El Chavo del Ocho (1973-1980)
El Chavo del Ocho (The Boy From No.8) was a Mexican TV show created by the comedian Chespirito, which ran from 1973 to 1980. It continued as a sketch series in the program Chespirito from 1980 to 1992.
The show follows the adventures of El Chavo (which is a Spanish term for "The young kid"), an orphan kid who lives inside a barrel on a neighborhood where he has friends.
Why It Was Padrisisisisimo
- Top cast. Roberto Gómez Bolaños, Ramón Valdez (that was brother of Tin Tan, a famous comedian in LA), Carlos Villagrán, María Antonieta de las Nieves(A Good Voice Girl From Mexico), Édgar Vivar, Florinda Meza, Rubén Aguirre, Angelines Fernández, Horacio Gómez Bolaños and Raúl Padilla (even though his character Jaimito wasn't that great) are well-known names of comedy in Mexico and have legacies that extend to the present day.
- The kid characters were portrayed by adults. Despite this was kind of awkward, because they are experienced, cringeworthy acting was avoided (a common problem with kid actors). You eventually get used to it once you start watching it.
- Funny recurrent gags, like Chavo freezing when he gets scared, Chavo accidentally htting Sr. Barriga when the latter entering the neighborhood, and Don Ramón hitting Chavo in the head whenever Chavo asks him questions about his grandmother.
- Many of the dialogues and catchphrases are memorable and have even become good memes.
- Very likable and memorable characters:
- El Chavo: a poor and orphaned good-hearted boy who suffers from hunger, but is always helping others when they ask or need. He is generally good-natured, enthusiastic and creative, building several toys on his own, but on the other hand, he is naïve and very gullible, being easily manipulated by La Chilindrina and to a lesser extent Quico into doing mean things that they does not want to risk doing. He is not particularly bright and is remarkably clumsy, often hitting Quico, Don Ramón and Señor Barriga with balls, brooms, shoes, hammers, bricks, chairs and other objects. Sometimes he can be very rude and aggressive, often beating his friends when they do something he does not like, mainly Quico (though it's mostly justified) and often teases Ñoño for his overweight. Despite that, he is mostly shown to be a good friend, caring about everybody in the neighborhood and is always eager to spend time with them, once even forgiving a criminal by praying that he will repent for his actions and become good.
- Don Ramón: an unemployed widower and angry father who struggles to get a job to support his daughter La Chilindrina. His greatest aspiration seems to be living an uncomplicated life, but in the vencidad, this seems impossible, as he is constantly hounded for the rent, which he has neglected to pay for fourteen months, and became something of a scapegoat for Florinda's wrath, with her ending up slapping him when he wasn't even present when something went wrong. Although rather high-strung and quick-tempered, Don Ramón has a good heart deep down, usually keeping a fairly upbeat attitude and to (just barely) make a living doing odd jobs. He loves his daughter very much, despite their somewhat complicated relationship due to Chilindrina's tendency to cause trouble, and also often acts like a father figure to Chavo, and genuinely cares about the boy, despite the latter constantly yet unnintentionally annoying him.
- Señor Barriga: the landlord of the vencidad who prefers personally to receive the residents' rents in order to save up his own time or a rent collector's salary, but rarely succeeds in collecting rent from Don Ramón and is greeted upon his every arrival by being (accidentally) kicked, tripped, beaten, or hit by a flying object thrown by El Chavo (usually trying to hit Quico instead). He is a very good yet slightly short-tempered person also well known because of his patience with Don Ramón and his unpunctual rent payments and all the kids' (mostly Chavo's) misbehavior like punching him or nicknaming him (always making fun of his obesity). Even though he is the victim of Chavo's various pranks, he cares very deeply about him, even offering to take him to Acapulco instead of his son Ňoño, who was off on a camping trip with the Boy Scouts, as well as taking Chavo to the theaters and letting him sleep on his house while the vencidad was under renovation.
- Doña Clotilde: a retired woman who is believed by the kids to be a witch due to she being old and somwhat eccentric, being known as "The Witch from (Apartment) 71". Some of the adults also refer to her as that, often by mistake, due to the kids frequently calling her a "witch". She refers to herself as señorita (Miss) because she has never been married, which also she gets upset by when called señora (Mrs.), meaning that she is a married woman. She has always been in love with Don Ramón, her neighbor, but he is not interested in her, so Doña Clotilde tries and does everything she can to conquer him like bringing him food from the store, buying him medicine when he can't sleep, baking cakes for him, or lending him luggage. In fact, all the times that Don Ramón is "interested" in her is when she faints in the middle of the yard and was going to bring him something from the store or just when being polite with her is his only choice. Although she can often lose her temper due to constantly being called a witch, she is a very selfless and generous woman who is willing to give anything for those who needs, and don't ask for anything in return.
- Professor Jirafales: a highly educated but naïve school teacher, although he carries on a ludicrously innocent relationship with Doña Florinda and patiently teaches way above the heads of his students. He loves children, always claiming that they are the key to a better future and even going as far as saying that kids are the best thing in the world. He is patient and professionally ethical, but can be very short-tempered as his students (other than Ñoño) rarely take him seriously. He is also way too oblivious to Doña Florinda's shortcomings (see BQ#4), which causes him to get annoying at times, but he is still a overall good character.
