An Argentinian comedy-musical group that's internationally popular in Spanish-speaking countries. In Argentina it's equivalent to Monty Python for its absurd humor and quotability, as well as for being a troupe of overeducated silly men. No relation to Superman's arch-nemesis.
The closest thing to this in the USA is P.D.Q. Bach.
In case you were wondering, their name is not Spanish; luthier is a word loaned from French which means "one who makes stringed musical instruments (as violins or guitars)". As they make their own "informal" musical instruments, stringed ones in many cases, the name is appropiate.
- Carlos López Puccio: Violin, keyboards, percussion, viola, cello, vocals, bass, etc.
- Jorge Maronna: Guitar, cello, bass, double-bass, percussion, vocals, keyboards, etc.
- Horacio "Tato" Turano: Guitar, piano, percussion, wind instruments, vocals, etc. He was originally an understudy, but took over Daniel Rabinovich's parts, along with Martin O'Connor, when he passed away. He generally plays the roles that are more music-based.
- Martin O'Connor: Vocals, acting, percussion, etc. He was originally an understudy, but took over Daniel Rabinovich's parts, along with Tato Turano, when he passed away. He generally plays the roles that are more acting-based.
- Gerardo Masana (1967-1973): Bass-pipe, guitar, percussion, etc.
- Ernesto Acher (1971-1986): Piano, gom-horn, clarinet, percussion, cello, trombone, recorder, etc.
- Daniel Rabinovich (1967-2015): Guitar, violin, bass-pipe, drums, recorder, vocals, bass, keyboards, etc.
- Carlos Núñez Cortés (1967-2017): Piano, keyboards, recorder, percussion, vocals, etc.
- Marcos Mundstock (1967-2020): Percussion, keyboards, trumpet, vocals, etc.
That "etc" includes a wild range of "informal instruments" made by themselves, hence the name (a luthier is a maker of stringed instruments).
For those who don't speak Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7syv95rwXE
For those who speak Spanish but haven't heard of them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ro3CTjCM6q0
One sketch that sums up their style, is in Spanish but the second part is quite visual; it is the music of the trailer of a film called The Mysterious Murderer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuTYdXF6_vk
A silent sketch about a silent movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLW-oRP5M7U
This group provides examples of:
- AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: A memorable example comes from the introduction of "El Negro Quiere Bailar":Marcos Mundstock: I didn't say "Esther".Daniel Rabinovich: What do you mean you didn't ?Marcos Mundstock: I said Es-Terpsícore.Daniel Rabinovich: Ahhh! Ah, of course! Esther Píscore, Esther Píscore. That's the greek pronunciation, of course. We just call your Esthers Esther, directly.
- Affectionate Parody: More than half of the work are parodies of musical genres and tropes, especially classical music.
- All for Nothing: In "San Ictícola de la Mar", the fishermen discover that the saint they've been praying to for twenty-plus years for a good fish catch (because in that time catches have become smaller) is actually a saint that protects fish from being caught.
- Alliterative Name: All the jazz songs. ("Papa Garland had a hat and a jazz band and a mat and a black fat cat (Rag)", "Pepper Clemens sent the messenger: nevertheless the reverend left the herd (Ten Step)", "Miss Lilly Higgins sings shimmy in Mississippi's spring (Shimmy)", "Doctor Bob Gordon shops hot dogs from Boston (Foxtrot)", and "Truthful Lulu pulls thru zulus (Blus)")
- Always Identical Twins: Johann Sebastian Mastropiero happened to have an identical twin called Harold, who lived in New York. Naturally Played for Laughs when, given the fact they are identical twins, Harold's bodyguards didn't know who to protect, his butler didn't know who to serve and his wife...'s name was Margaret.
- Anachronism Stew: Mastropiero, by design. From sketch to sketch he can be a pre-19th century composer, or can just as easily be a 20th century bolero composer.
- Anti-Love Song: Don't worry, someone more handsome will rape you in "Adelaida" (from "Radio Tertulia") is just one of the examples.
- Anyone Can Die: In the Show Within a Show, Alma de Corazón, it is stated that a main character would die every two or three episodes due to a viper bite. Ramírez assumes it's either a lack of imagination or having a way too large cast.
- Appeal to Flattery: Wonderfully, wonderfully subverted in "Jingle Bass Pipe": "You, who are used to success as just one more habit of life... You, who succeed with the same ease in business and in the most exclusive sports... You, who are used to being respected by men and admired by women... You... can you tell us how you do it?".
- Ascended Extra: Murena (Mundstock) and Ramírez (Rabinovich) were mere one-shot characters that first appeared in "Trío Opus 117", alongside Achával (Acher), in Hacen muchas gracias de nada. They were reintroduced in Todo por que rías, as the presenters in the three-parter "Radio Tertulia", and Murena and Ramírez are the protagonists of the central plot in Los Premios Mastropiero (as the presenters), Lutherapia (where plays are related to Ramírez's issues, with Murena trying to help him overcome them) and Viejos hazmerreíres (where "Radio Tertulia" is the central play of the show).
