El Chavo del Ocho (partially lost Mexican sitcom TV series; 1973-1979)

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El Chavo Los Novilleros.png

"Los novilleros", one of the show's undistributed episodes.

Status: Partially Lost

El Chavo del Ocho is one of the most successful Mexican sitcoms of its generation. First conceived in 1972 by Roberto Gómez Bolaños (popularly known as "Chespirito" - a nickname that means "Little Shakespeare"), "El Chavo" is a homeless, orphaned child who overcomes the difficulties of a poor person's life by showing his best traits of friendship to his neighbors, often getting himself involved in comedic situations.

From the more than 300 episodes that aired between February 1973 and January 1980, 39 are absent from Televisa's current distribution package. It's impossible to pinpoint the exact moment when these episodes were shelved, but it's believed that some - if not all - were still distributed until the late 80's, as evidenced by a pack sent to Brazilian network SBT in 1987, which included several now discontinued episodes. Unsurprisingly, many episodes from El Chavo del Ocho's sister series El Chapulín Colorado suffered the same fate.

Reasons and Fan Theories

One of the biggest obstacles to the finding of reasons behind the removal of these episodes is that official reliable information by Televisa is virtually non-existent. The group refuses to acknowledge the existence of the missing episodes, stating to customers that their current pack is composed by every episode ever produced, even though fans, through several external sources, had already debunked their speech.

Two episodes of Chespirito's standalone works – El Chavo del Ocho's "El robachicos" and El Chapulín Colorado's "Las bromas del tío Ramón", both from 1973 – are believed to have once being taken out of the regular distro package (regaining their 'common' status after a new package was issued by Televisa in 2006) due to both being previously out of rotation by Costa Rican network Repretel. Although there is no confirmation of their absence being reflected in other countries' airings at the time, this is often considered a precedent for possible episode recoveries by Televisa.

Florinda Meza, a prominent cast member and widow of Chespirito, has already expressed interest in the 'disappearance' of the episodes, contacting Televisa on occasions to report airings of discontinued episodes in foreign countries in hopes of getting them back to distribution. Televisa, however, showed no signs of interest in looking into it.

In front of the lack of official info, there are many rumors and theories about the actual reason behind the removal of these episodes. These include:

  • Damaged tapes: the most accepted reason, where poor conservation of the master tapes eventually caused video and/or audio damage. This is evidenced by the massive cuts done to the currently distributed episodes, as well as scene replacements done to hide video imperfections.
  • Erased tapes: it's theorized that many early episodes from Chespirito's works had their master tapes wiped to make room for newer shows and other episodes, as Televisa executives did not expect that there would be demand for such material decades later. This theory was supported by cast member Rubén Aguirre during an interview for Brazilian fan-site Fórum Chaves.
  • Censorship: Televisa executives or Chespirito's relatives picked by hand episodes that shouldn't be distributed. As an example, the 1976 episode "Festival de la Buena Vecindad - parte 2" includes a song that was supposedly registered by Carlos Villagrán after his departure from the cast, possibly causing the cancellation of the episode's distribution due to internal conflicts between Chespirito and Villagrán. This theory is also supported by the fact that all versions of Chapulín Colorado's "La bella durmiente era un señor muy feo - parte 1", including a remake from the 80's Chespirito era, are out of the current distribution package.
  • Natural disasters: a violent earthquake hit Mexico City in 1985, causing severe damage to the region and, among numerous casualties, affecting Televisa's main station. Although the only archive that was reportedly affected was the sports archive, some people, mostly misinformed, still believe that this is a plausible reason for the apparent loss of episodes. This is proven untrue by the aforementioned pack sent to SBT around 1987.

Episode List

Below is a complete list of all lost episodes whose existence is proven through information collected by fans. According to Lista CH, in addition to the 32 episodes listed, seven more completely unknown episodes are currently undistributed by Televisa.

Key:
Green - Found episodes available in Spanish.
Gold - Found episodes not available in Spanish.
Orange - Partially available episodes/excerpts.
Red - Completely lost episodes.

Note: the episode titles used in here are not official, given that unlike El Chapulín Colorado, El Chavo del Ocho episodes did not feature narrated titles during the intro sequence. Original airdates are either taken from Tele-Guía magazines or determined through deduction.

Season 1 (1973)

Episode No. Unofficial Title Original Airdate
2 "Tratando de bañar al Chavo" March 5, 1973
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía.[1] Includes a Los Caquitos sketch.
4 "Los pensamientos del profesor" March 19, 1973
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía.[2] Includes a Los Caquitos sketch. A remake, produced in 1975, is also missing.
10 Compilation #4 April 30, 1973
The fourth of eight sketch compilations from the 1972 Chespirito era, conceived due to an on-set accident that resulted in an 8-week break for Chespirito. Its contents are unknown, but it's believed that it includes the 1972 El Chavo del Ocho sketch "La Independencia", along with a Los Caquitos sketch and another El Chavo del Ocho sketch.
29 "Los novilleros" September 10, 1973
Found through a VHS tape recording from 1991. Only available in Brazilian Portuguese, rendering the original audio missing. A three-episode remake, whose first part is missing, was produced in 1976.
33 "La caja de madera" October 8, 1973
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía.[3] Includes a Los Caquitos sketch.
34 "El perrito callejero" October 15, 1973
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía.[4]
35 "Jugando con las cosas de don Ramón" October 22, 1973
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía.
36 "Goteras en casa de Don Ramón" October 29, 1973
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía.[5]
40 "El zapatero - parte 2" November 26, 1973
Announced by don Ramón in the end of "El zapatero - parte 1". A synopsis from Tele-Guía provides further evidence of its existence.[6]

