Vadivelu (born October 10, 1960) is a Tamil comedian film actor. Post-2000, he has dominated Tamil films as a comedian in Kollywood, along with comedian Vivek. During his career, Vadivelu has won several Filmfare Awards and Tamil Nadu State Film Awards.
Born in the southern city of Madurai, Vadivelu is nicknamed Vaigai Puyal (the Vaigai storm, after the river Vaigai, which flows through the city; Puyal could be symbolic of his ability to 'bring down anything like a storm'). Starting as a sidekick to the famed Goundamani-Senthil comedy duo, he rose to prominence after his role in Kadhalan. His Madurai Tamil accent (Tamil spoken in southern Tamil Nadu) is usually a perfect foil for his roles in Tamil movies with a village background or a simpleton in a city.
In most movies, Vadivelu plays a simpleton with good intentions but lands in trouble because of circumstances or eccentricities of the people he comes across. These roles involve heavy use of slapstick and puns, which has led him to being typecast. His comedy sequences typically end with him getting soundly trashed and a closing one-liner from him bemoaning his situation or antagonists. "Aaha oru guruppa thaaanya alayaraangaya" (this roughly translates to: These people seem to roam around in groups to pick on him), "vanduttangayya, vandutanngya" (In Tamil this announces the arrival of his soon-to-be tormentors).
His part in movies like Bharathi Kannamma, Vetri Kodi Kattu and Winner and Chandramukhi are typical of his performances that have brought him laurels and accolades from the Tamil movie-goer. Apart from acting, he has also lent his voice to songs in his movies. Some of his popular songs are "Ettana Irundha", "orendu onne" and "Kundakka Mandakka".
Cashing in on his popularity, he starred in the lead role of the historical comedy spoof, Imsai Arasan 23am Pulikesi. The movie was declared a blockbuster and was widely acclaimed for its 'clean' comedy. The movie features Vadivelu in a dual role, playing twin brothers. As can be expected in such plots, one of them is a laidback, cowardly king and the other is his brother, who grows up away from the palace into a well-informed and brave rebel, only to exchange places later. His next venture as lead star was in the movie Indiralohathil Na Azhagappan which flopped in the box-office.
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