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Usually subverted, as theirs are mostly actual texts in French, German, Italian, etc.
- There's a straight example from 1971: during a tea ceremony ("Los noticiarios cinematográficos"), the 'alto ambassador' (named Yoko-Hito, who knows why?) sings the following 'Japanese' lyrics: 'Sokiaki, Ho Chi Min, Yoko Ono, Mao Tsé Tsung, Tintenkuli, Chinchulín, Guanban, Chop Suey!'. When they recorded it two years later, they changed it by 'Ikebana, chow en lai, harakiri, tobogán, camiseta, chimpancé, panzón; Mata Hari, salpicón, Honolulu, Tucumán, Walky Talkie, chimpancé, ping pong. Neuquén; Champiñón'.
- The lyrics of "Oi gadóñaya" (http://www.icsi.berkeley.edu/~chema/luthiers/021.html) take it Up to Eleven. Samples of the Russian-sounding song include the title (Which is actually "Oiga Doña Ya" - "Lady listen now") and the jewel near the end: "Long live Czar Nikolaievich! Let us all go to a Miami Beach!".
- The aforementioned lyric-writing strategy can be seen in two more songs: "Gloria Hosanna, that's the question", which was a parody of religious music that used common words and expressions imported from Latin instead of a real text; and "Miss Lilly Higgins sings shimmy in Mississipi's spring", a jazz parody whose lyrics consist on phrases in Spanish that accurately sound like scat singing.
- In "Entreteniciencia familiar", once the presenter (Mundstock) forgets the name of the group that is playing in the show (Collegium Armonicum) and tries to remember it, he randomly says two words or phrases in latin (such as Curriculum Plus Ultra or Aquarium Mare Nostrum).
- Ballad of X: "La Balada del Séptimo Regimiento".
- Banana Republic:
- The aptly-named Republic of Banania mentioned in Mastropiero que nunca and "El Acto en Banania" parodies the dictatorships that took place in Latin America during the 70s and 80s. It has been patiently governed by general Eutanasio Rodríguez, a Drill Sergeant Nasty, during the last 49 years (well, duh).
- The Republic of Feudalia is not as obvious as an example as Banania, but it also fits, given the national anthem mentions how they have all their money taken away from aboard, when their own politicians could do so.
- Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: In the introduction of "El poeta y el eco", Helmut Bösengeist (Daniel Rabinovich) states that after fleeing from Vienna and arriving to the mountains, the locals thought he was the Abominable Snowman. At the end of said introduction, the narrator (Marcos Mundstock) talks about Helmut warming up with the locals, who no longer call him the Abominable Snowman. For them, he was just Helmut... the Abominable Snowmusician.
- Bilingual Backfire: The "Nuits De Paris" routine. Whereas the whole group tries to communicate with a famous French singer...'s brother-in-law in French and happens to be that he could speak Spanish all along.
- Bilingual Bonus: Some of the background songs that are on another language are actual songs in English, German, Italian, etc.
- Not to mention a language Marcos Mundstock invented himself: 'Gulevache'.
- Black Comedy: In 1968, Les Luthiers were part of the cast of a TV show called "Todos somos mala gente", and wrote songs and sketches for it. The show primarily relied on black comedy, especially involving illnesses and death.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Particularly between Mundstock as the "tsukkomi" and Rabinovich as the "boke". Rabinovich often goes in tangents based on misconceptions and malapropisms, while Mundstock tries to correct him as best he can with sophisticated language that always goes over Rabinovich's head. As intellectual and academic Mundstock portrays himself, he never quite can get Rabinovich to even begin following the conversation they're having.
- Build Like an Egyptian: In "Vote a Ortega", the titular character (Carlos López Puccio) mentions that his main competition, Rodríguez, has claimed that Ortega made several pharaonic projects during his current tenure as president. He asks what is so pharaonic about "those three magnificent pyramids" he had built. Extra points for those pyramids being built upside down, so they ended up falling sideways.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: Diego Dalvés (Carlos López Puccio) won several Mastropiero Awards (including one his work wasn't even nominated in) thanks to his father buying Channel 4 (where the ceremony was transmitted in) and owning Dalvés Multimedia (which sponsored the ceremony).
- Canis Latinicus: 'Gloria', an attempt by Johann Sebastian Mastropiero to improvise a religious-like song out of a tango, is modified by replacing words with similar words that sound like Latin. The result is hilarious - because the tango is about meeting a woman, going on a date with her and having sex with her several times that night.
- The Coconut Effect: Parodied on the "El Asesino Misterioso" routine where they make the foley of the film trailer.
- The Comically Serious: Mundstock, whenever he's emceeing. Golden baritone voice + impeccable and serious delivery + outrageous dialogue.
- Comically Missing the Point: Many of their sketches are like that.
Marcos Mundstock: The dance muse is Terpsícore.
- The Ur-Example in Unen Canto con Humor:
Daniel Rabinovich: Who?
