El Chapulín Colorado

El Chapulín Colorado
El Chapulín Colorado
Format Sitcom
Created by Roberto Gómez Bolaños
Starring Roberto Gómez Bolaños
Carlos Villagrán
Ramón Valdés
Florinda Meza
Rubén Aguirre
Angelines Fernández
Edgar Vivar
María Antonieta de las Nieves
Horácio Gómez Bolaños
Raúl Padilla
Country of origin  Mexico
No. of seasons 8
No. of episodes 155
Running time 25 minutes (22 minutes for syndication)
Original channel Canal de las Estrellas
Original airing September, 1972 - March, 1981
Followed by El Chavo Animated Series

El Chapulín Colorado (Spanish: The Red Grasshopper) is a television series, created and played by Roberto Gómez Bolaños, also known as Chespirito, a successful Mexican comedian and TV show producer, which parodied superhero shows. It was first aired in Mexico by Canal de las Estrellas in 1970, but then was aired across Latin America and Spain until 1981, alongside El Chavo, which shared the same cast of actors. Both shows are incredibly enduring as they still are constantly re-run, and have won back some of their popularity in several countries such as Colombia, where it has aired in competition with The Simpsons (which has a character based on him). The name translates literally in English as "The Red Grasshopper" (the word chapulín is of Nahuatl or Aztec origin, and a current part of Mexican Spanish). He is additionally known in Brazil as "Vermelhinho" ("Little Red") and "Polegar Vermelho" ("Red Thumb") in allusion to the famous fairy tale character Tom Thumb.



Roberto Gómez Bolaños as El Chapulín Colorado

The show's success was largely due to the fact that it embodied many aspects of Latin and Mexican culture, while making a critique on the unrealistic image of superheroes. From the name itself to the slang and proverbs, Chespirito made a great effort to reflect Latin culture. Many of his characters' names start with "Ch" (a separate letter in the Spanish alphabet) and several secondary characters with the Spanish letter "Ñ".

The show featured a permanent cast of actors, in a similar way to that of Monty Python. However, the only actor from El Chavo to have a recurring role in El Chapulín Colorado was writer and director Chespirito, as a different cast of characters was featured every episode. He was a superhero who dressed all in red, with yellow shorts and shoes, a red hood, and bore a yellow heart on his chest with CH inscribed in red (akin to Superman's "S"). He was conceived as the opposite of the image of traditional American superhero: a weak, ugly, fearful, poor, clumsy, coward, shorty, womanizing and foolish man, but in the end always overcame his fears to defeat his enemies.

The typical Chapulín episode had some person in trouble and would say, "Oh! And who can help me now?" followed by Chapulín bursting in through the nearest available opening or materializing inside a wardrobe, under the sheets of a bed or the like. He would be immediately recognized (regardless of the time or place - one episode took place in the Planet Venus, for example) causing him to boast, only to stumble and fall right away. For some reason, Chapulín is believed by people to be a great superhero, but they usually end up disappointed when they realize he is actually puny and timid. Despite this, Chapulin did try his best to help, and all his adventures ended well (though sometimes by sheer good luck or outside help.)

Seemingly parodying Superman's "Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive" introduction, Chapulín was introduced as follows in the show's opening, reinforcing the idea of a barely powered hero:

Más ágil que una tortuga, más fuerte que un ratón, más noble que una lechuga, su escudo es un corazón... ¡Es el Chapulín Colorado!
(More agile than a turtle, stronger than a mouse, nobler than lettuce, his shield is a heart... It's the Red Grasshopper!)

