There have been many comedy actors in tamil cinema from its early stage till date. Even today there are many upcoming comedy actors in this industry. Many comedy actors come and go in this industry from its early stage till now some comedy actors make a mark in tamil film industry. Here are the comedy actors who made an important mark in this industry from its early stage till now.
N. S. Krishnan
Nagerkoyil Sudalaimuthu Krishnan, popularly known as Kalaivanar and also as ‘NSK’ was a leading Tamil film comedian, drama artist, playback singer and writer in the early stages of the Tamil film industry – in the 1940s and 1950s.Another Icon of the dominant ‘Pillai’ community.
His stage and cine-screen comedy performances were unique and always carried a message for the people.N S Krishnan started his career as a Villupaatu artist (the Tamil way of reciting stories while singing songs and playing a musical instrument in the form of a bow – called ‘Villu’) and later became involved in Tamil drama and stage shows, as were so many film artistes in his days, and at one-time owned his own touring drama company; and when cinema gradually became popular in South India, he entered the Tamil film world to become one of the leading Tamil film comedians ever, with a unique style. He generally wrote his own comedy dialogues and expressed them in his drama and films in such a way that the message was carried across, but the subject to whom it was intended was not offended.
He acted in nearly 150 Tamil films and the matinee-duo of N S krishnan and T A Maduram (later his better half) in Tamil films was very popular in his days; he also did roles along with leading stage and cine artists of his time like T. S. Durairaj, ‘Pulimootai’ Ramasamy, C.S. Pandian and writers like Udumalai Narayana Kavi and Subbu Armugham and gave a number of hits in those days. He was also a talented singer and hits include Sivakavi, Raja Rani, and Manamagal.
K. A. Thangavelu
K. A. Thangavelu was a Tamil film comedian popular in the 1950s to 1970s. Not known for physical, acrobatic comedy like his contemporaries J.P.Chandrababu and Nagesh, Thangavelu’s humor is recognized for his impeccable timing in verbal agility and the characteristic twang of his delivery. He and his wife M. Saroja formed a successful comedy pair, and his role as a phony writer Bhairavan in the movie Kalyana Parisu [Wedding Present]was much appreciated by Tamil movie fans. Even without his wife’s participation, Thangavelu’s humor enriched movies such as Thillana Mohanambal in his role as a nattuvangam master (dance choreographer) to the heroine
T. S. Balaiah
Tirunelveli S. Balaiah is a Tamil film actor who is best known for the supporting roles he did in the 1960s.
His comedies are still very famous especially his scenes in Thillana Mohanambal. But he was never given the recognition he deserved.
V. K. Ramasamy
J. P. Chandrababu
J. P. Chandrababu Tamil film comedian-actor, singer and dancer, whose chaplin-style on-screen movements and unique singing style, with some humorous yet philosophical Tamil lyrics and a bass voice, made him popular from the late 1940s to the early 1970s.
He was often likened to the styles of Jerry Lewis, the famous Hollywood comedian-actor. His slapstick style of comedy was then used by later generation actors like Prabhu Deva in Kaadhalan movie. Chandrababu’s eloquence in Madras Bashai, a dialect unique to the lower socio-economic status, was incomparable for a long time until Kamal Haasan could do it, a couple of decades later. Many of Chandrababu’s songs have remained popular through the generations to this day – to the old and young alike.
Nagesh was a Tamil film actor, mostly remembered for his roles as a comedian during the 1960s. He is regarded as one of the most prolific comedians in Tamil cinema.
He acted in over 1,000 Indian films from 1958 to 2008, performing in variety of roles as comedian, lead roles, supporting actor and antagonist.
In a stark contrast to the comic roles he performed, Nagesh’s personal life was wrought with suffering. After losing his father at an early age, Nagesh had to endure a weak financial situation and family ostracism which plagued him throughout his life. The film Server Sundaram, a rags-to-riches story in which Nagesh plays the lead role, is believed to be roughly based on the real life story of the actor.
Despite being primarily a comedian, Nagesh was rated highly as a character actor by his peers. Nagesh’s style of comedy was largely inspired by Hollywood actor Jerry Lewis. Similarities between Nagesh and Lewis earned Nagesh the sobriquet “Jerry Lewis of India”
Early in his life, he saw a Tamil play Kamba Ramayanam enacted by his colleagues, and felt that he could do a good job. He persuaded the secretary of the Railways cultural association to give him the role of a man suffering from stomach pain. MGR, then chief guest, seeing this play, in his speech praised Nagesh for his performance. From then onwards, Nagesh played small roles in various drama troupes.
In 1958, producer Balaji spotted Nagesh and gave him his first break in a film called Manamulla Marudhaaram. The film did not do well at the box office. Moreover, Nagesh had only a small role to play in the movie. In 1960, Nagesh made his debut in Kannada with Makkala Rajya.
Nagesh won critical acclaim for his performance in the 1961 movie Thayilla Pillai. But it was his 1962 hit Nenjil Oru Aalayam which launched his career in the Tamil film industry. Nagesh was seen playing the lead role in Server Sundaram(1964) directed by Krishnan Panju. The movie was a remarkable hit and proved to be a great turning point in his career.