El Chapulin Colorado
Oh, ¿y ahora quien podrá defendernos?
("Oh, and now... who could defend us?")
Más ágil que una tortuga.
Más fuerte que un ratón.
Más noble que una lechuga.
Su escudo es un corazón.
("More agile than a turtle. / Stronger than a mouse / Nobler than a lettuce / His emblem is a heart.")
Legendary Mexican Sitcom (and staple of popular culture) from the creator of El Chavo del Ocho (and most of same the cast) about the adventures of a Comedic Hero, whose name vaguely translates as The Red Cricket (The Crimson Grasshopper is more accurate, but sounds too serious given the context of the show), rescuing people who say his Phrase Catcher. Not that he is really that useful, or even helpful. But El Chapulín Colorado is well meaning and at least tries to help, so it's okay.
Unlike El Chavo, the adventures of El Chapulín happened in a wider range of places and even times. While most of his adventures were urban, there were a lot of episodes set in The Wild West, or against The Mafia, and even parodying monster movies. Or even against the third reich. The cast remained the same, but with the exception of Chapulín they changed roles every chapter (although in the more "themed" episodes some actors have recurring roles)
While not as popular as El Chavo, El Chapulín remains loved and well remembered. Despite its relatively cheap production values, it has very interesting ideas for a comedic show. It even pioneered the use of Chroma Key in Latin America.
Bumblebee Man, a recurring figure on The Simpsons, is essentially a Captain Ersatz of this character. He was created because whenever the writers flipped through the channels, El Chapulin Colorado was always on (similar to how Bumblebee Man is always on television, at least when Krusty, Itchy and Scratchy aren't).
- Affectionate Parody: of a superhero series, among others.
- And then some: Creator Roberto Gómez Bolaños indicated repeatedly that for him a real hero was somebody like the Chapulín, who was knowingly weak, distracted, clumsy, cowardly and ugly, but who engaged in heroic actions anyway. It's been stated more than once in-show, on his cowardliness, that "courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability of facing your fears", which is essentially what Chapulín's heroic deeds amount to.
- Not so much a parody than a take that against then established and famous superheroes, his description runs contrary to bragging about his abilities and instead, focuses on the ridiculousness of them; he is for example "nimbler than a turtle". Then during an episode, he throughly deconstructs the super-hero genre, by acting clumsily and being more harmful than helpful, even if in the end he saves the day.
- All There in the Manual / Word of God: If you ever wondered, you will need to google to find references to a certain interview in order to learn about Chapulin's origin story. An agonizing scientist wanted to pick someone to give his top invention, the chiquitolina pills, he called upon people to meet him so he could choose to whom to give the pills. Chapulin was the only honest person that went, that's how he got his only real superpower.
- Always Someone Better: Super Sam, a cross between Uncle Sam and Superman. (His main weapon was a bag of money he used to club bad guys, all with a cash register sound.)
- Anti-Hero: Type I.
- Ascended Extra: For most of the series, actor Horacio Gomez (incidentally the creator's brother) just played occasional bit parts with a couple of lines. In the last season, after two main cast members left, he became one of the principal actors, even though Gomez had always planned to be the show's marketing director, not an actor.
- Banana Peel
- Bragging Theme Tune: There is an extended version of his theme tune sung by Chespirito himself. In it, there's even a lyric where it says that Tarzan and Kaliman admire him and Batman and Superman ask forgiveness when facing him.
- Brought to You by The Letter "S": The old Spanish letter CH on the hero's costume
- Butt Monkey: Every non-villainous role Ramón Valdés played was this. In fact, pretty much every non-villain (the titular hero included) is prone to this.
- Catch Phrase: A lot!
- "¡No contaban con mi astucia!"; "They did not count on my cleverness!"
- "Síganme los buenos!", "Good guys, follow me!"
- A variation is used by recurring Big Bad, the pirate "Alma Negra / Black Soul": "Siganme los malos!", "Bad guys, follow me!".
