The third instalment of the Housefull franchise that began in 2010 has been directed by the punster brothers Sajid-Farhad. They have also co-written the dialogues and screenplay for the June 3 release Housefull 3, which is filled with the sight gags and comic one-liners that are the duo’s forte.

Their career began their film careers as lyricists for Hum Kisise Kum Nahin (2002), for which they wrote the song “Munna Mobile”. After they co-wrote “M Bole Toh” for Munnabhai MBBS (2003) with lyricist Rahat Indori, they were hired by Ram Gopal Verma to write the screenplay for Shiva (2006).

Soon they were writing the biggest grossing comedy films, starting with the Golmaal series, All The Best: The Fun Begins (2009), Ready (2011), Singham (2011), Housefull 2 (2012), Bol Bachchan (2012), and Chennai Express (2013). How did they become such comedy mavens?

“Maybe we are not talented. We are not respected by the critics either. But the audience loves our films,” they said in a 2011 interview.

In the Sajid Khan-directed Housefull 2, the writers piled on the slapstick comedy with dialogue so incongruous that it can be safely classified in the “so bad it’s good” category. Here are just two examples: “Oye napunsak neutron, apne bete ka DNA test kara” (Impotent neutron, get your son tested for DNA). And “Khaana toh kutte bhi khaate hain, kya kutte sharab peete hain?” (Even dogs eat food, do they consume alcohol?).

Sajid-Farhad have given actor Ajay Devgn his popular Singham phrase “Atta maaji satakli” (I have finally lost it), which was reproduced in Singham Returns as a song. It has entered the Bollywood lexicon of cool catchphrases along with the lines they have written for Salman Khan in Ready, including, “Zindagi mein teen cheez kabhi underestimate nahi karna, I, me and myself”, (Don’t underestimate three things: I, me and myself) and “Don’t underestimate the power of a common man”, for Shah Rukh Khan in Chennai Express.

In Bollywood parlance it’s called dialogue-baazi (showboating).

Sajid and Farhad Samji were restaurateurs in Bangalore when a chance meeting with Salman Khan helped them switch professions. Before Housefull 3, they directed Entertainment (2014), in which actor Akshay Kumar tries to kill a dog that has inherited a large sum of money from its dead owner but ends up befriending it. The dialogue that cements the human-canine friendship is, “Aaj ke baad, kisi ne bhi mujhe kutta bulaya, toh main usse gaali nahi taarif samjhunga” (After today, if someone calls me a dog, I won’t be hurt. I will take pride in it).

The je na sais quoi attitude of the siblings is reflected in their writing. “We are not capable of writing or directing serious and dhasu (impactful) films. When producers ask us to write intense scripts, no offence intended, we reject the offer. We can’t get into that zone,” they have said.

Editor: Anmol Kanojia. Producer: Sannuta Raghu.