Series / Chespirito

Chespirito is a sketch-comedy series named after Roberto Gómez Bolaños, known as "Chespirito" ("little Shakespeare") the Mexican comedian who wrote and starred in almost every sketch on the show. It's most famous for the skits El Chavo del ocho, in which Chespirito and others play small children who get into various mischief, and El Chapulín Colorado, a parody of comic-book super-heroes, who exhibits the opposite of all typical superhero traits, save for having good intentions. Both of these spun off into independent sitcoms for several years. Other popular sketches on the show were Dr. Chapatín (a rude, money-grubbing doctor who went a little berserk any time someone mentioned his age), Los Chifladitos (the surreal adventures of two suburban lunatics), and Los Caquitos (sketches about two small-time thieves, who eventually reform and try a series of odd jobs).

Chespirito ran for twenty-plus years, in one form or another, with most of the cast remaining for the entire time. Unfortunately, two cast members — Ramón Valdés and Carlos Villagrán — dropped out after having disagreements with the star. Many fans regard this as a Jump the Shark moment, since they played some of the best-loved characters on the show. Still, the show managed to go on for more than a decade without them, gradually relying more on sketches that didn't feature them.

Although the sitcoms are probably more fondly remembered than the sketch-comedy hour, the show is a major piece of Latin American pop-culture, and is still widely syndicated today.

Gómez Bolaños passed away on November 28, 2014, at age 85, leaving behind a huge legacy that will be remembered for generations to come.

This show as a whole provides examples of:

The skit "Dr. Chapatín" provides examples of:

  • Achievements in Ignorance:
    • In the first half of a El Chapulín Colorado episode, he's convinced to play poker with El Cuajináis and El Tripaseca, the two most dangerous gangsters in the city (though he doesn't know at first). Dr. Chapatín has no idea how to play poker, yet he manages to bluff a poker and get another one in just two plays. He's almost shot for that, though.
    • In another El Chapulín Colorado episode, he's told by a detective that a madman, El Pocastrancas, was in the hospital, and that he had to be completely mute to not anger him. However, Dr. Chapatín gets El Pocastrancas and a patient the other way around, and actually dodges every attack from El Pocastancas while massaging him, completely unaware of who he was until after he left.
  • Berserk Button: Any time somebody makes fun of Dr. Chapatín's apparent age. (Him asking angrily "Insinuas que soy viejo?" ("Are you insinuating I'm old?") and getting an affirmative answer (and a bit more biting than the one that made him ask) was a Running Gag).
  • Catch-Phrase: "¡Me da cosa!", whenever he thinks or sees something squicky.
  • Continuity Snarl: While all Chespirito shorts have No Continuity, Dr. Chapatín's awareness of El Chapulín Colorado varies between each episode. In one, he's happy to see he's arrived to protect him. In another, upon accidentally summoning him, he thinks he's a madman believing to be El Chapulín Colorado and that the character only existed in the TV - though he happened to be told shortly before that that there was a madman believing he was El Chapulín Colorado.
  • Courtroom Episode: Dr. Chapatín is being sued by a woman, whose dog he ran over. Like El Chavo would do in the better known remake of this episode, he keeps sabotaging his defense, right as his lawyer is about to give up the case as lost, he lets Dr. Chapatín give his testimony. While on the stand, he mentions that he ran over the dog because he swerved in order to not run over a jaywalking drunk, when his lawyer asks why he didn't mention the drunk jaywalker, he looks at the judge and says that the court would have asked him if he could recognize the drunk, and he would have to tell everyone who the drunk was. The judge declares Dr. Chapatín not guilty, and closes the case.
  • Dr. Jerk: Subverted. Dr. Chapatín is a doctor and a Grumpy Old Man, but in some episodes it's stated that he's a well-known doctor because he's the cheapest, not because he's good. He's also more concerned in getting money than anything else.
  • Failure Gambit: Dr. Chapatín once did a bet with his assistant that he could kiss her without touching her lips. He failed... as the bet was merely a way to lure her into kissing him.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Dr. Chapatín.
  • Hello, Nurse!: Literally. In some episodes, Dr. Chapatín mentions looking for attractive nurses - and that includes his own assistant.
  • Mad Libs Catch Phrase: "¿Insinúa que soy viejo?", whenever someone mocks Dr. Chapatín's age. This triggers a small conversation:
    Dr. Chapatín: Are you implying I'm an old man?
    Someone else: No, Doctor. I don't know why but I have the feeling [insert ridiculous commentary hinting that Dr. Chapatín is old, for example: "the first fruit you bought was Adam and Eve's apple"].
    Then Dr. Chapatín would hit that person with his paper bag.
  • Only in It for the Money: Dr. Chapatín himself claims his specialty is "early payments". One skit involves a man trying to bribe Dr. Chapatín to fake an illness so that he would not have to do housework, to where Dr. Chapatín demands increasingly higher bribes. Turns out the man's wife already bribed Dr. Chapatín with a higher amount of money to give her husband some medicine with a very bad taste, so that he'd no longer fake an illness.
  • Serious Business: Football is this overall for Dr. Chapatín.
    • In a skit, Dr. Chapatín discusses about a penalty that was not given out in a football match. Whoever disagrees with his opinion that the penalty should have been given was hit by him. In the end, a soon-to-be-married couple starts a fight over the very same disagreement.
    • In another, he's desperate to attend a football match, but patients and phone calls constantly interrupt him. He eventually starts taking shortcuts to help patients and throwing the phone away... only to be told the football match was not that day, but the following one.
  • Shout-Out: to the old man from Laugh In.
  • Squick: In-universe. "¡Me da cosa!"
  • The Unreveal: The doctor always carried a paper bag which would never play any part whatsoever in the plot, except to punch whoever dared to say that he was old (this happened at least Once per Episode). But once, his nurse and one patient asked him directly about the paper bag and he finally answered: "Tengo queles." "¿Queles?" "¡¿Qué les importa?!" (that could be translated as "I have nunnayer." "Nunnayer?" "''None o'your'' damn business!").
  • Younger Than He Looks: In one skit, Dr. Chapatín claims to be 36. In another, he says his grandmother died recently. Dr. Chapatín looks no different from an old man.

