N. Santhanam

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Birth name N. Santhanam
Born (1980-01-21) 21 January 1980 (age 36)[1]
Pozhichalur, Chennai,
Tamil Nadu, India
Nationality Indian
Genres Stand-up comedy
Spouse Usha[2]

N. Santhanam (born 21 January 1980) is an Indian film actor who has predominantly appeared in Tamil films as a comedian.

Beginning his career as a comedian on television shows, he rose to fame through his performances in Vijay TV's Lollu Sabha enacting the lead role in spoofs of Tamil films. He was subsequently given a chance by actor Silambarasan to feature in a supporting role in Manmadhan (2004) and then was signed on to appear in a host of films, notably winning good reviews for his work in Sachien (2005) and Polladhavan (2007). He appeared in a one-off leading role in Shankar's production Arai En 305-il Kadavul (2008) and subsequently became a staple feature as a comedian in successful Tamil films during the period, with his market popularity helping stuck films find distributors.[3][4] Santhanam has also had embarked on collaborations with directors including gaining positive reviews for his work in M. Rajesh's comic trilogy of Siva Manasula Sakthi (2009), Boss Engira Bhaskaran (2010) and Oru Kal Oru Kannadi (2012), winning the Vijay Award for Best Comedian for each one. He has also repeatedly collaborated in the films of A. L. Vijay, Siva and Sundar C as well as in films featuring Silambarasan, Arya and Udhayanidhi Stalin.

His consistently well-received performances and box office appeal in the early 2010s prompted the film industry to dub him as the "Comedy Superstar".[5] In 2012, he began a film production company named Handmade Films and produced his first film, Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya (2013), which went on to become a commercially successful venture. Meanwhile in 2014, he starred in the leading role again in the action comedy Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham (2014), winning critical and commercial acclaim.[6] In 2015 dec Forbes India Magazine listed Santhanam in 2015 Celebrity 100, at the 52nd position and at 17 by Money Rank(earnings)[7]

Early life[edit]

He was born and brought up in Pozhichalur, a suburb in Chennai. He did his schooling in Pozhichalur- Marya Nivas matriculation higher secondary school. He is a die-hard fan of Rajinikanth.


Santhanam has noted that he actively avoided being a part of separate comedy tracks within films, maintaining that appearing as an actor in the story would stop his comedy becoming monotonous.[8]

His appeal at the box office was evident after films such as Leelai and Kadhal Pisase were able to find distributors following long delays, while Telugu film makers S. S. Rajamouli and Sai Kiran Adivi partially shot scenes with the actor before releasing a Tamil version of their Telugu films, through Naan Ee and Vinayaga.

Santhanam's first production venture, Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya directed by Manikandan, became a commercially successful venture upon release in January 2013. Producing the venture under his newly formed studio Handmade Films, Santhanam opted to introduce a predominantly new cast and keep a low budget for the project understanding that film production had "previously ended the careers of many".[9] Featuring Santhanam as one of the three lead characters alongside his close friend and dermatologist Sethu and Power Star Srinivasan, the film was well received by critics, with a reviewer noting "there is a serious actor hidden somewhere inside Santhanam, who seems to be waiting for the right opportunity or role to break out of the comedian and sidekick roles he is confined to now", adding that "he can put many commercially successful actors to shame."[10] He featured a journalist in Kannan's comedy film Settai alongside Arya and Premgi Amaren, also serving as an assistant director, while he then also played a popular role of a love guru in Sundar C's Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru. He continued to feature in well received roles in commercially successful films like Raja Rani and Vanakkam Chennai, and his work in Endrendrum Punnagai with Jiiva and Vinay, was also praised with a critic noting that "with his spot-on comedy, measured histrionics and his immense likeability, he is a revelation and provides some hearty laughs."[11] A set-back came in the form of his fourth collaboration with Rajesh in All in All Azhagu Raja which became a surprise failure, and a critic wrote "though he does have his moments, the comedy seems to be forced, many of the scenes greatly exaggerated, and his portrayal of Kareena Chopra is a disaster."[12][13]