Marcos: Doctor, don't you tell me you don't know who Terpsícore is ...
Daniel: Not by name, maybe if I see her... Esther Píscore, who is she? No, I don't know who she is. No, no, I'd remember her, I have a good memory for that kind of... Esther Píscore, how is she? Is she nice? Well, I don't care for... Is she hot? I say... Esther Píscore. With a name like that, she surely is well known, right? Esther Píscore, ha ha, Esther Píscore is here.
- Continuity Nod: Mastropiero, the jazz pieces with only one vowel, a Huesito Williams melody reappearing for fellow singer-songwriter Manuel Darío, Laxatón (the product, not the Cantata) referenced several years later in 1971, the glamocot being used for 'lust' scenes after its original role as 'Oso libidinoso' (e.g. 'Wildstone' [a college couple going to the bedroom] and 'Princesa Caprichosa').
- Mundstock seems to be fond of Poland and Norway: the 1972 piece "Si No Fuera Santiagueño" mentions the fictional Polish naturalist Vladislav Atamiski; then there's "Añoralgias" in 1981, which was discovered by Norwegian researcher Sven Kundsen; the black pianist on "Quién Mató a Tom McCoffee" (1989) thought she was of Polish ancestry; the conflict resolution on "San Ictícola" stems from their realisation of Norwegian tourists visiting the place; last but not least, the corrupt politicians in "La Comisión" decide to make Norway the country's enemy in order to reinforce the country's patriotism and have someone to blame for problems, while at the same time keeping a close relationship with Spain and the USA.
- Antenor is the name of the robot who wants to play with López Puccio throughout the 1978-1979 recital Hacen Muchas Gracias de Nada. In 1985, Antenor Vitupterio is one of the characters of the "Epopeya de los Quince Jinetes".
- The 1983 piece "Entreteniciencia Familiar" has a chamber ensemble replacing the fictional tropical quartet Los Brillantes, who hadn't been able to show up because they'd been drinking. Los Brillantes do show up many years later (2008) on Lutherapia to perform "Dilema de Amor".
- Warren Sánchez is still in Miami, as of the group's last performance (to date) of his namesake piece. If he decides to stay at the Normandie Hotel, he may run into Huesito Williams.
- Sometimes, the final play in a show includes nods to the previous plays in said show. For example, in "Fronteras de la Ciencia" (in Unen Canto con Humor), Manuel Darío (from "Manuel Darío"), San Ictícola's priest (from "San Ictícola de los Peces") and Sali Baba (from "Así hablaba Sali Baba") reappear and give their opinion about aliens, and Esther Píscore (from the introduction of "El negro quiere bailar") is mentioned at the beginning.
- Conveniently Interrupted Document: In the introduction of "Encuentro en el restaurante", Mundstock only has the final sheet of it, and at first tries to find the missing sheets. When he realizes he cannot find it, Mundstock tries to memorize the author's bio, and fails spectacularly. Near the end of the introduction he even forgets the author's name, even though it was in the sheet he had.
- Corrupt Politician:
- All the politicians that appear in "La Comisión (Himnovaciones)" (though with President Garcete's Freudian Slips and Mundstock and Rabinovich's characters being extreme ditzes, one wonders how they got there). They are trying to modify the national anthem to consolidate their political position as well as their shady acts.
- Dr. Pérez Osorio in "Radio Tertulia" holds strong ties to a very dangerous drug dealer.
- The Cover Changes the Gender: "Ya no te amo, Raúl" is a song about a woman making out with a man and ending up with a One-Night-Stand Pregnancy. Daniel Rabinovich is forced to sing and tries to do a Gender Flip on the fly... and fails horribly.And you put my chest closer to your virile chest... your virile chests... your naked breasts!
- Creator Provincialism: Defied where possible, particularly in terms of vocabulary. Whenever Les Luthiers has to do a concert outside of Argentina, they take care to modify the plays by replacing any potential regionalism from Argentina with those from the country they are playing in.
- Culture Police: Hinted on the "Acto en Banania" routine. Since the most popular children's tale on Banania is "Once upon a time they lived happily ever after".
- Demoted to Extra: An In-Universe case in "Quien conociera a María amaría a María", in which instead of having a scene with a background song, they have a song with a background scene.
- Department of Redundancy Department: In "La redención del vampiro", as the vampire's status as The Dreaded is discussed.Rabinovich: The villagers told me the vampire has been living here for hundreds of years... furthermore, one told me he's been living here for centuries.
- Derailed for Details: In "La gallina dijo Eureka", Ernesto Acher interrupts Daniel Rabinovich's song to ask increasingly inane questions about it.
- Disguised in Drag: In "Las majas del bergantín", one of the sailors (Carlos Núñez) gives the idea of dressing as women and approach Pirate Raúl's ship, and then make a surprise attack. The captain (Ernesto Acher/Carlos López Puccio) dismisses the idea, telling him to imagine what would happen once they found out they were men. Meanwhile, another sailor (Daniel Rabinovich) says it would be worse if they did not find out they were men.