The skit "Los Chifladitos" ("The Little Crazies") provides examples of:

  • Anti-Hero: Sometimes bordering on Villain Protagonist.
  • Character Tics: Chaparrón suffers a literal version called "chiripiolcas", in which he'll involuntarily stop what he's doing and do a repetitive dance in place until Lucas whacks him on the back to bring him out of it. Accompanied by bizarre sound effects.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Óyeme. Chaparrón. ¿Sabías que la gente sigue diciendo que tú y yo estamos locos?" (Hey Chaparrón, did you know people are still saying you and me are crazy?).
    • "¿Que tú y yo estamos locos, Lucas?" (That you and I are crazy??)
    • "Oye Lucas. Dígame Licenciado." Licenciado. "Gracias, muchas gracias. No hay de qué. (The phrase evolved into "No hay de queso, no más de papa.")" (Hey Lucas. Tell me Licenciado. Licenciado. Thank you! Thank you very much! Don't mention it. (or Fresh out of cheese, still got potato.))
    • "¿Ya se vá?" (Are you leaving already?)
    • ¡Estás en lo cierto!" (You're right!)
  • Crossover: With los Caqitos in one skit. Chaparron Bonaparte and Lucastañeda are discussing a possible scenario, where a couple of thieves break into their home, and Chapparon then states that he would sneak behind them with a blunt instrument, strike their heads, tie them up, and announce to Lucas that he knocked them unconscious and tied them down. Lucas then states that Chaparron does not have the necessary strength or intelligence to do what he just said, and advised him to just call the police if something like that happened. Chaparron heeds Lucas' advice and apologizes for beating up, and tying down El Chompiras and Botija.
  • Cryptic Conversation: Chaparrón and Lucas are fond of them.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Both of them. And their neighbor.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: One time they tied up a man, made him stand trial, and hit him in the stomach several times because he "killed" a coconut.
  • The Ditz: The neighbor, complete with a whiny nasally voice.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Chaparrón had No Indoor Voice.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: A census worker once asks them if they're married. They look at each other for a moment and say "No, just good friends."
  • Madlibs Catchphrase:
    • "No hagas caso. (Insert pun.)" Example: "No hagas caso. En la gente reina la envidia, y en Inglaterra reina Isabel." (Ignore them. Envy reigns over people, and Elizabeth reigns over England.)
    • "A propósito de..., sabías que la gente sigue diciendo..." (Speaking of...did you know people are still saying...)
      • The beginning phrase could be used in any conversation, in any context.
  • Meaningful Name: Chaparrón Bonaparte is named after Napoleon Bonaparte, whose character is often related to lunatics. Lucas Tañeda is named after La Castañeda, an old Mexican mental hospital.
  • No Social Skills.
  • May I Borrow a Cup of Sugar?: The female neighbor of Los Chifladitos always appear asking this.
  • Repeat After Me: Running Gag, which goes something like this:
    Chaparrón: Oye Lucas
    Lucas: Dígame, Licenciado (Tell me, Licenciado)note 
    Chaparrón: Licenciadonote 
    Lucas: ¡Gracias, muchas gracias! (Thank you, thank you very much!)

