Final episode date
6 January 1980
First episode date
20 June 1971
Number of episodes
Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão, Televisa, Univision
Chespirito, Ramón Valdés, Florinda Meza, Carlos Villagrán, María Antonieta de las Ni
El Chapulín Colorado, El Chavo Animado, La familia P Luche, Dr Cándido Pérez, Vecinos
WTF Facts: El Chavo del 8
El Chavo del Ocho, often shortened to El Chavo, is a Mexican television sitcom created by Roberto Gómez Bolaños. The show was based on a series of sketches performed on Gomez's eponymous sketch show, Chespirito, which were first performed in 1972. El Chavo became its own series in 1973 and aired until 1980, becoming one of the most popular television programs in the world. Following its cancellation and the relaunch of Chespirito, the El Chavo sketches returned in 1982 and continued to be performed on Chespirito until 1992 when Gomez, by this point in his sixties, discontinued them due to his advancing age.
- WTF Facts El Chavo del 8
- El Chavo
- La Chilindrina
- Don Ramn
- Doa Florinda
- Profesor Jirafales
- Doa Clotilde
- Seor Barriga
- La Popis
- Jaimito el cartero
- Doa Nieves
- Minor characters
- Animated series only
The show follows the life and tribulations of the title character, a poor orphan child (played by Gómez Bolaños) that lives on a Mexican housing complex, typically called a vecindad. He is accompanied by a cast of neighbors, children, and other characters. All the characters, including the children, were played by adults on El Chavo.
El Chavo del Ocho is an eight-year-old orphan and the main character of the series. "Chavo" is a Mexican Spanish slang for "kid"; Chavo's real name is not known, but in some episodes he calls himself Chente, short for Vicente, after a friend who died in the orphan home in which he was abandoned. Generally Chavo is enthusiastic, creative and good-natured, but on the other hand he is also rather naïve and very gullible. He is not particularly bright (which Roberto Gómez Bolaños insinuated on the launch of the animated series may be a consequence of poor nutrition) and is remarkably clumsy, often hitting Quico, Don Ramón and Señor Barriga with balls, shoes, hammers, bricks, chairs and other objects. Chavo arrived at the neighborhood at the age of four and apparently lived in apartment #8 with an elderly woman (who is never seen, but is mentioned in the novel El diario de El Chavo del 8). After her death, Chavo spends most of his time inside an abandoned barrel that he calls his "secret hideout". He has a craving for ham tortas, a popular kind of sandwich in Mexico. He has a crush on Paty, along with Quico (which is their first fight over their crush, although she kisses Chavo in the animated series). Despite being a hungry 8-year-old child, he seems to have an incredible physical strength, since his punches are able to stun or even topple a full-grown man, mostly Don Ramón.
In the English dub version of the series, he is voiced by Mona Marshall. Unlike in the original series and the Spanish version of the animated series, instead of being called "Chente" or "Chavito", he is called "Chavorino" by his friends sometimes. Also, the "El" part of his name was officially removed from his character's bios in the animated series, possibly to keep in with the show's English production on Americanizing the series. Instead of ham tortas, he has a craving for ham sandwiches, although the Christmas specials state that he also has cravings for jelly sandwiches for a mysterious reason, but those jelly sandwiches are actually ham tortas (ham sandwiches) in the original Spanish version, called jelly sandwiches in the English version. Also, his friend "Vicente" (or Chente) is renamed as Chova (switching the A and the O around).
In Brazil, his name was changed to Chaves which means "Keys" in portuguese.
La Chilindrina is the daughter of Don Ramón. "Precocious" is the best way to describe Don Ramón's intelligent and mischievous daughter, who likes to take advantage of her slow-witted friends to play pranks on them and take their toys or snacks. She usually wears a short green-patterned dress and a red sweater that is always twisted on the back. She has freckles, horn-rimmed eyeglasses, a missing front tooth, and two pigtails that are always uneven, one significantly higher than the other one, just like her socks. "Chilindrina" is the name of a typical Mexican bun, with chocolate sparkles on top, reminiscent of the character's freckles. In early episodes, La Chilindrina has longer ponytails which are cut by El Chavo. In most episodes, she is seen to have a crush on Chavo, and can be jealous when he's seen by Paty.