- Dreadful Musician: Not just Mastropiero, but the vast majority of the fictional musicians their plays are themed on.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: General Eutanasio Rodríguez (Carlos Lopez Puccio), the dictator of the Republic of Banania. He treats everyone like dirt.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: In the Show Within a Show "Alma de Corazón", one of the actors, who played the role of a surgeon, falls ill, so the producers decide to kill the character straight away (by getting bit by a viper).
- Either "World Domination", or Something About Bananas: The last part of the "Radio Tertulia" routine where the Argentine interviewers try to understand the British band London Inspection. (And they fail miserably.)
- Ensemble Cast: While Mundstock and Rabinovich do act more often than the others, they're all in the foreground at some point and they all contribute vastly to at least one creative area: Maronna and López Puccio write scripts, lyrics and music; Marcos Mundstock conceptualises and writes scripts, as well as introductory texts for each piece; Carlos Núñez composes music and builds instruments; Daniel Rabinovich is a versatile improviser, actor and musician whose roles include both comic and serious performances and instruments from several families (e.g., violin, recorder, trombone, drums, keyboards), which is essential for the group.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Subverted with one of the owners of Thompson & Company, the late Mr. Henry Company (on the "Cuarteto Op. 44 (Cuarteto para Quinteto)").
- Everything Is an Instrument: Part of what the group's about is the hand-made instruments they use in all their plays. In fact, the group gets its name from a french word for people who make musical instruments.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: "La tanda" applies this trope to the name of a wristwatch:Marcos Mundstock: Only a chosen few really belong to the big world. Only a chosen few show the exact time on their wrist. Chaque heure pour la minorie. A darn good clock.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "Vals del segundo", a waltz that lasts exactly a second.
- Excuse Plot: Some of the later shows connect all the plays in a minor plot. For example, Los Premios Mastropiero, the first of their shows to use this style, has all the plays depicted as guest musicians playing in an Academy Award parody.
- Fantasy-Forbidding Father: According to "El zar y un puñado de aristócratas rusos huyen de la persecución de los revolucionarios en un precario trineo, desafiando el viento, la nieve y el acecho de los lobos", Mastropiero's father strongly opposed his son's choice of a career and, fed up of his dreadful music, forced Johann Sebastian to pick one: his family or his music. And Mastropiero chose his music, unfortunately for both.
- Far East: The "Sonata Medio Oriental" ('Half-Eastern Sonata').
- Felony Misdemeanor:
- In the original introduction of "Lazy Daisy", it is explained that Johann Sebastian Mastropiero knew little of his twin brother Harold and viceversa. All Johann Sebastian knew is that Harold was a mafia boss, and Harold had heard Johann Sebastian's music. They were horrified at each other.
- Similarly, in the introduction of "La hija de Escipión", there's a review of one of Mastropiero's operas. The reviewer described Mastropiero's style as a modus operandi, like famous criminals... or rather, like other famous criminals, and has a crime reporter review his following operas. Whose review is stated right after that.
- Fictional Document: Too many to count.
- Daniel Rabinovich in particular portrays a buffoonish man that always manages to get the wording wrong, or completely misunderstands the flow of the conversation. The longer the troupe lasted, the more buffoonish his character became.
- In Mastropiero que nunca, Mastropiero was a compositor with plenty of anecdotes a small quantity of them were Take Thats to him. Fastforward to Lutherapia and the whole show is about making fun of Mastropiero's many flaws, including plagiarizing the auto-biography from another compositor.
- Foreign-Language Tirade: Used sometimes with Carlos Núñez Cortés becoming angry and shouting in French, for example after Daniel's butchered introduction to "Lazy Daisy" in Grandes Hitos or in "Le Nuits de Paris" after being insulted by the French singer.Carlos N. C.: Mais, tonnerre de Dieu, cela suffit, monsieur! Ce que vous pouvez emmerder avec votre chanson! Ni "Les nuits d'Istanbul", ni la tarentelle, ni une autre chanson ne vous convienne, monsieur... Nous avons marre de jouer sans cesse! Qu'est-ce que c'est "Les nuits de Paris", sacré bleu!Daniel Rabinovich: Alors, vous parlez Français!Carlos N. C.: No...
- Foreshadowing: Common in their early shows - a member went in 'too soon' and played excerpts from a piece (usually the last or second last in the set) before being cut off by his mates. By the time they did play the piece in question, the audience was already familiar with it (which worked very well).
- Four Terms Fallacy: One of the songs composed by the titular character of "Manuel Darío". He claims it's philosophical, and that he doesn't get the meaning behind it.I love you more than my life
My life is you
But if my life is you
And I love you more than my life
Then that means
That I love you more than yourself
- Fun with Acronyms: The CMPUNA (Commission for the Maintenance and Permanent Updating of the National Anthem). The fun part? They bother to pronounce the acronym (CMAPCP in Spanish) as if it were a word rather than the individual letters, with varying results (mostly wet).
