Latinos outgrew Sábado Gigante's racism and misogyny long before it ended


I was never a fan of the show growing up in Venezuela. I watched it occasionally when visiting relatives for certain skits but just didn’t care for most of it. I think most of my family watched it mainly because it was on, it was one of the few watchable shows that was on during that time slot.

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The secret of that show is, I don’t think anyone actually “likes” it. It just sort of comes on and no one turns it off or changes the channel out of deference to the usually older family member(s) that doesn’t speak English. It’s sort of a shared inside joke among kids growing up in Latino families.

On a slightly more personal note. My grandmother watches it because she a) doesn’t speak English and b) generally prefers Univision’s programming to Telemundo’s. Anyway as she’s gotten older she’s lost track of date/time. But that show coming on let’s her know that it’s Saturday evening.


Last month I was at the barber and this show was on. They were celebrating International Women’s Day. The sound was off, but the tribute involved three voluptuous women in tight dresses standing on pedestals, mute and smiling, while a creepy old man sang to them and gave each of them a single red rose.

Variety sketch shows that featured scantily clad women were par for the course in the 1970s (Hee-Haw, Benny Hill, Laugh-In). I’m surprised this show lasted beyond that era.

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Whenever I ran across this show on Telemundo, I assumed it was to Latinos as Hee Haw is to folks in Ohio.


Yea, that’s pretty much the case. Everyone that I know that watches it does do only because it’s ridiculous and their families have been watching it forever.
Although Sabado Gigante has audience participation…

“hybrid of Benny Hill, Saturday Night Live and The Price is Right” sounds like what the TVs in airport lounges would loop 24/7, if you happen be waiting for a flight that connects through hell… Put me on the ‘it survived how long?’ wagon.

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I watched this and Otro Rollo on acid, and while speaking no Spanish I found them perfectly suited to watching while tripping.

Teletubbies also work.


It makes me wonder if implicit racism is going to look “so turn of the century” in a few decades.

Sounds like FOX News in many American households.

Just chiming in to say I still think “Latino” is a weak, retrograde label that lumps together 53 out of 55 American countries (and who knows how many different cultures) into the same sad little container.

Never head of this show, and I don’t think many other people in Brazil have either. Not that we don’t have our very own share of shit TV culture, but that’s another topic entirely.

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