La Chilindrina was cut from the El Chavo animated series due to disputes with Roberto Gomez Bolaños (creator of all El Chavo characters) and Maria Antonieta de las Nieves (Chilindrina's portrayer) about who owned the rights to the character and if the character was allowed to be used publicly outside of El Chavo. María Antonieta de las Nieves was able to win a legal battle over Chespirito in 2003, which gave her permission to act as La Chilindrina in public, and granted her rights over the character so that character is separated from the cast but still be on it by the fans. She was replaced by Popis (Phoebe) or Ñoño (Junior) in the animated series version.
In Brazil, her name was changed to Chiquinha.
Federico Matalascayando Corcuera, known as Quico, is a spoiled, greedy, overprotected 9-year-old boy, son of Doña Florinda and a late naval captain (also named Frederico), who reportedly died when his vessel was attacked and ,according to Quico, was eaten by a white shark. Arrogant, manipulative, and envious, Quico always wants to draw everyone's attention to himself, either by screaming loudly or by showing off his newest toy. Because of this, he usually gets El Chavo in trouble when he does something wrong, especially to Don Ramón, after which Don Ramón hits El Chavo angrily on the head. Partially due to his mother's influence (and former wealth and status as the wife of a naval officer), he believes that he and his mother are superior to everyone else in the neighborhood. He still finds time to play with—as he and his mother call them -- chusma ("riffraff"), namely Chavo, Chilindrina, and Don Ramón. However, Quico has proved many times to be Chavo's best friend, often assisting him in Chavo's mischievous acts. They are mostly seen playing together in the front yard. Moreover, Quico is a good kid deep inside, even though there are several occasions in which he acts self-centered. Quico wears a rainbow-colored beanie cap, a dark blue naval officer's shirt with a red ascot, bright yellow socks he pulls all the way up to his knees, and white low-top shoes. He is also widely identified by his enormous cheeks, which he can puff out quite largely, and his minuscule intelligence, often responding to the Spanish words for idiot, stupid, dummy, etc. (he even displays delight about being called such things, oblivious to the fact that all these words are insults). Despite his stupidity, Quico displays more deceptive abilities and common sense than Chavo, and is the most likely to break the fourth wall (especially regarding that four of his quotes do this so). In 1979, when Carlos Villagran quit the show, Quico is said (in the episode named "Vámonos al Cinema?") to have gone off to live with his rich godmother, reportedly "unable to stand the riffraff anymore." No one in the show ever talked about him afterwards, or said anything about his absence, as if he had never existed. Villagran's character, Quico, starred in a rather short-lived spin-off series, Ay, Que Quico! in the late 1980s, which attempted to revive the series using a "hip-hop" twist and gave Villagran's character a slight wardrobe make-over.
In the English dub version of the animated series, the main role is sometimes as the antagonist, he is voiced by Doug Erholtz. Instead of being called "Tesoro" (treasure/darling), he is called "Muffin".
Don Ramón is an unemployed widower with a very lanky, nearly emaciated build. He has black wiry hair and a moustache and is usually seen wearing a sun hat, a t-shirt, and jeans. His greatest aspiration seems to be living an uncomplicated life, but in the vecindad, this seems impossible. He is constantly hounded for the rent which he has neglected to pay for fourteen months (a figure that seems to be static since Señor Barriga forgives several months of his rent in several episodes) - however, in one episode, he did pay at least one month of rent while on the verge of eviction from Señor Barriga. His daughter (Chilindrina) is a perennial headache and his neighbor Doña Florinda's response to any imposition on her lifestyle is a loud slap on his face, which causes him to spin in a circle. He eventually became something of a scapegoat for Florindas wrath, with her ending up slapping him when he wasn't even present when something went wrong. Although rather high-strung and quick-tempered, Don Ramón manages to keep a fairly upbeat attitude and to (just barely) make a living doing odd jobs. He's also a fan of all sports and pretends to be knowledgeable in them (having demonstrated boxing, bowling, American football, baseball and even bullfighting - with a dummy bull - to the kids), but due to the kids' own shortcomings, he always comes up short. Chavo often mispronounces his name as Ron Damón, that is a common way of spelling by children. One quote popularized by himself is "There is no bad work, the downside is having to work". He is a fan of Club Necaxa, which in the day was generally known as a perennial mid-table also-ran, per Don Ramón's quote "Yo le voy al Necaxa", meaning that he neither wished for glory nor suffering. His personality of always being a good-hearted and (not always) noble man, made Don Ramón one of the most cherished characters in the history of the show.