- The political party in "El Valor de la Unidad" which keeps changing its name, going from Partido Independiente Popular Americano (PIPA) to Partido Independiente Popular Obrero (PIPO) to Partido Independiente Popular Intransigente (The Party) ("¡Casi dice PIPI!").
- God Is Inept: In "Daniel y el señor", Daniel pleas for God (Mundstock) to help him save his city. Once he arrives and proves he's God, his attempts to help Daniel do nothing but make the situation even worse than before.
- Groin Attack: Many times, usually self-inflicted. "Kathy, La Reina del Saloon" being the most hilarious and famous example.
- Another example: in "Radio Tertulia", they speak about a soap opera where one of the twists is that a woman is revealed to have been a man. When one of the presenters asks the other about how that happened, he says "A viper".
- Grumpy Old Man: Subverted in "Los jóvenes de hoy en día". Two elderly singers (Jorge Maronna and Carlos López Puccio) complain that the young people of today are too irresponsible and prone to taking drugs and making love, but as the song goes on, it's obvious that they are actually jealous of their success at love.Singers (Maronna and López Puccio): The young people of today don't distinguish evil from good; there's no law, there's no right... there's no right for them to have such a good time!
- Happily Married: In real life, five of the members (past and present) have undergone (sometimes messy) divorces and re-married. Founder Gerardo Masana and Daniel Rabinovich were married, literally, until death did them part with their wives.
- Ho Yay: Defied in "Quien conociera a María amaría a María". The protagonist's efforts pay off and María ends up loving him, and they eventually kiss each other. Both the protagonist and María are played by men, and when the song describes the kissing scene, they quickly walk away from each other.
- Hurricane of Puns: Too many to count.
- Hypocritical Humor: Complaining about today's young people: 'they've got no ideology - because they do drugs; they only care about the bike and the car - because they do drugs; they dance all day long - because they do drugs; and they make love all night long - which drugs do they do?'.
Friends: Forget her, you must forget her! You are finally rid of that witch!
- In "Perdónala", Daniel's friends are trying to get him to forgive his girlfriend, after she decided to leave him, even though she had never loved him, was unfaithful to him and even tried to kill him with an axe. When he reveals she thinks his friends are all lazy bums...
- Implausible Deniability: in "Radio Tertulia", Murena (Marcos Mundstock) states several times that he does not watch television, but when speaking about a television soap opera, Murena demonstrates very intricate and deep knowledge of the soap opera and its characters.Ramírez (Daniel Rabinovich): You don't watch any television?
- Impossible Task: After Ernesto Acher composed his last jazz piece for the group, Carlos Núñez insisted they should create a title for it using only one vowel ("u", since Acher had already written pieces - and titles - with the other four vowels). Acher protested, claiming there was no way to have a long title only using the "u" where each vowel also sounded that way. Núñez showed up the next day with "Truthful Lulu Pulls Thru Zullus" but they were still missing the genre, so they took the "e" out of "blues" and named it "blus".
- In Mysterious Ways: In "Daniel y el Señor", God (Mundstock) tries to explain Daniel (Rabinovich) why the Jews are having such grim fate despite their worship. His answer only creates more questions:God (Mundstock): The Lord's will is unfathomable.
Daniel (Rabinovich): And what does "unfathomable" mean?
- Inherently Funny Word: "Achicoria" (chicory) at the end of the "Cantata del Adelantado Don Rodrigo Díaz de Carreras".
- Large Ham: Carlos Núñez Cortés, whose delivery is the most screechy.
- Laser-Guided Karma: in "Pepper Clemens sent the messenger, nevertheless the reverend left the herd", during the initial explanation, Jorge Maronna is surprised when Marcos Mundstock reveals his part in the chorus was erased, and as he leaves Daniel Rabinovich laughs harder than the others. Marcos Mundstock soon reveals that Daniel's part was eliminated next.
- Layman's Terms: ... or Expo Speak Gag, depending on how you look at it: Yoghurtu Nghé is an African young man who's telling his (also African) uncle about life in the USA. He explains he got a job 'in something breathtaking, which I'll try to explain to you: two long iron tapes are laid and on top of them a gigantic caterpillar slides; it drags wheeled cabins which carry people inside of them. It's fantastic!'. His uncle replies: 'I'm really impressed about that caterpillar with cabins you tell me about. Never in my life had I ever heard of something that so accurately resembled a train!'
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Marcos Mundstock does it relatively often, acknowledging the audience's laughter or the occasional technical failures, as the shows are performed live.
- For instance, on one sketch he acted as therapist and there were some noises from the mics, he incorporated them into his counselling ("I know you feel disturbed, as if there were strange noises in the background"), receiving a well-deserved ovation from the public.
- "Dear Nephew: I didn't write to you until now because the audience was applauding."
- Often in Los Premios Mastropiero, when the audience started clapping, Murena and Ramírez played along, and when they stopped, they believed a famous person had just arrived to the awards ceremony (but they fail to recognize him).
- Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: Inverted with Harold Mastropiero. A mafia boss, he was known for running a clandestine casino, a pub and an illegal betting center. What he was hiding, and where Harold got most of his money from, was a grocery store.
- Leitmotif: According to the introduction of "La hija de Escipión", Mastropiero's operas always have the same music.
- Limited Wardrobe: The only thing they wear on their shows are tuxedos, as any classical musician will do in a concert. They do sometimes wear hats, glasses and even wear some of their musical instruments, but the tuxedos are always present.
- Long-Runners: Celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2017.
- Lost in Translation: Played for Laughs in "El Regreso del Indio" where the interpreter has to figure out how to translate some terms not familiar to the French, like "indio", "condor", "Puna", "Andes", and either goes into a long explanation of the word's meaning or just uses gestures to describe them.
- Louis Cypher: The mother of The Antichrist, according to "El día del final", is Lucía Fernández. Luci Fer-nández.
- Luke, I Am Your Father:
- In Lutherapia, It turns out Ramirez was Mastropiero's son (and brother to the Anti-Christ) and that was the reason of his stress.
- Inverted, then Played Straight for laughs in "Radio Tertulia". A scene in the Show Within a Show, Alma de Corazón, involves Uncle Blas meeting with Azucena the gypsy. Blas tells Azucena she's his mother... only for Azucena to reveal she is his father. note
- Lyrical Dissonance: Several songs, like a church chorus with teen pop lyrics ("Somos adolescentes, mi pequeña"), or a sing-songy number about pain and misery (the last song in "Manuel Darío").
- Master of None: Johann Sebastian Mastropiero is an incredibly versatile composer that has made music of essentially every genre one can imagine. Problem is, his versatility matches his incompetence.
- Meaningful Title: Played for Laughs with the Adelantado Don Rodrigo Díaz de Carreras, who is said to have arrived to South America a year before Columbus finds the continent - Adelantado can mean arriving before one should.
- Mouthing the Profanity: Sometimes, if you look closely (and other times not that closely), you can see them mouthing bad words to express their dissatisfaction with whatever's happened.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: on "La Comisión" and "Acto en Banania".
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: General Eutanasio Rodriguez and Escipion the Blood-Thirsty Killer.
- Narm Charm: In-Universe with "Infidelidades", a soap opera mentioned in Los Premios Mastropiero. Originally written as an autobiographic drama, it ended up winning comedy awards, and the author joyfully thanks his wife for the award the soap opera won, and assumes she's cheating him again.
- National Anthem: Of various fictional places: Banania, whichever country it might be in "La Comisión", and Feudalia.
- No Longer with Us: "Huesito Williams has left us... it's hard to believe his seat remains empty. But he's in a better place. He lives... in Normandy Hotel, Miami."
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: In "Truthful Lulu Pulls Thru Zulus", Marcos Mundstock describes the early years of Victor Timothy Curtis, the composer. Said early years were a Hilariously Abusive Childhood, until Victor decided to enroll in the army, where he felt he was treated with love for the first time in his entire life. This last fact causes the audience to laugh, so Mundstock shows his sheet of paper and points at the part he's reading to show that's exactly what the text mentions.
- Non Sequitur: In the introduction of "A la playa con Mariana", when trying to explain the circumstances in which Mastropiero started writing the song (Mastropiero saw some kind of animal doing a strange dance on the window, and he calls a waiter to check what it was) he derails on several topics that have less and less relation to the song (starting with the waiter's previous occupation, getting past a recipe on how to make a souffle and ending with a commentary on the names of the cities in Bulgaria), only for then catch up with the topic yet again. And then he almost starts to derail the topic the same way again.
- Offscreen Crash: Used sometimes at the end of "San Ictícola de los Peces".
- Out-of-Character Moment: As a member-wide moment, Carlos López Puccio is often the one that gets the most level-headed or serious characters in the plays he's involved in something other than music. Due to this, viewers get caught off-guard when he explodes in laughter in "El valor de la unidad" when Carlos Núñez almost says "Pipí". And the moment is made even more hilarious.
- Overly Long Name: Many songs' names. For example, "El zar y un puñado de aristócratas rusos huyen de la persecución de los revolucionarios en un precario trineo, desafiando el viento, la nieve y el acecho de los lobos" or "Cantata del adelantado Don Rodrigo Díaz de Carreras, de sus hazañas en tierras de Indias, de los singulares acontecimientos en que se vio envuelto y de cómo se desenvolvió".
- Painting the Medium: Warren Sánchez's cult has several merchandise products... that are sold in the theatre hall (or in the nearby park in case of their 40th anniversary concert).
- Pity the Kidnapper: The evil sorcerer in "Valdemar y el Hechicero".
