Balaji Patturaj (born 20 June 1985), popularly known as RJ Balaji, is an Indian radio jockey, presenter, comedian and actor based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He is best known as the host of the BIG FM 92.7 shows The Night Show with RJ Balaji, Take it Easy and its now defunct segment Cross Talk, where he made prank calls to unsuspecting victims.
Although mainly a radio jockey, Balaji is also active in other fields; he is known for his association with the television shows Ungalil Yaar Adutha Prabhu Dheva and Why This Kolaveri, and for his performance in the films Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru (2013), Vadacurry (2014) Naanum Rowdy Dhaan (2015) and Pugazh (2016). He has also been a presenter at many inter-school cultural events in Chennai, a cricket commentator, and has contributed to many social causes, such as providing relief support to the victims of the 2015 South Indian floods along with other actors.
Balaji was born on 20 June 1985, and was raised in Chennai. He has four siblings, one younger brother, three younger sisters. He said that his father abandoned his family at an unspecified point. Balaji said in a 2013 interview with The Hindu that he changed 24 houses and 11 schools while growing up in Chennai, because his "mother just cannot stay in one place. She would move from Perambur to Thiruvanmiyur to Mylapore... no place close to each other." He failed in the twelfth grade once, while his friends passed. Before the news of his failure could spread in his neighbourhood, Balaji and his family shifted to another locality; he saw this failure as a "disaster". Balaji roamed around in random company and even assisted his friend, an AC mechanic, to keep himself occupied. Balaji eventually passed in the twelfth grade, and when he was in college, he realised that his strength was in interaction, and that the attention and acclaim he received in his college culturals gave him confidence and he realised that he had to be in the media.
After completing his B.Sc computer science from the Kumararani Meena Muthiah College of Arts in 2006, Balaji joined the Amrita School of Communication in Coimbatore for a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism, because he wanted to become like his cousin who worked at NDTV, but when he was asked to write a report on his hostel's canteen, the 56-word report contained 47 grammatical errors, and he soon realised that English journalism was not what he was interested in. At that time he saw a newspaper advertisement of a radio station (Radio Mirchi Coimbatore) that auditioned for radio jockeys and he applied for it, though he "never knew what an RJ was back then". He said that he almost did not get selected then when he sang a gaana but was finally selected in November 2006. He has not completed his journalism course since.