Comedian Santhanam has categorically stated that he considered ‘young superstar’ Simbu a.k.a. Silambarasan a.k.a. STR as his ‘mentor’ and ‘guru’ as Simbu was the one who first spotted his talent and provided him a big breakthrough in his film ‘Vallavan’. Santhanam’s rise as one of the leading comedians in the past few years has been steady and has taken some pundits by surprise.
Age is on the side Santhanam, who became famous through his brand of reality comedy shows on the television wherein he would take on many heroes and reel off dialogues imitating them, as he can be signed up as the hero’s friend and jells with almost all the heroes viz., Shanthanu, Simbu, Vishal, Aarya, Jeeva, Bharath, Karthi and ‘Jayam’ Ravi.
Along with Vivek and Vadivelu, Santhanam has become a name to reckon with in Tamil films. Cashing in on his popularity, Santhanam takes cue from his mentors in comedy like Goundamani and Nagesh and uses their styles into his inputs in his films. In a recent interview, he has said that he was taking info from the ‘library of comedians’ consisting the late N.S. Krishnan, Chandrababu, Nagesh, Surulirajan and the likes of Cho, Goundamani, Senthil, Janagaraj and Vadivelu and using it in his films.
“However, Simbu is my mentor in Tamil films. It is only due to him choosing me to star alongside him in ‘Vaalavan’ that I could make an entry in Tamil films. As such, I owe my growth in Tamil films to Simbu,” says Santhanam and adds that he doesn’t need to prefix any title to his name. “Legends in comedy like Charlie Chaplin didn’t have any title prefixing his name. Why shouldn’t I remain like them?” is Santhanam’s argument.