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Nagesh - the original king of comedy

There was a time when I would watch a Thamizh movie only if Nagesh was part of the casting.  Some of my Nagesh favorites.

Kaadhalikka Naeramillai

I cannot recall the number of times I've listened to this movie's dialogues over my Dad's LP Record player.  An ensemble of cast that owed a lot to the Baliah-Nagesh duo for lifting the movie to comedic heights. Chellappa is the ultimate movie buff - lots of ideas but no real talent in film making - maybe that's why I like this character a lot - can identify with it. When will someone make 'Mayanaththil Muththam' and 'Kaththi munaiyil raththam'? The contemporary dialogues had Nagesh mouthing English lines immediately followed by their Thamizh translations. "We don't see English pictures... we want only Thamizh pictures!"


Upstaging Sivaji Ganesan in a historical or mythological movie is impossible. However, Nagesh came as close as anybody in the ten minutes he was on screen. The casting was a master stroke and the dialogues complimented the actors. The number of stage plays in schools and colleges across Tamil Nadu that had this scene reenacted is tribute enough. Sokkaa, Sokkaa...

Bama Vijayam

Another Balaiah-Nagesh treat, Balachander delivers this comedy gem relying on his theatre like screenplay. One cannot help guffaw during the scene where Nagesh tries to remember the 'one' move in which the titular actress acted well. Sureshaa...


Thrillers are a rarity in early Thamizh movies. Nagesh comes as an undercover cop to unravel the mystery of multiple heirs in a royal family. My favorite line is when Nagesh and Ravichandran are cornered by the villain's henchmen. One of them points a gun at Nagesh's and asks him for his last wish. Nagesh asks for the gun. Comedy bliss. The real scene stealer was Nagesh's brief appearance as his own mother. "Komatla Kuththu"

Veettukku Veedu

Lakshmi and Jayashankar play a couple who con a group of people into thinking that they are not a couple. Nagesh plays the character of the landlord's son. In trying to woo the heroine, he discovers her secret. His frustrations compound when no one believes him. The whole plot boils down to Lakshmi outsmarting Nagesh and his 'Mmmmmaatikittan' triumphs. His hippie style of dressing and crooning "Andha pakkam vaazhndhavan Romeo, Indha pakkam naan enna saamiyo" add the seventies flavor to the movie. "Jalagandeswara, Jamadhagni"


Balachandar's ode to Nagesh's entire range of histrionics. The character, Madhu, has inspired many and none more than comedian/script writer Crazy Mohan.  "Dhamma thundu paiyalukku Dhilla paaththiya?"

Iru Kodugal

Again, a Balaachandar movie. This time around Nagesh plays a rabble rouser in an office setting. His name is Babu and his son's name is Buba. Together they go about creating havoc in the office. The humor laced villainy is unique in its execution.

There are many others which I cannot recall in detail

Server Sundaram

Saadhu Mirandaal


Thaen kinnam


Kamala Haasan is another big fan of Nagesh, the actor. Proof of that is his casting of Nagesh in stellar roles in some of his own movies.

Apoorva Sagodharargal - as the main villain

Michael Madhana Kama Rajan - as Avinasi, the gold digger

Nammavar -  a national award winning turn as the father of a rape/murder victim. His 'dance' at his daughter's funeral is a hard hitting scene.


  1. All the present day comedians fade in comaprison to Nagesh!

  2. We cannot expect 'clean' intelligent comedy anymore.

  3. Anonymous9:12 AM


  4. Visitor12:27 AM

    Alas, Nagesh is no more.

  5. Anonymous7:34 PM


    He make tamil movie a life with his dance and the way he walk and move. Nagesh is the best and he will alwayls the best and no one can replace him.

  6. First thing I remembered after hearing his death news was the cameo role Nagesh did as a dead body in "Magalir Mattum" :( A wonderful actor.

  7. About your post on Tiruvilaiyaadal, I read recently that in that scene some monologue lines of Nagesh were his own and spontaneous in a rare situation of Sivaji arriving late for the shooting.

  8. "ippo ivar joseph, munnadi mudhaliyaar, arambathla chellappa" - Avvai shamughi yenga? :D

    This man is a legend!

  9. Anonymous7:28 AM

    no one can beat in his comedy, dance,emotion hero,he plays as a hero in 4 films all are super hit great