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 Rocked
- 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, Édgar Vivar, Florinda Meza, Rubén Aguirre and Angelines Fernández 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, Sr. Barriga being hit when entering the neighborhood, and Don Ramón hitting Chavo in the head whenever Chavo didn't hear him correctly.
- Many of the dialogues and catchphrases are memorable and have even become good memes.
- Many of the characters are likeable and memorable, including even characters that have few appearances.
- 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, a also 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 his 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 1971 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.
- 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.
- 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 Chilindrina, Quico, Doña Florinda and even Don Ramón can be unlikeable sometimes.
- 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!
- As from August 2 2020 the series no longer aired in every Latin America.