimanyu in TV’s cult show Mahabharat (1988). But luckily, Tan-Badan happened, his first lead role opposite Khushbu and directed by his uncle Anand. He never looked back at TV and went on to act in nearly 50 films for the next six years. That was when Shola Aur Shabnam became a hit, opening more doors for him.

Govinda started off with supporting roles, having shared screen space with the biggest stars back then, including Rajesh Khanna, Dilip Kumar ad Dharmendra in popular ensemble dramas like Swarg, Ilzaam, Khudgarz, Jeete Hain Shaan Se and more.

However, his calling card, the ‘No. 1’ series of films, mostly helmed by filmmaker David Dhawan, were still in future. Raja Babu, Hero No. 1, Hadh Kar Di Aapne, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, Coolie No. 1, Saajan Chale Sasural and dozens more continue to remain a genre in itself, one of the high points of the 90s.


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