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Tamil cinema has a long tradition of comedians who have endeared themselves to audiences.  Some attained iconic status such as Kalaivanar N.S. Krishnan who started the tradition of comedy with social consciousness in Tamil cinema.  When some comedians appear on the screen, their mere presence evokes laughter.  One such comedian making it big, of late, is Yogi Babu whose unconventional appearance along with curly shocks of hair and sharp witticisms have earned him a slot that has the potential of achieving star status.

Who is Yogi Babu?
Yogi Babu in his 20s entered Tamil cinema as an assistant director and writer for the Vijay TV programme ‘Lollusabha’,   a parody entertainer.

Beyond this, there is no worthwhile information available in the public domain about his professional growth, probably because he has not expressed himself often in public.  He usually does not reveal his thoughts much even while speaking at film functions perhaps because he is not interested to create a persona.

Yogi Babu in his 20s entered Tamil cinema, working as an assistant director and writer for the Vijay TV programme ‘Lollusabha’,   a parody entertainer

Yet, certain things are known. For instance, he is interested in cricket.  Indian cricketer Natarajan is his close friend. Yogi Babu’s father was working in the Army and so he wanted to follow suit.

In 2020, Yogi Babu got married and now has a son. Before making a foray into the visual medium, he used to do odd jobs involving physical work. He is a devotee of Lord Muruga. It is these odd bits of information that help one construct Yogi Babu’s profile.

Also Read: Dhaadhaa catches Yogi Babu on the wrong foot

Nature of characters
Yogi Babu is, in fact, employing the same comic style of dialogue delivery as other comedians such as Surulirajan, Goundamani, Vivek, Santhanam, Satheesh and so on.  Inevitably Yogi Babu too faced the charge of indulging in body shaming for comic effect.

In the latest film Maveeran, he cracked a joke targeting an elderly man, saying, “You have come to pay condolences; but in two days you will be condoled yourself.” This witticism is an example of humour at the cost of sensibilities.

Yet, Yogi Babu makes himself the butt of laughter, joking about himself in the Chaplinesque style.  The commercial films’ comedy tracks are teeming with his jokes directed towards others and the second method of joking about himself is evident in films like Mandela, Komali and so on.

Even at public functions, he speaks in a lighter vein as he does in films.

So, it seems difficult to figure out how he is in his off-screen.

He has reached a state where his screen presence and caustically humorous lines strike a chord with the viewers

In this respect, Yogi Babu follows in the footsteps of Goundamani, crafting a lighter and humorous personality on-screen and off-screen.  He never gives a chance for the audience to have a peek into his real character. This explains why many think he is really what he projects himself to be on screen and what he speaks at the public events.

Dialogue with people
It is a given that celebrity status can be maintained all through only if famous people are the staple of the social media narrative.  Realising this, Yogi Babu has probably got his own social media team working non-stop to keep him in the limelight.

Yogi Babu’s success is hardly a matter of pure luck.  Behind it is his long time of hard work.  He used to do cameo roles that came his way.  Babu became Yogi Babu after he performed a role in Amir’s film Yogi.  Next he caught the attention of the audience in Sundar C’s film Kalakalappu. Consequently, he did cameo roles in films Chennai Express, Veeram, Yamirukka Bayamey and Kakkichattai.

Also Read: Maaveeran: A fantasy world of the risen underdog

When he teamed up with Sivakarthikeyan in the film Maan Karate, his comedy went down well with the viewers.

Yogi Babu created a hilarious tempo in the film Kakkamuttai with his line to fellow actor Ramesh Tilak, “You tried to sprinkle sacred ash on me?” (Tamil idiom meaning ‘you tried to deceive me).

He maintained the comic tempo in his subsequent films Remo, Mersel, Kalakalappu-2, Kulebhagavali, Kolamavu Kokila, Sarkar and so on.

Now, he has reached a state wherein his screen presence and caustically humorous lines strike a chord with the viewers.  Just as ace comedians Thangavelu and Nagesh exhibited their histrionic skills, essaying character roles too, Yogi Babu has done the same thing in the films Pariyerum Perumal, Komali, Karnan and Aandavan Kattalai and also done hero roles in Thaaralaprabhu and Coorga. He then touched the zenith in the film Mandela.

To tease and troll star actors is a very risky job for comedians. But that is what Yogi Babu did with aplomb in the film Darbar where he took a dig at even the superstar Rajinikanth.  Yet, the teasing of the superstar was appreciated with an understanding that the personal and the professional are worlds apart.

Yogi Babu has sweated it out all the way to reach the heights. Yet he still has to intensify his professional efforts to sustain himself at the top.

On his birthday (July 22), wishes him many more laurels ahead.

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