- Porky Pig Pronunciation: One of Daniel Rabinovich's Running Gags whenever he had to read something (such as the introduction of a piece instead of Marcos Mundstock), alongside malapropers. And sometimes both at the same time:In the most prestigrious international for... in the most prestrigrious inter... pestrigious international for... in the pestri... in the most pestigi... pestigri... prestigiri... in the most famous international forums... (cue wild applause from the audience)
- Portmanteau: Some of the invented genre's names, like "candonga" (candombe + milonga).
- The Power of Rock:
- Played for Laughs in "Balada del Séptimo Regimiento". General Weaving has his division's infantry band sneak into the enemy's lines and play their motivational music to drive them away. After all, if their music does not scare them, then they are deaf.
- Mastropiero tried to study this trope according to the introduction of "El romance del joven príncipe, la sirena y el pájaro cucú. Y la oveja.". Whenever he would feed a group of birds, he would play some of his music. Eventually the birds would refuse to eat any kind of food. There was one exception to this behaviour in a group of blackbirds who kept eating normally and even started eating what the other birds left behind. Mastropiero assumed music can make blackbirds eat more, whereas a biologist he was friends with assumed blackbirds are actually deaf.
- In "El día del final", the Nostradamus Order held a chest that contained the absolute final measure in case The Antichrist was about to arrive to Earth. It's Mastropiero's music. The pope envoy can only feel pity upon the Antichrist upon finding that out.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Parodied several times. On the "Balada del Séptimo Regimiento", General Archibald Weaving declares: "If we don't win, the war is lost" and "The eagle's feather won't be an oil drop". That same afternoon, he is taken to a mental institution.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: What happens whenever Rabinovich tries to perform the opening monologue.
- Running Gag: Many times, the humor comes from this. It also transcends sketches, as gags are brought up again at unlikely moments.
- Ruritania: Gulevandia. Set of the opera on fictional language Cardoso en Gulevandia.
- Save the Princess: In "Valdemar y el Hechicero", Prince Valdemar (Carlos López Puccio) travels to the sorcerer (Daniel Rabinovich)'s castle to rescue Princess Geneva with Merlin (Marcos Mundstock)'s magic. It quickly turns into Pity the Kidnapper, as the sorcerer finds out Princess Geneva is a full-blown Jerkass, and after the sorcerer pleads for freedom, Valdemar decides to use Merlin's magic to rescue him.
- Scam Religion: "El sendero de Warren Sánchez" involves a preacher trying to show the morals taught by Warren Sánchez - which involve false testimonies or selling merchandise products sold in the theatre hall. And if Warren Sánchez had not arrived to the preaching yet it's because the FBI is after him.
- Secret Relationship: Mastropiero with many women.
- Self-Deprecation: In a way... the sketches are usually introduced as being horrendous and their fictional composer (usually Mastropiero) as mediocre, at best.
- Serenade Your Lover: the intention of the "Serenatas", which never end well for the one serenading.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The introduction of "El romance del joven conde, la sirena y el pájaro cucú. Y la oveja." falls into this with Mastropiero's description of the different ways sheep bleat. He also tries to describe the way a cuckoo bird sang in the same introduction, not even realizing it was a cuckoo clock:Mastropiero also studied the songs of a cuckoo bird, and he not only noticed the bird sang at surprisingly regular periods of time, but also that, after singing, the bird would retreat to an intriguing nest shaped like a wall clock.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: the three "Serenatas" (Tímida, Astrológica and Intimidatoria) where Carlos Nuñez Cortés tries to serenade the girl he likes turn out to be for nothing because the girl is deaf.
- In the Chist! version of "La redención del vampiro", the count (Marcos Mundstock), after explaining the other characters about his vampire dynasty, he says it has fallen in hard times recently because young, romantic vampires have become fashionable recently, and then adds: "Vampires are those of old times".
- In "El poeta y el Eco", Helmut Bösengeist (Daniel Rabinovich) often tearfully remembers his dog (a German Shepherd), who would sometimes approach him and say: "Achtung!... eine Kugel kam geflogen, da steht ein Lindenbaum". The two halves of this phrase come from two poems - the first one comes from "Der gute Kamerad" ("The good comrade"), and the second comes from "Der Lindenbaum" ("The linden tree").
- Significant Double Casting: Played for Laughs in "Manuel Darío", where the titular character notes that Dr. Pérez Osorio, his psychiatrist, resembles Ms. Susana, his elementary school teacher. Both were played by Jorge Maronna.
- In "Daniel y el Señor", Daniel (Rabinovich) sees God and calls him "Rick". God and Evil Rick (from "Lo que el Sheriff se contó") are both played by Marcos Mundstock.
- Sitting Sexy on a Piano: In one of the backstories, a girl called Hanriette does this while Mastropiero plays the piano and her mother watches.
- Marcos Mundstock: Hanriette, luckily for her, was deaf. And the mother, luckily for Mastropiero, was blind.
- Small Reference Pools: Too many to count, specially on their earlier era.