- "Se aprovechan de mi nobleza...", "They take advantage of my nobility..."
- "Calma, que no panda el cúnico.", "Remain calm, don't let renic paign."
- "¡Mis antenitas de vinil están detectando la presencia del enemigo!", "My little vinyl antennae are detecting the enemy's presence!"
- His antennae also detect whenever someone asks "Y ahora...¿Quién podrá defenderme?" "And now...Who could defend me?", which prompts a variation of the catch phrase about his antennae. However, this is seldom seen as he's usually offscreen when someone asks for a defender.
- "Lo sospeché desde un principio.", "I suspected it from the beginning."
- "Todos mis movimientos estan fríamente calculados.", "All my movements are coldly calculated."
- This whole gag:
"Y ahora...¿Quién podrá defenderme?" "And now...Who could defend me?"
(the Chapulin Colorado appears from nowhere) "¡Yo!" "me!"
(the person rejoices) "¡El Chapulin Colorado!"
(and then the aforementioned) "No contaban con mi astucia" "They did not count on my cleverness!".
Then he trips and falls or gets hit. God, I love this show.
- Mad Libs Catchphrase: After the aforementioned gag, then comes
¿"Te lastimaste Chapulín?" "Are you hurt Chapulin?"
"No, lo hice intencionalmente para [X]" "No, I mean to do that so I could [X]" [X] is obviously a bad excuse for the clumsy action.
- "Yo Opino...", "I think that..." when he wants to express his oppinion. He is always interrupted accidentaly or intentionally.
- One gag when someone asks to do something dangerous.
(the Chapulín, shy and reluctant) "Sí lo hago..." "I'll do it..."
(the one that asked him, happily) "(lo sé)" "I know"
(the Chapulín, again) "Sí lo hago..."
(the person, showing some irritation) "(muy bien)" "alright"
(the Chapulín, Once More) "Sí lo hago..."
(all the presents, totally exasperated) ¡PERO YA! "BUT NOW!"
- The whole set of catchphrases: usually played when Chapulín gets hit unconcsious and gets awakened very rudely (a punch, a kick, a splash of water) and decides to say every. Single. One. Of his catchphrases in an incredibly quick speed.
- "Time is Money".
- Clip Show: The episode 'Conferencia sobre un Chapulín' and the untitled last episode.
- Comedic Hero: Chapulín himself
- Control Freak: Chespirito disliked and discouraged anything remotedly improvisational, also he wrote almost all of the material.
- Crossover: with El Chavo del Ocho, and some other characters created by the same actor, to the point of Required Spinoff Crossover since all of them derived from the same sketch show.
- Also another with Topo Gigio.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite his overall clumsiness, Chapulin would sometimes be quite able and competent against the villains, especially when he had the use of his gadgets.
- Crying Wolf: One episode featured a boy who threw away the toys he didn't want anymore and told his parents somebody stole them. Nobody believed him when it really happened. Chapulin tried to warn the boy it would happen by stating it could happen to him the same it happened in "Peter and the Wolf" (another title for 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf') but the boy didn't know the story and Chapulin told his own version of it, excluding Peter and describing a wolf that lied so much that, when he met The Three Little Pigs, he claimed to be Little Red Riding Hood.
- Cultural Cross-Reference: One episode had Chapulin helping a young woman and her elderly father, whose house was being threatened of being demolished with the two still inside. The old man is not happy about being helped by a hero of the likes of Chapulin, angrily saying to his daughter: "You could have called any other hero! Any other! Superman! Batman! Dick Tracy! Donald Duck!".
- The Danza: Most of the one-shot characters.
- Dastardly Whiplash
- Deadpan Snarker: Chapulín often took on this role, but sometimes others ,be it victims or villains, threw in the own dose of snarking.
