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:
- 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).
- Grumpy Old Man: Dr. Chapatín.
- 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 nonoy." "Nonoy?" "None o'your business!").
The skit "Los Chifladitos" ("The Little Crazies") provides examples of:
The skit "Los Caquitos" ("The Little Thieves") show provides examples of:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Chavodel Ocho, they regret being thieves and start doing odd jobs afterwards.
- 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.
- 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 chapulin colorado, he was a true threat.
- Villain Protagonist
- 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.