In Brazil he is known as Seu Madruga and is considered to be the most popular character, with some of his quotes used under many circumstances, not only the funny ones.
In the English dub version of the animated series, he was known as Mr. Raymond or nicknamed Rister Maymond by El Chavo and was, like Quico, voiced by Doug Erholtz. To keep with the production of the animated series as Chilindrina was not included in the final production, Ramon/Raymond never mentions any spouses nor rooting for Necaxa.
Florinda Corcuera y Villalpando de Matalascayando, commonly referred to as Doña Florinda, is the mother of Quico and love interest of Professor Jirafales. She is a widow; her late husband, after whom Quico was named, was a naval officer who died at sea. It is often said by Quico that he descansa en pez (a pun on "rest in peace", literally meaning "rests in fish", indicating that he was swallowed by a shark). Her full name is Florinda Corcuera y Villalpando, viuda de (widow of) La Regueira. Doña Florinda has deluded herself into believing she's socially, morally and economically superior to her neighbors (and it is suggested that at one time she was well-off), and while not misanthropic, snobbish, or bully-like, she tends to give orders to the others, such as putting signs that ban animals and infants from the vecindad (much to Barriga's chagrin, because she does it without his authorization). She is so fiercely protective of Quico that whenever he is upset, she'll beat up Don Ramón without seeking explanation. In fact, a recurring gag in the series is that she unfairly accuses him of "attacking" Quico and goes to slap him, even when he is not present in the scene. When Villagran left the show - thus concluding Quico's presence in the vecindad - she still slaps Don Ramón, but less often. This is due to Don Ramón laughing loudly whenever a rude comment is directed towards her (mostly coming from El Chavo). She likes cleanliness and order and also likes to cook and for that reason becomes famous among her neighbours. Once she accepted a partnership selling churros (a Mexican pastry) with Don Ramón. She is easily recognized by the fact that she always keeps her hair in curlers (except in some early episodes), even at work or on vacation in Acapulco. In later episodes, she opens a restaurant called "Restaurante Doña Florinda". Derisively, the kids call her "Vieja Chancluda" ("vieja" being "old lady", and "chancluda" as someone who uses "chanclas", sandals).
In the English dubbed version of the animated series, she is known as Mrs. Worthmore (a pun on worth more) and voiced by Kate Higgins. Her restaurant was renamed "Mrs. Worthmore's Cafe" as well. In Brazil, her name was translated to Dona Florinda.
Profesor Inocencio Jirafales is the school teacher. He is highly educated but naïve, although he carries on a ludicrously innocent relationship with Doña Florinda and patiently teaches way above the heads of his students. He is patient and professionally ethical. When angered, he shouts "Ta-ta-ta-taaaaa-TAH!!!". His last name is a reference to the very tall Aguirre, who stands at a height of 1.98 m or 6 ft 6 in ("jirafa" is Spanish for giraffe; the closest English equivalent would be Giraffald). The children (and sometimes adults, most notably Don Ramón) refer to him as "Maistro Longaniza" (being "maistro" a mispronounced form of "maestro", an alternative for "professor", both meaning "teacher", and "longaniza", a long kind of sausage). Although he appears throughout all the series (almost 20 years) having a romance with Dona Florinda, by the time it finished, neither one suggested the possibility of going beyond that idyllic relation - there's an in-joke among the series production that statizes his full name to be "Inocencio Jirafales", being "Inocencio" both a real-life name in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries and a play on "innocence", thus adding to the "innocent" way he treats his relationship towards Doña Florinda. Even though he claims to have a strong hatred of violence, Jirafales is more than willing to beat up Don Ramón if he does something stupid or that leaves him outraged (in the episode in which Don Ramón teaches El Chavo some basic boxing classes and even lends his boxing gloves to the kid, Jirafales has beaten him so violently that even Doña Florinda displays disgust over it).