- Deal with the Devil: Chapulin once told an In Name Only tale of Faust, about a man who sold his soul in exchange of a magical device that made people and things disappear and appear as the user wishes. When the Devil showed up to collect, the man used the device to make the contract vanish.
- Devil in Plain Sight
- Drop the Hammer: The "Chipote Chillón" ("Squeaky Mallet"), a silly-looking but effective hammer.
- Dumb Is Good
- Economy Cast: To the max.
- Eagle Land: Uncle Sam, the Rival of Chapulín for heroic deeds. Some may argue if he is flavor 1 or 2.
- Sometimes the Chapulín encounters a turist during some adventures that is an obvious Flavor 2.
- Eleventh-Hour Superpower: Used just once during a TV special: Chapulin turned a dial on his Vinyl Antennae to go into "Overdrive Mode," gaining super-speed and super-strength to quickly defeat a gang of pirates.
- He also used it on a wild west episode where an outlaw said he'd reform if Chapulin proves himself the fastest of the two. Chapulin said he didn't like using that power but would open an exception if it'd reform a criminal.
- In one episode he used his teleporting ability, usually only used when he appears, freely during a fight. Willfully Weak?
- Even Evil Has Standards: Parodied, the Cuajinais in an episode said "I use a false bomb, because the real one could hurt someone".
- Expy: Super Sam is a mix of Superman and Uncle Sam. He dresses like Superman and has Uncle Sam style beard, hair and hat.
- The Family for the Whole Family
- Far East
- Family-Friendly Firearms: Averted, many villains use guns and occasionally shoot.
- Faustian Rebellion: See the Deal with the Devil mentioned above.
- Gainax Ending: An episode ends with the sudden revelation that all the villains, a "dead guy", a barrel and the Chapulín himself that they weren't who they said they were during the episode but rater "actors" who liked to play those roles, followed by a Flat What from Ramón Valde's character.
- Another episode ends with el Chapulin using the "La Chicharra Paralizadora" to permanently stun everyone, including accidentally hitting himself with it so that no one can undo the stun.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In an episode, one character complains that he should have called Batman instead of Chapulín and he replies:
Chapulín: In first place, Batman is in honeymoon with Robin.
- In another episode, the bad guy locked a couple away and ate the key. When asked about how Chapulin got the key, he said a virtue of man is knowing how to wait. There was yet another episode where he told about an occasion where there was a microphone hidden in his soup and he learned it the next day.
- Gratuitous English: Chapulin's flashy rival, Super Sam, speaks exclusively in highly stereotypical American phrases. "Time is money, OH YEAH!"
- Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: Averted, he actually accidentally kills Hitler in an episode
- In Name Only: Some of the Chapulín's re-stagings of fairly tales fall under this. Lampshaded when he told a random interpretation of "Peter and the Wolf". Somebody pointed that Peter wasn't in his story and he replied that Peter was the author.
- I Meant to Do That: "All my movements are coldly calculated!"
- I Take Offense to That Last One
- Laugh Track (in the first years. The last seasons, when the Chapulín was included along with other Chespirito characters, the program started with the message "As a matter of respect for our audience, this program does not contain a laugh track").
- Long Title: One of the episodes was called "Story of an old abandoned mine that dates from the 17th Century, and is about to collapse."
- Lucky Translation: Chapulin Colorado has the same initials as it's rough English equivalent, Crimson Cricket. Any english version would have a hell of a time explaining where the H on his chest came from, though.
- On one English-dubbed episode of the animated version of El Chavo del Ocho (when he crossed over into their universe), he was called "Captain Hopper".
- The Mafia
- Malaproper: El Chapulín. He was specially prone to the butchered rendition of several, intermixed proverbs usually ended with "Bueno, la idea es ésa" ("Well, that's the idea"), even when it was impossible to grasp any idea relevant to the situation.
