Day Dream: 'Making a mockery' with Lollu Sabha's Rambhala

This episode features Rambhala -- writer and director of the 'cult' comedy show Lollu Sabha from Vijay TV. He spoke about many things including: his early days in Vijay TV and how Lollu Sabha came to be; controversies surrounding several episodes including 'Bakery'; about 'Tamil Padam' and his attempts to make it to films. The interview was recorded last Saturday and plays for about 70 minutes. Since it was recorded over cellphone, there's some quality loss but it's mostly negligible, I hope. I'll try to add descriptive timeline soon.
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25 comments:

Anonymous said...

that was great, good work suresh

Anonymous said...

I heard the interview last night.

Earlier it was very few people who were including others work into their movies. They took things from magazines and radios and included in their movies as they were the main-stream media then.

Once the TV media became more powerful, popular things in TV are being taken to big screens. Has the big screen script writers gone out of ideas? I was thinking that new script writers have been atleast breaking the old style and starting new after Oomai Vizigal movie. Had they run out of steam ?

Was this status arrived because of the TV channels taking more political agenda and trying to rule big screens too?

If these type of program is not possible in TN, is it possible at India level?

Chan said...

Hi Suresh
Nice work. not sure if any TN media or even the TV he works/worked for ever cared to interview him, given the loads of (half boiled)interviews with chunnu munnus (pardon my hindi)of tamil cinema. I too share your appreciation for the show, especially 'bakery'. however, i feel that he seemed bit elusive when u asked him whether the show's mockery were based on TN's social and political issues. may be he didn't want to answer, or the mockery in his show was just restricted to tamil cinema. But certainly this interview makes one understand the forces that curb the 'freedom of expression' in tamil TV shows like this. although 'offending the sentiments' might seem the obvious force, the increasing dependence of tamil TVs on movie industry and the movie industry in turn using the TVs as their marketing medium has led to this win win game at the expense of freedom of expression. Another fine example of this is the 'Reel pathi and real pathi', where the host admitted that the movie producers didn't obviously like their movies to be mocked at and had to give up the show.
Just wondering if programmes like 'Penn and Teller, Bullshit' are possible on Tamil TV. Even Penn and Teller say that they their script undergoes a thorough scan by their lawyers for any possible legal issues before shooting. But they have the luxury of not being worried about offending sentiments, producers of other shows or movies, or any other bullshit reason we have here that can hold flags and stone your windows.
Glad you are doing this and bringing about this awarness. Hope to see more of this kind.

Anonymous said...

Nice interview Suresh. The questions were what any fan of lollu sabha will ask... really enjoyed.
Ram Bala started to talk about Swaminathan, but you interrupted and the topic got changed. You should have asked about him later. Swaminathan is also relatively unknown in big screen but his episodes in lollu sabha are really funny...

Good work again and I hope you continue to upload offbeat interviews like this.

Suresh said...

Anon1- Thanks.

Anon2- It's not possible until DD becomes as independent as the BBC or there's something like CSPAN (Prasar Bharti may still interfere a lot).

Chan - Thanks. Rambhala has been in the industry long enough to know not to rub 'important' people on the wrong side. If he didn't know it enough, 'Bakery' sure 'englightened' him.

Anon3 - Thanks. I hope I have the opportunity to talk to do more (and better) like this.

Arun said...

Not sure if it was ur editing...
IMO if it is supposed to be an "interview" , try not to cut out the person when they try to converse (like the old IBN jerks),, n dnt push in ur view points into an interview ... i hope u had ur "rambling" sessions for that ...

Naveen said...

Hi Suresh - Interesting discussion. Thanks for sharing.

IMO as a society Indians (barring a few sections) lack sense of humor especially when it makes fun of us. Ego and Pride dominates our senses. It reflects in the way Indian heros, especially tamil react to criticism and caricature.

Some episodes of Lollu Sabah were good and creative in its spoof but I felt most of the times the satire was so over the top that it was difficult to find the humor in it. Many episodes were just mimicry. Over the top movies matched with over the top satire but not very entertaining. However, it was a brave effort in Land of huge egos and mutual admiration clubs.

I didnt understand the criticism of Tamil Padam. It was not a bad spoof at all especially considering that there has hardly been a spoof before that. The 2nd half of the movie was uncreative and boring but not a bad attempt at all. I could not quite understand the hint of bitterness Ram Bhala had for that film. Maybe i missed something...