The skit "Los Caquitos" ("The Little Thieves") provides examples of:

  • Anti-Villain: While the protagonists are crooks, they are too well-meaning (and stupid) to do any real harm.
  • Artifact Title: They stopped being "Caquitos" (Little thieves) by the second half of their run, yet the skit was still being refereed by that name.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Played for Laughs in "La vieja". El Chómpiras and El Peterete were being harassed by the old lady whose house they broke in. When she's about to kiss them, the policeman arrests them on the spot.
    Chómpiras: I've always had faith in the police.
  • Breakout Character: The skit itself pretty much took over the show in later years. Also, La Chimultrufia (played by Florinda Meza) was an incidental character that began gaining a lot of prominence and finally became a key part of it. In fact, when Meza left the show for a season to do a telenovela, the show stopped running Caquitos skits until she returned. Meanwhile, when actor Edgar Vivar left the series for several months for health reasons, the skits just continued without Botija, originally the star character.
  • Catch-Phrase: Chimoltrufia has what is probably the longest catchphrase in all of TV, although one could say it is actually a series of catch phrases that are almost always said consecutively. But in the course of conversation, whenever she feels she has made a point, she usually says "¿Pa'que le digo que no, si sí? Digo, no nos hagamos tarugos, pos ya sabes que yo como digo una cosa digo otra, pues si es que es como todo, hay cosas que ni qué, ¿tengo o no tengo razón?" Rough translation: "Why would I tell you no, if yes? I mean, let's not make dummies of ourselves, you know that just like I'll say one thing, I'll say another. It's like anything, they are some things that just are. Am I right or am I not?" It's quite nonsensical even in Spanish, and anyone talking with her will usually be confused into agreeing with her whenever she drops it.
    • She frequently uses "Pa'que le digo que no, si sí?" independently of the rest of the phrases. It´s her standard way of saying ýes´and she uses it so much the other characters often catch themselves saying it.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: El Chómpiras and El Peterete ocassionally came across crazy old ladies that either harass them or think they are playing a game.
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: Chómpiras, although a small-time criminal himself, ended up under threat by a much more powerful criminal doppelganger, who wanted to kill Chómpiras and use the body to fake his own death.
  • Darker and Edgier: By the late years, contrasting by the usual Chespirito skits.
  • Expy: The main set and the main characters (and even the dynamics between them) are an awful lot like The Honeymooners, although there are important differences, like Botija and Chompiras being thieves and Chimoltrufia being rather stupid.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In one hour long episode, Botija orders el Chómpiras to break into a pawnshop, steal the money, and bring it back to his house. When Chómpiras returns, Botija says the money will be split in accordance to their rank, with Chómpiras being one, Chimoltrufia two, and botija three. Botija then gives Chómpiras one bill starp, two for Chimoltrufia, and three for him, when Chómpiras protests, Botija says he's the boss, and Chimoltrufia second in command. Later that night Chómpiras sneaks into Botija's room, and returns every cent to the pawn shop.
  • Genre Savvy: The policeman El Chómpiras and El Peterete constantly come across with eventually stops regarding them as threats and tries to convice them to stop having a life of crime, especially to El Chómpiras.
  • The Ghost: La señora de la farmacia (The Drugstore Lady).
  • Heel–Face Turn: In the infamous episode where they watch a particulary sad episode of El Chavo del ocho, they regret being thieves and start doing odd jobs afterwards.
