Roberto Gómez Bolaños (born February 21, 1929 in Mexico City, Mexico) is a Mexican writer, actor, director, comedian, humorist and songwriter. He is best known by his nickname Chespirito.
Life and work
Before becoming an actor, Bolaños was an amateur boxer. He studied Engineering at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (National Autonomous University of Mexico). He wrote a number of plays, and contributed dialogue for scripts of films and television shows in Mexico, as well as some character acting work before he became famous. His stage name of Chespirito was given by a producer during Gómez Bolaños' first years as a writer and was concocted from the diminutive form of the Mexican pronunciation of the name of William Shakespeare or Shakespiercito, meaning "Little Shakespeare" or "Little Shakespeare Boy".
Chespirito was discovered as an actor while he was waiting in line to apply for a job as a writer and soon he began writing and starring in his children comedy shows. He continuously starred in shows on Mexican television from 1970 to 1995 and became well known throughout Latin America.
His best known roles were in the shows El Chavo del Ocho and El Chapulín Colorado, transmitted on the Mexican TV Network Televisa. Other shows produced by and starring him were the short-lived La Chicharra and, during his last years on air, Chespirito.
In El Chavo del Ocho, Chespirito played an 8 year old boy who often took refuge inside a wooden rain barrel in a Mexican neighborhood, and in El Chapulín Colorado he played a good-hearted superhero who always got involved in funny situations. The Simpsons creator Matt Groening has declared that he created the Bumblebee Man character after watching El Chapulín Colorado in a motel on the U.S.-Mexico border.
These two shows became hits all over Latin America, Brazil the United States and Spain, and the stars of the show found international fame. He also starred in such Mexican movies as El Chanfle and El Chanfle 2.
Bolaños is also noted as a musical composer. He started writing music as a hobby, and most of his early musical work was related to his comedy work, particularly featured in occasional Chapulín Colorado or Chavo del Ocho special episodes. Later work includes the theme songs for various Mexican movies and telenovelas such as "Alguna Vez Tendremos Alas" and "La Dueña". A comedy song of Gómez, "Churi Churi Fun Flais", was slightly referenced by Puerto Rican rap duo Calle 13 in a pairing with fellow rapper Voltio, on their song "Chulin Culin Chunfly" (which used the made-up word "Culin", a reference to the female derriere, in substitution of the second "Churi").
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