Equipment and weapons

  • Chipote Chillón (The Squeaky Mallet), also known as Marreta Biônica (Bionic Hammer) is Chapulín's primary weapon. It is a red and yellow hammer, which not only pulverizes his enemies, but also faithfully returns to his hands with a simple whistle, like a boomerang or Thor's Mjolnir.
  • Antenitas de Vinil (Little Vinyl Antennae) are two red and yellow antennae on the top of the hero's hood. The antennae are connected directly to his body's nervous system, allowing him to have direct control of its powers, including: detect presence of criminals and dangerous situations in general, decode and translate various languages ​​and secret codes, capture readings of toxic or hazardous materials, receive requests for help and activate special electronic bio-resources in the Chapulín's body. The latter allows Chapulín to activate his Antenitas de Alta Velocidad (High-Speed Antennaes), dramatically increasing his speed and allowing him to fight on equal terms with fast foes (to the point of casually deflecting bullets).
  • Pastillas Chiquitolina (Tinyish Pills) are special pills that, when swallowed by Chapulín, reduce him to a size of about 20 cm tall to pick enemies off guard or to access to hard to access locations. The effects of the pill last an average of 10 minutes, and at the end of time Chapolin returns to his normal size. A common joke on the show is that Chapulín's enemies often insinuate that the use of this equipment makes no difference at all, in allusion to the hero's short stature in his normal size (for example, when he explained the use of the pills to his nemesis Tripaseca before using it, he sarcastically remarked: "Well, then you should already have taken one of those, Chapulin!").
  • La Chicharra Paralizadora (The Paralyzing Horn) is a bicycle horn that, when aimed at a person or object and sounded once, would freeze it immediately in mid-air. Sounding the horn twice makes the frozen person or object free again. Another running joke on the show is the lack of mastery of Chapulín with this weapon, which is usually activated in the worst possible time and embarrasses both the hero and his allies.
  • In one episode, it's revealed that Chapulín needs to use glasses, but he usually doesn't put them in his adventures because The Superhero Union forbids the use of glasses in service.

Famous phrases

Usually, the show would introduce the characters of the current episode until one of them was endangered or victimized in some way, at which point they voiced the catchphrase "Oh, y ahora ¿quién podrá defenderme/nos?" ("Oh, who can save me/us now?"), or "Oh, y ahora ¿quién podrá ayudarme/nos?" ("Oh, and now, who can help me/us"). Chapulín would appear out of nowhere (usually dropping or hurting himself with something as he did), and say "¡Yo!" ("Me!"), to which the people in need would instantly yell "¡El Chapulín Colorado!" ("The Red Grasshopper!"), after which he'd be greeted by the victim(s). He always answered with his catchphrase "¡No contaban con mi astucia!" ("They did not count on my cleverness!").

Others include:

  • "¡Síganme los buenos!" ("Good guys, follow my lead!") — as he would sometimes later on walk into a wall or fell from where he was standing. It would occasionally prompt the villains to say later on "¡Síganme los malos!" ("Bad guys, follow my lead!")
  • "Lo sospeché desde un principio" ("I suspected it all along"/"I knew that") — which he would say after someone pointed out something obvious that he had missed
  • "Lo hice intencionalmente, para..." ("I did it intentionally, to...")- to justify a dumb action, for example: "I did it intentionally to calculate the resistance of the wall", after walking straight into it.
  • "Todos mis movimientos están fríamente calculados" ("All my movements are coldly calculated") – his explanation for falling on his face, breaking something valuable, etc. May be spoken stand-alone, but always follows the previous quote.
  • "Se aprovechan de mi nobleza" ("They take advantage of my nobility") — which he would usually say after an insult, like "We should've called Superman or Batman...", or when he is forced to do something against his will)
  • "Yo opino..." ("In my opinion...") — a phrase always left unfinished because someone always interrupts him. Sometimes with "¡No opines, Chapulín!" ("Don't give your opinion, Grasshopper!"), but mostly with others insisting on their point, not letting him bring it up again.
  • Also, in trying to provide advice, he would take two traditional two-part Spanish sayings and mix them up, always beginning with "Como dice el viejo y conocido refrán..." ("As the old and well-known saying goes..."). For example, he once confused, "Cría cuervos y te sacarán los ojos" ("Raise crows and they'll pluck your eyes out," meaning "what goes around comes around") and "Crea fama y échate a dormir," ("Make a name for yourself and then go to sleep," meaning, once you have made a reputation for yourself, things will take care of themselves). This became "Cría cuervos y echate a dormir... No, no, no... Crea buena fama y te sacaran los ojos... No... Bueno, la idea es esa." ("Raise ravens and then go to sleep... No, no, no... Make a good name for yourself and they'll peck out your eyes... No... Well, you get the idea.")
  • "Que no cunda el pánico" ("Nobody panic") would become "Que no panda el cúnico" ("Pobody nanic").
  • "No contaban con mi astucia!"("They did not count on my cleverness!") - When committing a notably heroic act and being recognized for it he would shout out this phrase.
  • When Chapulín's vinyl antennae beeps for some enemies like "Mis antenitas de vinyl están detectando la presencia del enemigo" ("My vinyl antennae is detecting the enemy's presence").