  • Hero Antagonist: The policemen El Chómpiras and El Peterete constantly come across. He's a good person, even trying to have them change their ways.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Marujita.
  • Fat and Skinny: El Chómpiras and El Botija.
  • Leitmotif: The main theme of The Pink Panther for Peterete.
  • Monster of the Week: They were this to El Chapulín Colorado.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: In an episode Botija bets with Chómpiras in a poker game based on the "good luck" that his horoscope predicted, yet it ends backfiring. The episode ends with a disclaimer saying that the horoscopes used through the episode were not made up by the writer, but taken verbatim from an actual Mexican newspaper.
  • Running Gag: During the first half of the skit, El Peterete would comb El Chómpiras's hair, slap him and make a ridiculous threat would he do anything stupid.
  • Springtime for Hitler: In one episode, El Peterete suggests El Chómpiras to go on a vacation. El Chómpiras is overjoyed to hear that until El Peterete said the destination is the Mary Islands, which house a prison... until he's eventually convinced to go along with El Peterete's plan to be captured by a nearby policeman and sent there. First, El Peterete tells El Chómpiras to break a nearby window - it turns out to be the window to El Chómpiras's house (and he tried to warn El Peterete about it) so the policeman ignores them. Then, El Chómpiras tries to rob a person at gunpoint - that person turns out to be another criminal, and the policeman thanks them. They finally try to steal something from a nearby church, but then they decide not to.
  • Stupid Crooks: The original basis of the skit.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Botija (Edgar Vivar) replacing Peterete (Ramón Valdés) in the '80s version of the show, although their physical appearances were polar opposites. Later, They start working on a hotel owned by Don Lucho (Carlos Pouliot); that hotel shuts down, and they start working on a similar one owned by Don Cecilio (Moisés Suárez).
  • Villain Decay: Botija. In his appearances in the El Chapulin Colorado sketches, he was a true threat.
  • Villain Protagonist: The protagonists are two Stupid Crooks.
  • You Look Familiar: During the first few years of Caquitos sketches, there wasn't much concern over using the actors who already had recurring roles to play other characters. This even included Florinda Meza, who would sometimes play a random passerby if she wasn't being used as Chimultrufia. Gradually, the supporting characters developed enough importance that this stopped happening. After the supporting characters developed their importance, other actors outside of Chespirito's ensemble were needed for one-time characters; many of these actors and actresses appeared in multiple episodes in different roles.

Other skits provide examples of:

  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All the public domain shorts were titled. "Story of character. Not as it was, but as it could have been."
  • Gossip Evolution: In the Samson's story. There was the story that he killed a lion in the Sinai desert and got 100 thousand dollars as reward. He clarifies (one mistake at a time) that actually he killed an angora kitten on the Chapultepec zoo and got a 100 pesos fine.
    Samson: But everything else is true.
  • Public-Domain Character: He made lots of skits about folk tales, fairy tales, or even historical events.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Don Juan Tenorio sketch.
  • That's an Order!: In a skit where Chespirito plays a private, Ruben Aguirre plays a sergeant, Edgar Bivar a captain, and Horacio Gomez plays a colonel, Gomez's character order bivar's character to dispose of a large sandbag, who then orders aguirre, and who then orders Chespirito to do so.
    Chespirito: Sergeant Aguirre! mission accomplished, the sandbag is disposed of.
    Aguirre:' Very well. Captain Bivar! Mission accomplished, the sandbag is disposed of
    Bivar: Colonel Gomez! mission accomplished, the bag is disposed of.
    Gomez: (staggers into the scene since someone threw a sandbag on him from an upper floor)