Wednesday, September 16, 2009

...the original Tami flu, a medicine called Laughter

Being a Tamil speaking person is something I take immense pride in. When my non-tamil colleagues play the Vijayakanth/T.Rajendhar/Rajini YouTube videos and make the clich├ęd “How do you guys watch this crap” and laugh like possessed souls, I only tell myself “Buggers, you don’t know what you guys have missed by not being a Tamil”

And I couldn’t be more correct.

I sympathise with other fellow countrymen (non Tamils) on how they never had been exposed to the rich comedy culture that we were born into. Starting from the famous Crazy Mohan-Kamal Hassan combination that’s filled with so much humor that every second missed is 2 jokes vanished into thin air. (Of which one made you ROTFL and the other one made you LOL, not much difference actually). They basically created magic.

We tamilians, have lived a life sweetened with Nagesh, Goundamani, Sendhil, Vadivelu and Vivek, all adding to our laughter quotient and enriching our lives with smiles that would have in another part of the country been busy frowning/(or Slapping oneself) at movies that cry Pyar, Dil, Ishq and Mohabbat and never seemed to stop. These pyar movies manipulate you trust me.

Anyways a small tribute to all those who made us laugh

Nagesh was a self made Chaplin, a man "with a smile-perhaps a tear." His “Server Sundaram” and “Ethir Neechal” were poignant and when I saw them as a kid, they did leave a lasting impression in me, and still does. Genius. May his soul rest in peace.

Goundamani and Sendhil were our Tom and Jerry, while your heart went to Sendhil, the cute little sidekick. Your mind goes all applause for the Goundamani. Nobody can be as perennially pissed as Goundamani. The way he kicked Sendhil, hurled innovative abuses and managed to dominate the screen for so many years so effortlessly is amaaazing! (hey there is website

And then came the Vivek zone, Wit, Pure Wit. Vivek was Stand Up Comedy stuff. the insight humor, that made you think and laugh. ‘Run’, ‘Minnale’, ‘Saami’ is the kind of peformance which will remain etched in our shorter memories for encores. His best is yet to come though.

And then my favorite Vadivelu, the master slapstick comedian. He has invented a new genre of comedy which needs more coverage, I wish like how A R Rahman got famous, some random Andrew Lloyd Webber notices Vadivelu and eventually gives him a well deserved Oscar. And am not even exaggerating. Watch “Winner” with a straight face and I’ll give up writing this blog. Thalla Vadivelu will just “swwwwwwwwinnnnng in the raaaain” and glue you to his comedy clip a 100th time.

It’s worries me when I think who will succeed Vivek and Vadivelu, The emerging comedians Santhanam and Karunas are ok and really are not made of the same material as the above mentioned legends.

And rightfully, Tamil Nadu is the first market in the entire country to have two 24 hour channels dedicated to comedy. That they have are among the top channels, is a proof enough on their significance (Source:TAM).

On close observation of these channels, I found that kids were the biggest consumers of these 2 comedy channels. They watch it all the time. It’s a very satisfying insight. The future is watching Comedy. The future is going to be fun guys, we’ll have funny kids while other kids go to school and busy build six pacs like their hero.


Shreyansh said...

I get the point of how great TAMIL COMEDY is...
but in the spectrum between slapstick humor and intelligent humor, where does Tamil Cinema find itself?

Arun said...

:-D Dude Shreyansh, How do we define intelligence here? I think any sort of comedy, be it Laurel Hardy, Chaplin, Sellers or Russel Peters, requires a definite level of intelligence. The difference being laugh at you Vs laugh with you!

But i would rate Vivek as witty guy and Vadivelu the slapstick champ! (they are the current SRK and Aamir of Tamil comedy!)

Ofcourse i am a big fan of amol palekar type comedy, even telugu has Brahmanandum (who was witty)and babu mohan.. but they never got the screen space/importance as tamil comedians get!

archith said...

I agree with you 100% that humor in Hindi is often physical/crude whereas tamil humor involves a lot of wordplay. But it's a fact that there's a whole new generation out there that's never seen sendhil/goundamani in action, and know about vivek's best comedy only on a legacy basis. that way, vadivelu deserves kudos for a LOONG career, that has seen the exit of G&S, vivek and now the arrival of santhanam & co. Guy does the same routine and his good to meh ratio might be in single digits, but still, Alert Arumugam rules :)

hope this lifts the ban on me :p

Vinay Sekhar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vinay Sekhar said...

Comedy is one facet which is quite juvenile in Hindi cinema. The Munnabhais and Hrishikesh Mukherjees are exceptions and are far from the norm! I would not write off the new Tamil comedians yet... few would have expected Goundamani, Vivek and Vadivelu's success after watching 16 vayathanile, Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal and En Rasavin Manasiley respectively!

ajaalgujaal said...

Great post nice contemplation

aargee said...

Nice post... So true...I don't know how I reached your blog. Its quite interesting and this post made me comment too :)

finblogger said...

how about nagesh and shivaji combo