Again, thanks for sharing and please post some podcast review again... been a while since a roast happened ;)

Suresh said...

Arun:

Since this is the first comment on this topic, I'll give a polite and rather detailed reply:

This is not oral history; I have an agenda going in. I'd like to have a few specific areas explored in any given conversation within a relatively short amount of time (yes this is internet, but I still wouldn't want to put out/listen to something that goes on for 5 hours). When the conversation seems to go off in a tangent, I have to step in steer it a certain way. I wish I didn't have to interrupt and we had a natural segue from one thing to another in brief intervals. But it's totally dependent on the guest. Plus, these are phone conversations. They cannot observe my body language to stop themselves.

I have some criticisms about the form too (and content, a little bit) and I'd like to address them in future. However, 'my views' will be there still. For I am *choosing* what to ask (and who to ask) after all. And I might as well state it clearly so the guest understands where I'm coming from.

Naveen:

I don't think people in India generally lack a good sense of humour. It's a problem of wider public discourse that is ideologically perverted by colonization and its vestiges. This notion of suppressed sense of humour is prevalent in almost all post-colonial societies. Especially in those that have banned pornography (will write about this later).

Arun said...

I dint mean to be hard on you .. i do understand tat u have to moderate the conversation ...
but i felt tat u were trying to dominate this "interview" (may be coz of the nature of the guest) .. i heard the other interview with krishna and i cud understand u "moderating" there ; nt in this one though

P.S: Wat does tat "polite" mean .. if your not open to criticism ... mention it

Arun said...

If people encouraging the "mockery show" are people who even moderate their "comments" page ... for sure these shows will see their heights :)

Suresh said...

Arun,

I am open to criticism, of course. But it depends on its content/relevance.

Comment moderation is automatically enabled for older posts in order to avoid spam. If you have anything further to add please take it to this post. Thanks.

Naveen said...

Suresh - I meant sense of humor especially in situations when the object of humor is "us". I am not able to recall specific instances but in my personal experience even those with a good sense of humor under normal situations do not react well when they / their behavior / acts is the subject of a joke. It is just based on my experiences.

"This notion of suppressed sense of humour is prevalent in almost all post-colonial societies" - I have to admit that I didn't even think of thinking that way :) I will look forward to your post on it.

Anonymous said...

His shows are sure to bring humour especially when you take in the fact that they want to be as "mokkai" as possible. However many a times crossing the border is little too much like the one where it was titled "Paeru vekka theriyala". In one dance sequence, the cast including Swaminathan were touching the lady all over the place.

Krishna said...

On a totally unrelated note:

http://www.behindwoods.com/features/visitors-1/feb-11-03/shankar-maniratnam-21-02-11.html

Anonymous said...

Good stuff on this podcast.

Was wondering what you thought of Wilbur Sargunaraj? I can't imagine you don't have a class/caste take on the guy and his sudden fame! (I certainly do - seeing a bit of him I was reminded of the comedic side of Louis Armstrong...)

Ashwin

Suresh said...

It's interesting that you ask about him today. I was talking about it in twitter: here and here. I've said a few other things on this topic if you scroll down further. (Btw, if you left this comment because of those tweets then it's not much of a coincidence. :p)

There's an unmistakable class element in his humour (and a caste element in its consumption). His apparent popularity is more in line with Borat's. And I don't think it was all that sudden.

As I've mentioned in the tweet, I'll write about in detail

Anonymous said...

Enna Vazhiyal.. at the start of the interview :) I thought you were serious when you made fun of other people calling Rajini Sir and Kamal Sir.. are you any different? there is a saying.. naayi vesam potta... :)

Suresh said...

neenga sonna saridhan thiruvaalar anonymous sir avargale he he.

Anonymous said...

Good One :)

Gokul said...

Hello, Suresh! I really enjoyed ur podcast and u r right! came across something interesting, thought u might be interested: http://kaavyakrishna.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/10-reasons-why-i-wont-watch-endhiran-again/

Deepak said...

I am hearing your podcast for the first time.I felt nostalgic when Lollu sabha programs ended. I appreciate you interviewing its Creator which doesnt happen much in India. Cheers.

Karthik Karthik said...

superb sir.. i wish u al da best.........

Harini Babu said...

nice website....keep it up..
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Unknown said...

Do you still have link to the audio file ? The file isn't found under the link.

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