Google dedicates doodle to beloved Turkish funnyman Kemal Sunal
The legendary Kemal Sunal, who appeared in more than 80 movies over three decades, is a synonym of laughter for many generations in Turkey.In a fresh attempt to embrace local popular culture, Google has dedicated a very special doodle to late Turkish funnyman Kemal Sunal on the occasion of his 70th birthday on Nov. 11.
The legendary Sunal, who appeared in more than 80 movies over three decades, has become a synonym of laughter for many generations in Turkey, particularly due to the ever-naïve demeanor and kind-heartedness of his many characters.
Sunal succeeded in endearing himself to all segments of the Turkish population and all ages, and was also appreciated by many for his modest and down-to-earth personal life off set.
His iconic characters include “Şaban the Cow,” a gracious simpleton and subject of pranks in the “Hababam Sınıfı” (The Chaos Class) series, “Feyzo the Polite” who defied his village’s patriarchal and feudal system for his love, and the famous “Zübük,” based on a story by Turkish satirist Aziz Nesin that depicted a crooked politician.
His trademark sonorous guffaw and gentle invectives, such as “son of a mule” (eşoğlueşek), a word he used to pronounce with an elongated “sh,” have since become an almost integral part of Turkish popular culture.
Though not often direct, the modest background of Sunal’s characters also sometimes contained pointed social criticism in years marked by turmoil and extreme political tension.
His career shifted in the late 1990s, when he began to accept more serious and ambitious roles, such as in the 1999 movie “Propaganda,” in which he played a customs officer. Unusually, he also began studying at university after more than 25 years in the entertainment business, receiving a diploma in communications at the age of 50.
However, Sunal died in 2000 at the age of 56 due to a heart attack, as he was preparing to fly for the first time in his life to Trabzon, where he was set to shoot another movie.
His movies are still constantly screened on Turkish television stations and his guffaws promise to continue generating smiles for future generations.