In the English dub version of the animated series, he is known as Professor Girafalde (a pun on the word giraffe) or nicknamed Professor Sausage (Maistro Longaniza) or Professor Firehose (in the Fireman episode) by El Chavo (sometimes called "Professor Girafalges" by non-marketing teams) and is voiced by Bob Buchholz. In Brazil his name is written on a few occasions Professor Girafales.
Doña Clotilde, sometimes referred to as "La bruja del 71", is a retired woman who chases after Don Ramón. Because she is old and somewhat eccentric, the kids think she is a witch, and refer to her as "The Witch from (Apartment) 71". Some of the adults also refer to her as that, often by mistake, due to the kids frequently calling her a "witch". She refers to herself as señorita (Miss) because she has never been married, which also she gets upset by when called señora (Mrs.), meaning that she is a married woman. In one episode of the series, Chavo stated that "She's not a witch because if she were, she would use her magic to turn (herself) into a young, beautiful woman." She is a single woman, thirsty for love, and frequently seeks it with Don Ramón, who is a widower. Because she never wants people to know her real age, she is always saying the number of candles (40 candles) she had to use in her "last" birthday's cake (she never says to have more than 49) - even then, people never believe her, mostly because she also acts like a senior woman. She has always been in love with Don Ramón, her neighbor. But he is not interested in her, so Doña Clotilde tries and does everything she can to conquer him like bringing him food from the store, buying him medicine when he can't sleep, baking cakes for him, or lending him luggage. In fact, all the times that Don Ramón is "interested" in her is when she faints in the middle of the yard and was going to bring him something from the store or just when being polite with her is his only choice. When Ramon Valdes left the show, her affections turned towards Jaimito, el cartero. She is always dressed with a blue or pink hat (50's style) with "leaves", blue gown, and black shoes. In the beginning of the series she had also a black sweater. Regarding to her income, the source is unknown. Some might suggest she receives a pension, or maybe gets her money out of an inheritance. Otherwise, it would be impossible for her to pay the rent to Señor Barriga, pay her expenses and buy all the things she gives to Don Ramón.
In the English dub version of the animated series, she was renamed Miss Pinster (a pun on the word spinster) or nicknamed The Witch of 71 by the children and is voiced by Mona Marshall, like El Chavo. In Brazil her name is Dona Clotilde or Bruxa do 71.
Zenón Barriga y Pesado is the landlord of the vecindad. Bolaños states that Señor Barriga prefers going personally to receive the residents' rents in order to save up his own time or a rent collector's salary. He rarely succeeds in collecting rent from Don Ramón and is greeted upon his every arrival by being (accidentally) kicked, tripped, beaten, or hit by a flying object thrown by El Chavo. His last name is a reference to his obesity ("barriga" is both Spanish and Portuguese for "belly", but the surname actually exists). In two episodes throughout the series (the first when Don Ramón buys a bowling ball while working as a buyer/salesman of home antiques; the second when Doña Florinda first sets up a restaurant) his full name is revealed to be "Zenón Barriga y Pesado" (literally "Zenón Belly and Heavy", but Pesado is a real surname too), and "Zenón" being a pun on "Cenón" ("dining man" or "big dinner"). He is also well-known because of his patience with Don Ramón and his unpunctual rent payments and all the kids' (mostly Chavo's) misbehavior like punching him or nicknaming him (always making fun of his body).
In one episode, he follows through on his eviction threat to Don Ramón, but while he is packing his belongings, Chavo and Quico come across an old scrapbook with pictures of Don Ramón as a boxer in his younger years. Barriga is overcome with emotion; as it turns out, he was heavily in debt and was about to go to jail when he desperately bet against Don Ramón in a boxing match, and won back enough money to clear his debts.
Even though he is the victim of Chavo's various pranks, he cares very deeply about him, even offering to take him to Acapulco instead of his son Ňoño, who is off on a camping trip with the Boy Scouts.
In the English dub version of the series, he is renamed Mr. Beliarge (pun on the word belly and large) and is voiced by Dave Mallow. In Brazil, his name translates to Seu Barriga (literally "Mr. Belly").