Recurring characters

Good guys

  • Súper Sam (Super Sam): Played by Ramón Valdés. He is an American superhero whose appearance is very similar to that of Uncle Sam (including the famous top hat with American colors), however his suit is similar to Superman's. Half of the things Súper Sam says are in English, considering his bad skills with Spanish (he is known for having to carry an English-Spanish dictionary in his pocket whenever he needs to save someone in Mexico). Súper Sam's primary weapon is a bag full of dollars that he says were "few, but very powerful": it is usually used to beat on the head of the wrongdoers or Chapulín's, as both don't get along very well. Every time he used his weapon, the audience can hear the sound of a cash register. His catchphrase is "Time is Money, oh yeah!" and when present, most people say that "they don't want imported superheroes", much to Súper Sam's annoyance. According to Florinda Meza's character, Super Sam can be described with the phrase "He's just like the Red Grasshopper, but with a bank account."

Bad guys

The Mob

  • Tripaseca (Dry-Gut): Played by Ramón Valdés and one of the most recurring villain on the show. He is a very dangerous gangster who is part of a mafia gang composed by Cuajináis, Shory, Botija and Minina. He is considered the archenemy of Chapulín, always scheming along with the rest of his gang one way to kill the hero to make all the robberies he wants. In an episode in which he pretends to be dead to fool the local police force, Chapulín states that he knew Tripaseca since the two of them were children.
  • Cuajináis (Almost-Nothing): Played by Carlos Villagrán. He is a deadly gangster characterized by the huge scar on his right cheek. Although he is an ally of Tripaseca, sometimes he makes certain crimes on his own.
  • Shory (Shory): Played by Rubén Aguirre. He is a vicious mobster characterized by his high stature and coldness. El Shory more than often offers trouble to the Red Grasshopper in combat because of his superior strength and endurance. In some chapters, this character is nicknamed "El Nene (The Kid)".
  • Minina (Girl): Played by Florinda Meza. A woman who accompanies the mafia in their schemes and is characterized by constant smoking and their low intellectual capacity.
  • Pocas Trancas (Few-Lock): Interpreted by Rubén Aguirre. He is a madman who had escaped from the asylum. People believe that Pocas Trancas was deaf but a detective clarified that he couldn't speaking because he didn't wash his tongue and the he couldn't listen because he didn't wash his ears. What he lacked in intelligence he had plenty of raw strength, according to the same detective. Súper Sam and Chapulin usually have to team-up to fight him.

The Gunmen

  • Rascabuches (Tear-Maw): Played by Ramón Valdés. He is a fiery gunslinger whose presence makes all the inhabitants of any village to flee in terror. Faced many times Chapulín and was always defeated by him (although once he was trapped by a giant mousetrap that had a bag of money as bait). The Rascabuches has a young daughter named Rosa.
  • Mantoncísimo Kid (Speedy Guslinger): Interpreted by Carlos Villagrán or Rubén Aguirre. A dangerous gunman who constantly plagues small towns of the old American West. An ally of Rascabuches and Rosa la Rumorosa. Although claimed to be the fastest gunman of the Old West, Chapulín always managed to overcome him.
  • Rosa la Rumorosa (Rose the Rumor Girl): Performed by Florinda Meza. She is the only daughter of Rascabuches, one of the most feared gunmen of the Old West. Despite being an accomplice to her father, she sometimes laments the fact that no one proposes marriage because of the notoriety of his father.

