Un, dos, tres... responda otra vez
(usually shortened as just Un, dos, tres
) was a Spanish game show that first aired on TVE in 1972 and quickly became pants-crappingly popular among Spaniards. The show lasted ten seasons, and, not counting skips between seasons, was on the airwaves for a whopping 20 years
, having a grand total of 411 episodes (so far, as it just won't stay dead
The show followed a basic structure: In every episode, three (four in the first and second seasons) pairings, two being new to the show, the third being the winners of the last broadcast (the "champions"), had to pass three "rounds":
The key to the programme's success was the fact that, instead of true game show, it was more of a sketch comedy masquerading as one. The programme had a cast of countless cartoony characters on board, with the main ones being divided into the "positive side", consisting on the presenter and a bunch of Sexy Secretaries
, and a "negative side", characters who opposed the contestants and wanted them to lose, and would announce when they had ran out of time or made a mistake. Traditionally hailing from the fictional village of "Tacañón del Todo", the negative side, consisting of the miserly Don Cicuta and Los Cicutillas in the first season, Los Tacañones, which were pretty much Don Cicuta split into three characters, in the second season, and Las Tacañonas
, from seasons three to nine, were, despite their role, adored by the audience due to their antics
Another staple of the series was the mascot, Ruperta the pumpkin, who was introduced in the second season and quickly became the face of the show. Apart from singing the intro tune
in a memetically
high-pitched, screechy voice, Ruperta would also traditionally appear (usually) as a Whammy
in every episode's auction round. Although the show had other mascots during it's run: Botilde the boot, El Chollo, bringer of good luck, and El Antichollo, his Evil Twin
, and El Boom & El Crack, none of them managed to achieve Ruperta's popularity.
After ten years of hiatus, the show was revived in 2004 as Un, dos, tres... a leer esta vez
, which, while sticking to the show's formula, made certain noteworthy changes: The show was now focused on reading and literature, and the eliminatory round, instead of focusing on physical challenges, now consisted of answering questions about the "book of the day", hence the contestants had to read the book if they wanted to pass it. In keeping with the literary theme, the "Tacañón del Todo" "negative side" characters were replaced by book-burning firemen from the "Fahrenheit 451
Brigade", who wanted to purge the world of written literature. The "Fahrenheit 451 Brigade" initially consisted of Colonel McPhantom and his mute assistant Kowalsky, but they weren't very popular among the public, so, after four broadcasts, they were replaced by General Antilivroff and Dimitri, who spoke Russian-sounding gibberish
and were overall much sillier and more in the vein of the "Tacañón del Todo" characters.
British tropers may find some similarities between this show and the ITV game show 3-2-1
. It's no coincidence: 3-2-1
was based on Un, dos, tres
, and they were both created by the same man.
This show provides examples of:
- Catch Phrase: Numerous, although the most notable is possibly 'Hasta aquí puedo leer', which has found it's way in to day-to-day converstion among Spaniards.
- Cartoon Creature: The fans are still out on just what the hell El Chollo and El Antichollo are supposed to be. Same with El Boom and El Crack.
- Cut Short: The 2004 revival. It only lasted 19 episodes, but it was meant to last more. The staff apparently didn't know until midway through the last episode.
- Fishing for Sole: One of the mascots of the programme, Botilde, was a river boot.
- Edutainment Show: The 2004 revival. Though it really was much more entertainment than education.
- Grumpy Old Man: The ultra-conservative Don Cicuta, who constantly complained about the secretaries' skimpy suits.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Oh sweet merciful gods... The programme was intended for families, but it could get really risqué at times. The secretaries' suits were infamously skimpy (which was lampshaded through and through by the negative characters). During the third season there was a recurring character called "La Loli" who was a prostitute. There were even at least two episodes dedicated to "eroticism", and one of them featured exposed breasts. The show's cretor, Narciso Ibáñez Serrador, actually admitted that he strived to make the ninth season "whiter", because the eighth had been "too dirty".
- Jekyll & Hyde: El Chollo and El Antichollo were modeled after this. There would always be a Chollo in the auction round, but it could be El Chollo, who allowed the contestants to pick any prize, or El Antichollo, who made them leave with nothing.
- Laughably Evil: The negative characters were all this, which is what made them so popular.
- Ms. Fanservice: The secretaries.
- Nerd Glasses: The secretaries wore them. It became sort of a symbol for them.
- Widget Series: Undeniably has some elements of this.
- Zonk: Constantly.