Noor Bhai, aka Shehbaaz Khan, has gained a massive following online in a very short time, with his unique dialogue delivery and typical Dakhni Urdu slang.

Shehbaaz KhanShehbaaz Khan
Features Interview Sunday, July 18, 2021 - 10:20

Noor bhai bolte mereku. Jahan sui nai ghusti, wahan sabbal ghusaton mein.”(They call me Noor bhai. Where a needle doesn’t go, I will insert a crowbar). This is a popular line among Hyderabadi netizens, who are fans of actor and YouTuber Shehbaaz Khan, also known as ‘Noor Bhai’. A household name, especially in Hyderabad’s old city, Shehbaaz Khan has gained a massive following online in a very short time, with his unique dialogue delivery and typical Dakhni Urdu slang, which ensures that all his videos go viral. Starting as a mimicry artist and standup comedian, he gradually became popular thanks to short comedy videos that he and his friends used to post on social media. Buoyed with an overwhelming response, the team began making videos with a new zeal and enthusiasm on different social issues. 

Talking to TNM, Shehbaaz spoke about the origins of his YouTube channel, the creative process and future plans. “We chose our separate way and decided to do clean comedy with social messaging. This resulted in a gradual increase in likes, shares and subscribers on our videos. We got an enormous response and unexpected popularity not only from India but also from overseas. People from different walks of life like our videos and the growth of our channel is still surprising to me,” he says.  

For example, during the peak of the pandemic last year, when people were frantically rushing to pharmacies and medical stores to buy drugs, Shehbaaz and his team put out a video on the importance of consulting a doctor first. 

Talking about his most popular character ‘Noor Bhai’, on which a series of videos have been uploaded, he says, “Noor Bhai is not one particular person but it is a blend of different people and personalities I have observed in my day-to-day life in Hyderabad. I added a walking and talking style and a style of chewing paan. Initially, our team expressed their doubts about the new experiment. However, the series has seen an overwhelming response.” 

Shehbaaz says that most of the people who appear in his videos are either his childhood friends or local and upcoming Hyderabadi artists. “We give them chances and support them, as I had got such opportunities in my initial days. Providing clean comedy with a professional touch is our focus. Many artists, including the famous ‘Khala’ character, are new performers.”

Of all his videos, Shehbaaz Khan says that Noor Bhai, Rishte Wale, which had a message against Jahez (dowry) was the most popular. “Although people liked all our videos, we got unexpected love and affection for this video as it broke the earlier record. The video was made to highlight the difficulties faced by a large number of the people on marriage alliances for their sons and daughters, which is common in society,” he shares.

People of all age groups, from six to 60, are fans of Shehbaaz Khan and greet him whenever he travels around Hyderabad, he says. Talking about his outlook to life, Shehbaaz says, “We must love and respect each other irrespective of religion. Spreading positivity in society should also be a part of life with comedy. I can’t forget the unconditional support of my friends, family members and others who have stood with me on various occasions. They always encouraged me to do new things. Apart from the new ideas of the videos, they also gave me valuable tips and we worked very hard on every aspect before it became a concrete product.”

Talking about future plans, he says, “Entertaining people on the big platform is my desire. As I have started my career as a stage artist, it will be easy for me. I got an offer from Tollywood but it did not materialise for some reason.” On upcoming projects, he says, “Our team is now working on two new projects titled Bakra Apna Apna and Dosti, which are meaningful and have a social message as always.”

Wajeed Ullah Khan is a Hyderabad-based freelance journalist who writes predominantly on issues surrounding old city. He can be contacted at wuk040@gmail.com.

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