- The proverb mangling can get pretty awesome. For example, when Cría fama y échate a dormir ("Cultivate a good reputation and go to sleep (i.e., rest on your laurels)") and Cría cuervos y te sacarán los ojos ("Breed crows, and they shall pluck out your eyes") get mangled into Cría fama y te sacarán los ojos ("Cultivate a good reputation, and they shall pluck out your eyes") and Cría cuervos y échate a dormir ("Breed crows and go to sleep").
- Mutually Fictional: With El Chavo del Ocho.
- And luckily, the many crossovers between them didn't cause the universe to explode.
- The Napoleon: Half of the jokes about El Chapulín are about how short he is, with Chapulín gleefuly insulting back.
- Non Sequitur Thud: When he suffers a severe enough trauma, El Chapulín starts uttering his Catch Phrases one after another in rapid succession until coming back to his senses.
- Secret Identity Identity: El Chapulín doesn't seem to have a "real" identity besides being a superhero, and if he ever had one it may have been absorbed completely by the hero persona (for American audiences, it's kind of like The Tick (animation)). In an episode it's revealed that "Chapulín Colorado" is really the given name of our hero, from before he took his superhero role. (And its implied that his real mother is Lois Lane)
- And there are Chapulin imitators in-universe...professional ones, in fact. In at least one episode, we find out at the end that the Chapulin we'd been following through today's adventures was only an actor hired to play Chapulin at a birthday party. He just happened to be passing by when he got mixed up in this episode's dilemma, as the real Chapulin had arrived late.
- Self-Offense: Chapulin's antennae act as his equivalent of Spidey Sense; they beep in the "presence of an enemy". When he hears them, he attacks the next person who approaches, and it's always, always someone who's on his side.
- Shout-Out: Especially to Batman, the Green Hornet and El Chavo del Ocho.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender
- Something Completely Different: Chapulin Colorado's fairy tales. Specially memorable is its version of Romeo and Juliet.
- Stop Trick
- That's All Folks: The last episode of the half-hour show. Unfittingly, it continued as part of the Chespirito sketch show for much longer.
- Those Wacky Nazis
- Throw It In: Deliberately adverted because show creator and main scriptwriter Chespirito positively disliked it.
- Time Stands Still
- Un Paused: The entire schtick of the paralyzing horn.
- Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: "El Chipote Chillón" ("The Squeaking Hammer"), "La Chicharra Paralizadora" (a bike horn that can paralyze people by honking once, and release them by honking twice) and the "Chiquitolina" Pills (that shrink him down to the size of a small action figure.) Also, his suit included a couple of vinyl antennae, which detected the "presence of the enemy" (The detection was real, but Chapulin couldn't identify WHO was the enemy.)
- With some careful analysis, you could realize that he invented all of them, or got them through some pretty good connections. The Squeaking Mallet relies on his own strenght, but it's capable of stopping cold people much bigger than him, and to damage otherwise unsurmountable obstacles, Shrink-e-tolin pills are akin to the Atom's or Ant Man's powers; tough they only last a very short ammount of time. His Vynil Antennae work as a spider-sense of sorts, but they also double as radar, two way radio, and multipurpose sensors that can study for example, a wall to look for weaknesses in the material. The Paralyzing Honking-Horn was a device ahead of his time (even for most comic books and sci-fi series) in that it effectively put any person or object caught in its blast radius in a perfectly stable and self sustaining sleep; a couple episodes even theorized that people paralized this way, could be left alone for years and they'd be alright after coming out of the honk's effects.
- Also, you'd have to wonder what a "proper" superhero could achieve with access to the Crimson Grasshopper teleporting device. El Chapulín could appear at any location the instant his cry fo help was uttered. He'd even pop out of ridiculous and hard to reach places, like a trash can, or just literally drop from a place off-camera in between the assailant and its victim; of course, pretty much getting wrong who was who and hilarity ensuing.
- Unusual Euphemism: "¡Chanfle!" (a soft swear, similar to "Holy Mackerel!")