There are a few Latin American shows that have transcended generations the way El Chavo del 8 has. The show, created in Mexico back in 1972, quickly gained popularity and by the end of the 70s was watched by over 350 million viewers worldwide. El Chavo del 8 (literally translated as The Kid from the 8th) shows the many adventures of its main character, El Chavo, a poor, orphan, homeless kid living in a barrel within a housing complex called La Vecindad.
Mexican comedian Roberto Gomez Bolaños, who also stars in the show, created El Chavo, which aired 1,300 episodes for 24 years, and has continue its popularity long after it was cancelled in 1980. One of the things that made El Chavo successful was the many idiomatic expressions and catchphrases that still remain in the memories of viewers.
Four decades after its release, El Chavo continues to be the leading sitcom for children between the ages of 6-11 and adults 18-49 here in the US through a Spanish language channels as well as in many other countries worldwide. I have fond memories of watching El Chavo; it is one of those cultural phenomena’s that I want my children to learn about.
I was excited to learn this year that El Chavo’s merchandise hit US stores. Having a chance to buy toys for my children and tell them about the series will be a fun way to talk about culture and telling them about my childhood in a way they can relate. Since there are not many things around from when I was a kid, I’m glad that I can connect with them through this series.
El Chavo is still very popular in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile and the rest of Latin America, as well as in many other countries of the world, and has developed a large cult following by generation Y. Since today is the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month 2013, I want to honor El Chavo for providing Latinos all around the world with endless memories and innocent wisdom.
Here are a few images and some of the most famous phrases from our beloved Chavo:
âï¿½ï¿½La venganza nunca es buena, mata el alma y la envenenaâï¿½ï¿½. ~ âï¿½ï¿½Revenge is never good, it kills and poisons the soul.âï¿½ï¿½ 1 of 10
A classic way in which El Chavo asked for forgiveness after some mischief. Photo credit: ElChavodel8tv
“Profesor Jirafales, qué milagro que viene por acá…” ~ “Professor Jirafales, so unexpected to see you here.” 2 of 10
One of the longest ongoing courtships on TV, between DoÃ±a Florinda and Professor Jirafales; he'd always give her flowers and she'll always invited him for coffee. Photo credit: ElChavodel8tv
“Es que fue sin querer queriendo”. ~ “I did it by mistake, but really wanted to”. 3 of 10
Often confusing, El Chavo talked using many words with contradictory meaning that more often than not would get him out of trouble. Photo credit: ElChavodel8tv
“¡Cállate, cállate que me desesperas!” ~ “Shut up, shut up, you are driving me nuts.” 4 of 10
Spoiled brat Quico got everything from his mom and tried to get his way from everyone else. When that didn't work, he'll tell mom to fix it. Photo credit: ElChavodel8tv
“Buah, buah, buaaaaah” 5 of 10
La Chilindrina (or tantrum central) was notorious for her continuous tantrums to get her what she wanted. Her father, Don RamÃ³n would do everything not to see her cry. Photo credit: ElChavodel8tv
“Es que no me tienen paciencia”. ~ “They have no patience with me.” 6 of 10
El Chavo, yet again seeking pity instead of punishment responds and makes a face that people can't resist. Photo credit: ElChavodel8tv
“¿Y yo qué dije? ¿Y cómo es?” ~ “What did I say? How do I have to say it?” 7 of 10
Every time El Chavo was corrected for mispronouncing a word, he'll repeat those two questions until driving the other person crazy; again, a way of getting out of a difficult situation. Photo credit: ElChavodel8tv
“Eso, eso, eso” ~ “That, that, that” 8 of 10
The way El Chavo approved of something, pointing with his index finger in a particular way has transcended to regular conversations. I've heard (and said) eso, eso, eso many times as a natural response to something. Since 2006, El Chavo is also an animated series with most of the traditional episodes. Photo credit: ElChavodel8tv
“Bueno, pero no se enoje”. ~ “Well, don’t get mad.” 9 of 10
Yet, another plea for understanding and forgiveness from El Chavo; of course, usually said after driving one of the characters nuts. Photo credit: ElChavodel8tv
“Fíjate, fíjate, fíjate” ~ “Attention, attention, attention.” 10 of 10
Another classic quote from La Chilindrina to convey triumph in any situation. It makes me think of this series, how successful and relevant it still is. Can you imagine if Roberto Gomez BolaÃ±os, its creator, could have had access to today's technology and reach? The possibilities are endless. Photo credit: ElChavodel8tv