The Pirates

  • Alma Negra (Black Soul): Played by Ramón Valdés. He is the captain of the pirates, and as he said, the chief of all the pirates of the seven seas. Captain Alma Negra is pretty evil but something clumsy (once being hurt with his own dagger while trying intimidate Chapulín). Characterized by his malevolent laughter and because often endangers life their own crew and of Chapulín or any girl that don't want to marry him. According to himself, he killed the Dead Sea and therefore there is no longer were seven seas, but only six.
  • Matalote (Slaughter): Interpreted by Rubén Aguirre. He is Alma Negra's right man, the tallest of the pirates, and surely the most cruel after Alma Negra. El Matalote is known for being quite strong and ruthless.
  • Sabandija (Gecko): Played by Carlos Villagrán. He is a clumsy pirate that has a left wooden leg and a right glass eye, both lost in one of the many battles fought by him commanded by Alma Negra. He and Panza Loca are the only ones in the crew who rebel against the master pirate alongside Chapulín.
  • Panza Loca (Crazy Belly): Played by Edgar Vivar. He is the fattest of the pirates, has a little intimidating voice and apparently was not very good pirate. He is as coward as Sabandija and often sees life threatening situation alongside of latter because the whims of Captain Alma Negra.

Pioneer in visual effects

With Chapulín, Chespirito, along with his production team, made extensive use of the chroma key device and bluescreen to produce visual effects which made the adventures of this superhero more interesting. Though somewhat unrefined by modern standards, the show achieved surprising effects like floating in the air or flying, performing impossible acrobatics, fighting against Martians, strange creatures, witches and all kinds of monsters, and, most often, to get the physical reduction effect thanks to his famous "pastillas de chiquitolina", which Chapulín used with measure to pass under doors, reaching dangerous areas without attracting attention or solve any problem with the size-changing trick.

This innovation, which was already known in Mexican television but not widely used, gave Chapulín the distinction of being virtually the only adventure-comedy broadcast in Mexico.

The show's heavy use of chroma key directly influenced the character's costume design. Red was the color that worked best with the chroma key.


Chapulín has enjoyed great popularity all over Latin America, the United States, Spain and other countries, albeit somewhat less than its sister production of El Chavo. Like El Chavo del Ocho, it is still shown in reruns in various countries. The cast of Chapulín was the same as that of El Chavo, although only actors Florinda Meza, Carlos Villagrán and Ramón Valdés were usually in every episode, however the characters usually were different. Some of the regular (albeit infrequent) characters who appeared, usually Chapulín foes, were El Tripaseca (Valdés) and El Cuajinais (Villagrán), a pair of Mafiosi who liked to make heists, as well as concurrent superhero Super Sam (played by Valdés too; see below). One-off villains, mostly those played by Valdés, like Wild West outlaw El Rascabuche, are also fondly remembered by fans.

Shorter Chapulín adventures were preceded by a skit, usually featuring Chespirito's other characters, like Dr. Chapatín, a tactless, impatient old physician, or El Chómpiras, an incompetent thief in the skit called Los Caquitos, alongside with El Peterete, played by Ramón Valdés. Chompiras and his new partner in crime, El Botija, played by Edgar Vivar, came to dominate the later years of Chespirito, an hourlong showcase featuring all the characters of the show.

