Final Episode of Sábado Gigante to Air September 19, 2015
The variety show is a lost art in television. They’ve all been replaced with “reality” shows. I put the word reality in quotes because very little (if any) of it is actually reality anymore. Not since the origin days of “The Real World” on MTV, anyways. Mostly every reality show nowadays is scripted. Very scripted. All under the extremely thin and pretentious veil of making it look like a pseudo documentary.
They’re also kind of pathetic and mostly cater to the lowest common denominator of the television consumer, in my humble opinion. We obsess with keeping up with a family of women (and 1 new woman, apparently), and the over-active love lives of total strangers to hint a very specific few.
But all these shows, as I was referring to earlier, were first realized (at least in part) because of the influences brought upon by variety shows.
There was one variety show I grew up watching. Every Saturday night like clockwork I would sit in my grandmother’s house and she would put on Univision (channel 23) and my sister and I would watch Sábado Gigante as my grandmother made us dinner. Its host, Don Francisco, (whose real name is Mario Kreutzberger) is this Chilean guy who looked like a variation of everyone’s grandfather in Miami.
Don’t ask me how he came up with the name Don Francisco because no one knows.
He worked his awkward charm to take command of the stage and audience alike. Over the years, he was a host who never really conformed to the times and attitudes of a much younger generation and yet we would never call him out on it. We accepted and respected it. Since he reminded us so much of our own grandparents and often complained about the same thing, we somehow connected with him at least on that. He’s had acts from all over the world display a plethora of talents and skills with the help of his beautiful models who would usher the acts on and off stage. Earlier this year, it was announced that on September 19, 2015, the show was going to air its final episode thus ending its 53-year run.
That’s right… 53 years.
You can read the official article here.
Sábado Gigante (or Giant Saturday for those who don’t speak Spanish) is the television juggernaut you’ve probably never heard of unless you live in Miami. It’s a cultural phenomenon that will be missed and (much like “Que Pasa U.S.A.?”) will get its own plethora of video clips flood through social media for decades to come.