“Chespirito” leaves 37-year legacy


Beloved actor, Roberto Gomez Bolanos, “Chespirito,” died due to heart failure at age 85, Nov 28. In a career that started in the ‘50s, he wrote and starred in hundreds of television episodes, as well as 20 films and theater productions that drew record-breaking audiences.

Among the Hispanic community, a popular sitcom starring Gomez Bolanos is El Chavo del Ocho, which had an audience of about 350 million views per episode. The show is about a poor orphan boy who resides in a barrel inside a small housing complex in a poor neighborhood. The episodes show the daily, comical adventures El Chavo has along with his friends and neighbors in their locality.

His work’s impact was evident as fans of all ages paid homage to the beloved actor in a public memorial held at the capital’s Azteca stadium in Mexico City, Nov. 30.  Many dressed as some of the most cherished characters for the memorial as fans bid a final goodbye to the man who brought joy and laughter to thousands of Latin American children and adults over his lifetime.

“I’ve been watching El Chavo del Ocho ever since I was little. I can remember my uncle turning on the T.V. and my cousins and I would all sit together and laugh watching the show. My aunts, uncles, mom, and even my grandma watched it and now my young cousins watch it too. The show goes on through generations,” senior Jocelyn Arreola said.

Some teachers grew up watching El Chavo del Ocho and some of his famous phrases such as “no me tienes paciencia,” and “eso, eso, eso,” stay with them through the years.

“El Chavo was part of my childhood and I grew up with the show. A lot of the phrases from his character are still part of our daily lives. It’s sad to know he left the world because it’s hard to find pure humor like the kind he had. He made us laugh without being crude and without the vulgar humor there is nowadays. That’s the best kind of laughter there is, ” French teacher Paulina Alcaraz said.

The legacy of El Chavo del Ocho continues with an animated sitcom of El Chavo’s storyline called El Chavo Animado, which aired in 2006. As of April 2014, the show has been renewed for a seventh season.