- Ñoño: a gluttonous and clever good-hearted fat boy who is Señor Barriga's son the smartest and most studious student in Professor Jirafales' class (and possibly the smartest character in the series next to Jirafales), answering most of his question correctly, as well as usually the only student that takes him seriously. Like his father, he is often tease by his friends for his overweight and exaggerated hunger and despite his intelligence, he is very naïve, being easily taken advantage of. He also proves to be a great friend to Chavo, always sharing his toys and even his room once with him, and genuinely cares about him, despite Chavo always teasing him for being fat.
- Godínez: a kind-hearted and dimwitted boy who likes to hang out with his friends, like El Chavo and Ñoño, who usually keeps to himself and tries to dodge questions in the classroom so he can focus on drawing and playing musical instruments, being incredibly talented at it. He also shows to be a capable student despite being totally uninterested.
- Even characters that have few appearences manage to be memorable.
- Decent comedy that ended up aging well after the 70s.
- The series had crossover with other great Latin series like El Chapulín Colorado, another show created by Chespirito, and also with the Brazilian comic series Turma da Mônica (in the webseries Monica Toy).
- It doesn't fear to show the sad reality about orphans and poor people. Chavo lives in harsh conditions and eats little to no food.
- The same can also be said about La Chilindrina and Quico who are children who are raised only by one of their parents, since the other is deceased (Chilindrina has only her father and Quico has only his mother).
- There are some emotional moments that can make the audience cry, like when Chavo leaves the village after being accused of being a thief or Don Ramón taking on Chavo's guilt after he ate all of Doña Florinda's churros. Something rare to happen in a slapstick comedy series.
- Good morals, such as "Bad people can always find redemption", "A true friend is not defined by their economical level" and "not to judge people by appearances but by what they are".
- Before it was a TV show, it aired on another program named Chespirito, as a sketch series from 1972 to 1973. These sketches were also good, but unfortunately, they disappeared from air and are very hard to find them on TV.
- It represents Mexican culture well, presenting things like parties with piñatas, churros, Acapulco and also personalities of the Mexican pop culture of the 70s like Héctor Bonilla.
- Some episodes have very good and memorable songs like Que Bonita Vecindad (considered the most iconic), Joven Aún, A Jugar, Eso, Eso, Eso and Buenas Noches Vecindad (considered the most emotional by fans because it is the end of the Acapulco saga).
- The Brazilian dub is considered as or even more popular than the original version, inserting new jokes and references to Brazilian pop culture (sometimes giving differentiation to episodes that are remakes) in addition to the second dub of 1992 some episodes even received insert songs that are derived from an LP released exclusively in Brazil, in 1989.
- The new opening created by SBT in 1993 has become iconic enough to even become a meme on the internet with several people creating their own versions with other characters.
- It's the most popular Latin American comedy show, especially in Mexico and Brazil.
- Carlos Villagran and Ramón Valdes sadly left the program In 1979,It ended in 1980 with 7 seasons but continued as a sketch series from 1980 to 1992 which the series went downhill as some of the actors left the cast and the show became repetitive.
- It never had a proper ending.
- The camera format is 4:3, which can be very distracting nowadays.
- Some jokes can be considered outdated or even offensive to the present day, including racist, sexist and homophobic moments, and characters being seen supporting bullfights.
- Characters like La Chilindrina, Quico, Doña Nieves, Jaimito, and especially Doña Florinda can be unlikeable sometimes, even though they can also occasionally have their funny and likeable moments as well.
- Similarly, Popis can be annoying at times, despite being a good and funny character overall.
- Professor Jirafales, while still a likable character, can be annoying at times, especially when he denies Doña Florinda's shortcomings by claiming that she would never use brutal force due to being blindly in love with her, despite seeing her punch Don Ramón several times and even siding with her on a few occasions. In a few episodes, he even punches Don Ramón or Señor Barriga.
- Some references to actors and personalities from the 70s (mainly from Mexico) are outdated for current generations.
- The special effects are laughable, for example, when two characters that played by the same actor appear together in the same scene.
- Some episodes are remakes of previous episodes, reaching the point where there are episodes that have 3 different versions on the show!
- Maria Antonieta's pregnancy in 1973 and TV Azteca's proposal (at the time Televison de la Republica del México) were some of the reasons for why she didn't appeared from October 1973 to March 1975. Even though from this exit came awesome new characters like Ñoño and Godínez, bad new characters like Elizabeth, Candida and Malu who is Don Ramón's goddaughter emerged, though the first two only appeared in 1 episode and the latter in only 3, along with Popis, who is a good and funny character, despite her tendencies to get annoying at times, as BQ#4 says.
- As of August 2, 2020, the series no longer airs on television in the US, Mexico and Latin America due to Televisa's rights to produce content based on Chespirito's characters and properties being lifted due to issues between Grupo Chespirito and Televisa themselves.