The physical diversity of Chespirito actors permitted the richness of characters in the adventures, each week a new one. Chapulín was a hero of undetermined geographic and temporal location: his adventures could unfold in the American Old West, in ancient China, in London, in the Swiss Alps, during the Spanish Inquisition, in pirate ships, in Nazi Germany (an episode in which Chespirito played a double role as Chapulín and as Adolf Hitler himself, in the style of Charles Chaplin's The Great Dictator) or outer space, and his enemies range from the Yeti to Egyptian mummies, including his interaction, in some occasions, with literary characters such as Romeo and Juliet ("Juleo y Rumieta", or literally "Juleo and Rumiet").

El Chapulín Colorado is also very popular in Brazil. The company, Tec Toy, responsible for distributing the Sega consoles in Brazil published a video game for the Sega Master System called Chapolim x Drácula: Um duelo assustador (Chapulín vs. Dracula: A Frightening Duel). It was a localization of another existing SMS title, Ghost House, with the hero's graphics changed to Chapulín's.

Outside references

The Simpsons' creator Matt Groening has declared that he created the Bumblebee Man character after watching El Chapulín Colorado on television at a motel on the U.S.-Mexico border. (This notwithstanding, the Bumblebee Man character also bears resemblances to an early Saturday Night Live recurring sketch with "Mexican killer bees" although the Chapulín character predated the SNL Character.) Simpsons fans sometimes call the character Chespirito, even though Bumblebee Man is only based on his character. It should also be mentioned that many Simpsons characters enjoy Chespirito/Bumblebee Man's show; competing comedian Krusty the Klown watches one gag and remarks in admiration, "I gotta steal that bit." Bumblebee Man's show also features characters similar to Doña Florinda and Quico (with the inevitable stereotyping mustache), as well as Chómpiras. However, there is no real similarity between the character of Bumbleblee Man and El Chapulín Colorado.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

  • El Chapulín Colorado — Para el protagonista de la serie, véase El Chapulín Colorado (personaje). El Chapulín Colorado Género Sitcom Creado por Roberto Gómez Bolaños Reparto Roberto Gómez Bolaños Carlos Villagrán Ramón Valdés Florinda Meza …   Wikipedia Español

  • El Chapulin Colorado — El Chapulín Colorado El Chapulín Colorado Titre original El Chapulín Colorado Genre Série comique Créateur(s) Chespirito Pays d’origine  Mexique Chaîne d’origine Telev …   Wikipédia en Français

  • El Chapulín Colorado — Titre original El Chapulín Colorado Genre Série comique Créateur(s) Chespirito Pays d’origine  Mexique Chaîne …   Wikipédia en Français

  • El Chapulín Colorado — fue una parodia de los programas de superhéroes creada por Chespirito. Fue transmitida en México por Televisa entre 1970 y 1978, junto con la producción hermana El Chavo del Ocho. Su nombre se refiere a un chapulín (el nombre dado en México al… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • El Chapulín Colorado (personaje) — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Este artículo es sobre el protagonista de la serie de TV. Para la serie de TV, consulte El Chapulín Colorado. El Chapulin Colorado Personaje de El Chapulín Colorado Creador(es) Roberto Gómez Bolaños Interpretado por… …   Wikipedia Español

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  • Anexo:Episodios de El Chavo (serie animada) — La siguiente es una lista de capítulos de la serie animada El Chavo, que empezó a emitirse el 21 de octubre de 2006. Hasta el 2 de junio de 2011 se han emitido 4 temporadas y 100 episodios de esta serie. Contenido 1 Temporadas 2 Episodios 2.1… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Chespirito (serie de televisión) — Chespirito Género Sitcom Creado por Roberto Gómez Bolaños Reparto Roberto Gómez Bolaños Florinda Meza Ramón Va …   Wikipedia Español

  • Chespirito (serie de TV) — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Chespirito Género Sitcom Creado por Roberto Gómez Bolaños Reparto …   Wikipedia Español

  • Los Caquitos — es un sketch del programa Chespirito, dirigido y protagonizado por Roberto Gómez Bolaños alias Chespirito . Casi desde el comienzo de su carrera actoral en televisión hasta el fin de esta, Chespirito fue dedicándose más a este sketch, llegando… …   Wikipedia Español

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