Doña Florinda's niece and Quico's cousin. Cutesy and dumb, Popis was usually only present in schoolroom scenes until after Quico left the series, when she filled in for his character in remakes of old episodes. She would frequently say "Acúsalo con tu mamá" ("Tell on him with your mom") sometimes at inappropriate moments, known in the English dub of the animated series as "I'm telling...", such as when Professor Jirafales told Quico that he gave the wrong answer. Whenever she says or does something wrong, she blames it on her doll, Serafina, which she loved as a daughter. In the English dub version of the animated series, she is renamed as Phoebe, her doll is renamed as Stephanie and she is voiced by Kate Higgins. She fills in for Chilindrina in the animated series, as Chilindrina never appears or is mentioned in the series.
Pronounced NYO-NYO, as in yo-yo, Señor Barriga's son, he is as fat as his father, and thus is always the butt of the classroom's fat jokes. Ñoño was another classmate, but often appeared around the neighborhood if any scenes needed an extra kid. He is well-studied and good-hearted, but like most of the other kids, naïve to say the very least, so he is often taken advantage of. He also substituted for Quico in the later years. Ñoño usually gets teased by his peers due to his weight. In the animated series, he is renamed Junior and is voiced by Yuri Lowenthal of Ben 10 and Naruto fame. A hard joke on him over his weight was one where Quico and Chilindrina have several balloons and Chavo, hidden in his barrel, burst the balloons first to make his friends angry at each other and then to make them cry. When Ñoño arrives, with balloons too, Chavo confuses him with a balloon and burst his belly making Ñoño to "burst" leaving only his clothes visible. In Brazil, his name was changed to Nhonho.
An overall and baseball cap-wearing kid who usually keeps to himself and tries to dodge questions in the classroom so he can focus on drawing and playing musical instruments. Godínez is his surname; his given name is unknown. He seems to be a capable student but is totally uninterested. Godínez only appears on rare occasions. Horácio Gómez directed the show for a period. In real life, he was brother to Roberto, creator and writer of the series. In the English dub version of the animated series, he is renamed as Gordon, and is voiced by Kate Higgins. Like his Spanish counterparts, Gordon is funny and makes ridiculous remarks.
Jaimito, el cartero
A sociable but forgetful and negligent postal worker who appears in a few of the last episodes and takes over for Don Ramón and Quico in the Chavo segments on the hourlong "Chespirito". Whenever he enters the vecindad, he is seen carrying an old bicycle, which he cannot ride because he couldn't learn (and he'll be instantly dismissed if he tells at the post office he doesn't know how to ride the bicycle). Jaimito also is rather lazy and tends to avoid carrying out tasks with the excuse of "avoiding fatigue" (in the English dub of the animated series, his excuse is that "his tiredness makes him tired"). He hails from Tangamandapio which, although being a real location in Mexico, is thought by fans of being just a coincidental joke (Jaimito once said that "Tangamandapio is bigger than New York; it's so big, it doesn't appear in any maps"). In the English dub version of the animated series, he is renamed as Manny the Mailman who comes from Upsidedowntown and is voiced by Dave Mallow. In Brazil, his name was changed to Jaiminho, o carteiro and his hometown Tangamandápio.
Chilindrina's great-grandmother, and Don Ramón's grandmother (the one constantly referred to by Doña Florinda). Has character traits of both Don Ramón and Chilindrina. In some late "Chavo" episodes and early "Chespirito" episodes, she also takes over for her grandson Don Ramón. María Antonieta de las Nieves had been playing a nameless character similar to Doña Nieves for years in a variety of sketches, but she did not work particularly well in the Don Ramón role; for one thing, it was awkward that Doña Nieves and Chilindrina could not appear in scenes together except via special effects. By the late 1980s, her character had virtually disappeared from "El Chavo". In Brazil, her name was changed to Dona Neves.
Animated series only
He, his brothers and the parents are making cameos in other episodes until in the episode "Viaje en el metro" they make another major role", when they ask Chavo to babysit Panfilo and the brothers again but all babies are in the subway so Chavo and friends are going to rescue but the subway gets out of the control, until to the end the babies are really fine and Chavo returns the babies to the parents and they are pleased by caring the babies, in the end when El Chavo and Manny the Mailman prefers to go in bus and gets shocked and scared to see the babies again when the episode ends.