In 2014, he appeared in the leading role in Srinath's Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham, a remake of the 2010 Telugu film Maryada Ramanna. In preparation for the film, Santhanam lost weight, sported a different look and attended dance classes as well as reducing his work by being more selective on accepting other scripts.[14] The film opened in May 2014 to positive reviews and box office success with a critic noting that "it is a Santhanam show all the way" and that "he also delivers as a complete actor, displaying a range of emotions."[15]


Santhanam's sketches in films has sometimes garnered criticism for its lack of sensitivity, with selected communities often being quick to attempt to seek an apology from the actor. A large number of practising advocates staged a protest in front of the Egmore Court complex protesting against comedian Santhanam’s ‘ridiculing’ act in the film Deiva Thirumagal which they said amounted to defame not only the advocates but the very legal profession on the whole.[16] Santhanam was involved in controversy when he made fun of Mukesh Harane, a 24-year-old tobacco user who died of oral cancer and features in health-risk warning cards before films, and a scene was immediately removed from the film All in All Azhagu Raja.[17][18] In 2013, a double meaning dialogue uttered by him in Endrendrum Punnagai created controversy.[19] He was accused of making remark against women, due to protests the dialogue was removed from the film.[20]

Selected filmography[edit]

Notable films[edit]

Main article: Santhanam filmography
Year Film Role Notes
2009 Siva Manasula Sakthi Vivek Vijay Award for Best Comedian
2010 Boss Engira Bhaskaran Nallathambi Vijay Award for Best Comedian
2011 Siruthai Kaatuppoochi Vijay Award for Best Comedian
Vaanam Seenu SIIMA Award for Best Comedian
2012 Oru Kal Oru Kannadi Parthasarathy Vijay Award for Best Comedian
2013 Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya KK Also producer
Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru Mokia Vijay Award for Best Comedian
2014 Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham Sakthi Also producer
2015 Inimey Ippadithaan Seenu Also producer
2016 Dhilluku Dhuddu Filming


Year Show TV Channel
2001–2004 Lollu Sabha Vijay TV
2002 Tea Kadai Bench Win TV
2003 Annamalai Serial/ (Character name Sakhti) Sun TV




  1. ^ "Happy birthday, Santhanam! – Tamil Movie News". Indiaglitz. 21 January 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "I will write and direct a film soon: Santhanam". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 8 December 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  3. ^ "Santhanam the most wanted!". The Times of India. 23 May 2011. 
  4. ^ K. R. Manigandan (14 April 2012). "Comedy is serious business". The Hindu. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Santhanam named 'Comedy Superstar'". 
  6. ^ "Santhanam Biography". Oneindia.in. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Forbes India http://forbesindia.com/celebprofile2015/n-santhanam/103. Retrieved 11 December 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ subha j rao. "Fun Factory". The Hindu. 
  9. ^ subha j rao. "Everything to laugh about". The Hindu. 
  10. ^ "Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya". The Times of India. 
  11. ^ "Movie Review : Endrendrum Punnagai". Sify. 
  12. ^ "Review: All in All Azhagu Raja is a waste of time". Rediff. 5 November 2013. 
  13. ^ "Movie Review : All in All Azhaguraja-A profoundly irritating film". Sify. 
  14. ^ Udhav naig. "The rise of a hero". The Hindu. 
  15. ^ "Movie review ‘Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham’: Santhanam steals the show". Deccan Chronicle. 
  16. ^ "Advocates protest against Comedian Santhanam". Kolly Talk. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  17. ^ "All in All Azhaguraja faces ban? – Times of India". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  18. ^ "Actor Santhanam's joke has anti-tobacco lobby fuming". The Times of India. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  19. ^ "Santhanam Breaks his Promise – Tamil Movie News". Indiaglitz.com. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  20. ^ "Santhanam's controversial dialogue removed, again – Times of India". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 

External links[edit]