- Soap Within a Show: The soap opera Alma de Corazón is the topic of several conversations in "Radio Tertulia". At least, until the third part, in which Ramírez (Daniel Rabinovich) reads a letter sent by one of the characters of Alma de Corazón, Mrs. Izaguirre Belmont, and then one of the radio show's journalists (Carlos López Puccio, covering a case about a corrupt politician -Jorge Maronna-) informs the presenters that the politician's girlfriend (Yvonne, another character from the soap opera) was unable to accuse him for his crimes because she was bitten by a viper.
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: Johann Sebastian Mastropiero. Who sometimes was called Wolfgang Amadeus Mastropiero and Petrov Ilich Mastropiero.
- Strawman U: The "Universidad de Wildstone" routine. A docummentary about a college in the United States so lame that party and fun aren't less important than study (they are more important); and the alumni are described as "stupid, idiot and criminal students" by the dean (though the supposed Spanish dubbing calls them crafty and mischievous students instead).
- Subverted Kids' Show:
- "Theresa & el Oso", a subverted children's song in the same vein of Peter and the Wolf.
- Also, in Los Premios Mastropiero, the adult children music comedy "Valdemar y el Hechicero".
- An early example can be the children song "Chicos, no se alejen del televisor" ("Kids, don't go away from the TV"), where two singers tell the kids watching not to miss the gruesome and horrible programming that will be next.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Played straight in several plays, particularly if the eventual rhyme inevitably caused a foul word to be said.
- In the last song of "El regreso de Carlitos", the main characters sing about the city where they spent their childhood. The lyrics are written to make the listener think the city will be Buenos Aires, but the last rhyme subverts that thought and at the end it's revealed they are going to Paris.
- Sue Donym: Mastropiero with Johann Severo Mastropiano. Getting his father this letter "My child, if you use that pseudonym everyone will know that I am not just the father of a composer, but also the father of an imbecile".
- Talking Animal: Helmut Bösengeist's dog (a german shepherd) would sometimes approach him and say: "Achtung!... eine Kugel kam geflogen, da steht ein Lindenbaum". And sometimes it barked.
- Theme Naming: Almost all of their specials and concerts have puns for titles:
- "Todo Porque Rías" literally means "all for your laughter", but it's a wordplay on "Todo Porquerías" (all rubbish).
- "Viejos Hazmerreíres" (Old Jokes), which can also be read as "old guys that make you laugh".
- "Hacen Muchas Gracias de Nada" (they do many graces from nothing / they create much hilarity from nothing) can also be read as "they do, thank you, you're welcome"
- The anthology "Grandes Hitos" (Big Hits), which also sounds like "grandecitos" ("quite old").
- This Is My Name on Foreign: All the illegitimate children of composer Johann Sebastian Mastropiero with the contessa Shortshot were translations of Shortshot in different languages: Patrick McKleinschuss, Giovanni Colpocorto, Rafael Brevetiro, Mario Abraham Kortzclap, Anatole Tirecourt, Johnny Littlebang.
- "The Hero Sucks" Song: what eventually becomes of "Pepper Clemmens"; it started as a song to celebrate Schmerz von Utter but it ended up as the opposite, a song to condemn him.
- The Voiceless: López Puccio on "¿Quién mató a Tom McCoffee". Except for "vaya vaya" (which can either mean "go away" or "wow" depending on the tone).
- The Unpronounceable: Played for Laughs with some composers' names, like "Mpkstroff" or the one from "Entreteniciencia Familiar" (whose name we don't even get completely, just "Ferdinand", as it's that difficult to say).
- Trailers Always Spoil: The "El Asesino Misterioso" routine. You will never guess until the final minute that the murderer is Jack the Lumberjack.
- Translation: "Yes": in "Cartas de Color", when Oblongo Nghé wants to send a message to Yoghurtu via Ernesto Acher's drumming, played both straight and in the inverse.
- Unreliable Narrator: The introduction of "Serenata Tímida" begins with a clarification of why "serenata"note is considered a feminine word and not a masculine one. The clarification ends by stating "serenata" is a masculine word, to everyone's shock.
- Unusual Euphemism: Played With in "Dilema de Amor". The lead singer (Carlos Núñez) is merely signing about the time he met a girl in a disco and started talking about philosophy. The other singers think everything he says are euphemisms.Teens love each other with such passion today, that just by talking... they reach Erasmus!
- Visual Pun: In "Para Elizabeth", whenever making love is mentioned, Daniel Rabinovich, who is representing the letter being read with instruments, starts using the bellows. Bellows, in Spanish, is "fuelle", and "follar" (derived from "fuelle") is Spanish slang for sex. It also makes sense because the first time sex is mentioned, it's with the phrase "the flame of our passion grew, and then it happened", making it also a literal pun.
- With Friends Like These...: at the end of "Daniel y el Señor", Daniel is going to Heaven with God, and they have this conversation.Daniel (Rabinovich): Back [when I was a kid], I believed you and the Devil existed.God (Mundstock): Of course! Don't you believe anymore?Daniel (Rabinovich): Now I believe you are enough for both.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: In this case Spanish, played both straight and subverted.