el Chapulin Colorado (The Red Cricket / Grasshopper)
Real Name: Roberto Gomez Bolaños
Identity/Class: Human technology user
Affiliations: Professor Inventillo (creator of el Chapulan's Chiquitolina pills); Chaquira (the Professor's daughter)
Enemies: "El Chapulin Colorado had many and varied enemies (including
mobsters, pirates and old west outlaws)
The Mob: El Cuajinais, El Tripa Seca, El Chori, La Minina
Pirates: Alma Negra, Sabandija, Panza Loca, Ajonjoli
Outlaws: El Rascabuches, Matoncisimo Kid, Rosa la Rumorosa
Other villains included: Pocas Trancas, Bruja Baratuja, Dr. Panchostein, Zopilote Mojado"
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Mexico
First Appearance: Chespirito (TV Show - later he would get his own show)
Powers/Abilities: He was stronger than a mouse, he used some pills called "pastillas de chiquitolina" (pills of "small-ina") which gave him the power to shrink, and he had a mallet called "El Chipote Chillon" (the "Crying bump" or "crying bruiser") that he used to fight against the villains. Also he had his "antenitas de vinil" (Vinil little antennas) which he used to search for villains and danger.
He also used "La Chicharra paralizadora" (the paralyzing cricket or holding horn or coronet) which when he sounded immediately immobilised everyone who hears it or has been targeted by it, until he sounds it again. Often while his enemies were thus frozen he would kiss the girl who had been in danger, or reposition villains who had been about to hit him so that they would strike one of their allies instead.
History: El Chapulin Colorado is a comical, bungling superhero who takes a pill to shrink down in size, allowing him to breach criminal hideouts.
Comments: Played by Roberto Gómez Bolaños, who invented him as the "Latin American antithesis of Batman or Superman". As well as appearing on television, he's also made the natural progression into comics (see right).
The Bumble Bee Guy in the Simpsons is based on this character.
Omar Rovelo sent me extensive notes on this character, informing me that "Chapulin is more like the grasshopper than the cricket", translating Chillon for me, telling me about his paralysing horn (about which he also notes "I don't know the exact name of it is a kind of horn the kind that some bicycles and old automobiles used, it is a brass hornet with a rubber pump in the other side and you press it to make it work.") Omar finally notes that "Please notice that every one of his objects and the other characters created by Roberto Gomez begin with a Ch (Chapulin, Chicharra, Chipote Chillon, Chiquitolina and characters like El Chavo, La Chilindrina, el Dr. Chapatin o el Chompiras)." Thanks for all this Omar.
Gerardo Sibaja writes to inform me "Currently, El Chapulin Colorado as well as the other Characters created by Chespirito are still aired all over Latin America and even Spain, being one of the most seen and long lasting shows of all time. The first episodes aired in the early 70´s and were still being filmed until the late 90's. At the present moment, Disney formalized negotiations with Chespirito in order to produce a new version of animated Chapulin Colorado, which is to be aired in the US as well as in the rest of America. El Chapulin is one of the best known comedy characters of all the Spanish speaking world, and could soon be known the world over." Thanks Gerardo.
Enrique Cruz adds that the character has a number of catch-phrases associated with him. The call that makes him appear: "ho! ¿y ahora quien podrá ayudarme?" (ho! and now who will be able to help me?). When someone calls this, then el Chapulin appears of out of nowhere responding "¡Yo el chapulin colorado!" (I, the red cricket)
Other famous phrases: "¡no contaban con mi astucia!" ("you did not count on my cleverness!), "¡siganme los buenos!" (follow me the good ones!), "ya lo dice el viejo y conocido refran:" ("it says the old and well-known proverb "). He almost always mixes up the proverbs and gets confused, in the end saying: "bueno, esa es la idea" ("well, that is the idea") Thanks for this Enrique. Cecilia Wandiga adds another catchphrase - "mis antenitas de vinil estan detectando algo sospechoso" (my vinyl antennas are detecting something suspicious)"; Abraham Gonzalez says this should more accurately be "mis antenitas de vinil están detectando la presencia del enemigo (my vinyl antennas are detecting the presence of the enemy)."
Aleja Santos adds yet another of his catchphrases: "Que no panda el cunico", which is really meant to be "Que no cunda el panico" (means, don't freak out, don't spread panic). It's another of the phrases Chapulin gets mixed up.
Eric Villegas adds "A few notes on El Chapulin Colorado. His main weapon (el Chipote Chillón) was a very popular toy in Mexico when I was a kid (the 70's). I don't know if it existed before, or because of, El Chapulín. The mallet was made of plastic and it squeaked when it hit something, and hence the name. The name "Chapulín" is purely Mexican, derived completely from the nahuatl (Aztec language) word for grasshopper."
Thanks to Gerardo Garcia for information on his enemies and allies, and thanks to Ernesto Escobedo Pérez for providing his true identity.
There is a site (in Spanish) devoted to the character here. Thanks to Esteban Portugues C. for this information.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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