On this day in comedy on February 21, 1929 Comedian, Actor, Screenwriter, Director, Playwright, Songwriter, Author, Roberto Gómez Bolaños, aka “Chespirito” was born!
Highly regarded as one of the most recognized Spanish-language comedians of the 20th Century, Chespirito gained international renown for being the creative force behind the television hits, Chespirito (1968), El Chavo del Ocho (1973) and El Chapulin Colorado (1973). He wrote, directed and starred in each. His shows were so popular that El Chavo del Ocho still receives viewership of over 91 million.
Born in Mexico City, Chespirito got his stage moniker writing plays and film dialogue. It means “Little Shakespeare”. The artist of many hats was discovered as an actor while waiting in line for a job as a writer. He initially wrote and starred in children’s comedy shows where he was able to introduce a variety of enduring characters for Mexican network, Televisa. Those shows aired in 124 countries.
Chespirito’s influence was felt throughout the artistic community. Matt Groening, creator of The Simpson said “Bumblebee Man” was a take-off of a character on Chespirito’s El Chapulin Colorado. Chespirito was an accidental composer. He began writing music as a hobby and developed into an accomplished composer. He’s written songs for film, television and theater. The prolific talent published three books and received numerous awards; both from the creative community as well as national honors.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
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