Season 2 (1974)

Episode No. Unofficial Title Original Airdate
56 "El vendedor de globos" March 18, 1974
Discovered through synopses from Tele-Guía.[7][8]
69 "Los cuernos del profesor" June 17, 1974
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía.[9]
70 "Corto circuito" June 24, 1974
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía.[10]
73 "La carpinteria - parte 2" July 15, 1974
Found in 2012 when it first aired on Brazilian TV. Only available in Brazilian Portuguese, rendering the original audio missing.
80 "Profesor Jirafales enamorado" September 2, 1974
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía.[11]
81 "Inflando globos" September 9, 1974
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía.[12]
87 "La locura" October 21, 1974
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía. Includes a parody of My Fair Lady. Brazilian TV network SBT supposedly owns a copy of this episode, as an El Chavo del Ocho tape containing this airdate was spotted on one of the network's 30th anniversary specials in 2011.

Season 3 (1975)

Episode No. Unofficial Title Original Airdate
96 "Dinero perdido" February 17, 1975
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía.
98 "Confusión de cartas" March 3, 1975
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía.[13] Remake of the 1973 episode "Los pensamientos del profesor", which is also missing.
100 "El perico" March 17, 1975
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía.[14]
127 "La chirimoya" October 27, 1975
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía.

Season 4 (1976)

Episode No. Unofficial Title Original Airdate
130 "Los niños faltan a clases" January 5, 1976
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía.[15]
134 "La nueva profesión - parte 1" February 2, 1976
Aired regularly through Brazilian network SBT. Only available in Brazilian Portuguese, rendering the original audio missing.
143 "Los novilleros - parte 1" April 5, 1976
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía. First episode of a three-episode arc. Partially a remake of the 1973 episode "Los novilleros", which is also discontinued by Televisa.
146 "Jugando a la escuelita" April 26, 1976
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía.[16]
149 "Exámenes - parte 1" June 21, 1976
Discovered through a synopsis from Tele-Guía. First episode of a three-episode arc.
167 "Festival de la Buena Vecindad - parte 2" October 25, 1976
Aired regularly through Brazilian network SBT. Only available in Brazilian Portuguese, rendering the original audio missing. Second episode of a four-episode arc.
175 "Sin piñata no hay posada - parte 2" December 20, 1976
Announced in the end of "Sin piñata no hay posada - parte 1".

Seasons 5-7 (1977-1980)

Episode No. Unofficial Title Original Airdate
181 "En esta vecindad están prohibidos los animales - parte 2" February 28, 1977
Found through a VHS tape recording from 1991. Only available in Brazilian Portuguese, rendering the original audio missing. Second episode of a three-episode arc.
184 "El juego de béisbol" March 21, 1977
Footage of this episode was featured in a Venezuelan vinyl ad from early 90's, as well as in a 1994 interview with Edgar Vivar.
241 "La fuente de los deseos" July 17, 1978
Discovered through a Tele-Guía synopsis.
252 "El amor llegó a la vecindad - parte 1" October 2, 1978
Aired regularly through Brazilian network SBT. Only available in Brazilian Portuguese, rendering the original audio missing. First episode of a four-episode arc.
271 "El actor Héctor Bonilla - parte 1" March 26, 1979
Found through a 90's VHS tape recording by Chespirito.org webmaster Reniet Ramirez. Before this, the only available footage was used in the summary present in the beginning of "El actor Héctor Bonilla - parte 2".

Videos

Excerpts

Missing Original Audio

The following episodes are only available in Brazilian Portuguese:

Found Episode

"El actor Héctor Bonilla - parte 1" (1979)


External Links

References

Special thanks to Cássio Ferreira, Guilherme Leão and several other members of Fórum Chaves (a complete name list is available on the "Guia de episódios..." link below), for their priceless contributions on the finding of synopses related to missing episodes.

  1. Tele-Guía #1073: “Todos los inquilinos de la vecindad deciden bañar a cubetazos al "Chavo del Ocho" ya que éste lleva varios meses sin tocar el agua. Entremés de "Los Caquitos".”
  2. Tele-Guía #1075: “"El Chavo del Ocho" rompe el romance que sostiene el profesor Jirafales y la mama de Kiko. Entremés: "Los Caquitos"”
  3. Tele-Guía #1160: “"El Chavo del Ocho" juega a las escondidillas mientras "La Bruja del 72" [sic] convierte a Kiko en una bicicleta. Entremés con "Los Caquitos", "El Chómpiras" y "Peterete".”
  4. Tele-Guía #1105: “"El Chavo del Ocho" ha sido mordido por un perro. Todos en la vecindad están muy preocupados.”
  5. Tele-Guía #1107: “"El Chavo del Ocho" ayuda a don Ramón a sacar el agua de su casa, inundada a causa de innumerables goteras.”
  6. Tele-Guía #1111: “Don Ramón enseña el oficio de zapatero remendón a "El Chavo del Ocho".”
  7. Tele-Guía #1126: “"El Chavo del Ocho" confunde al señor Barriga con un globo.”
  8. Tele-Guía #11??: “"El Chavo del Ocho" juega el avión y aprovecha para destruir los globos de Kiko.”
  9. Tele-Guía #1140: “"El Chavo del Ocho" se quiere comer los cuernitos de nuez que doña Florinda preparó especialmente para Girafales.”
  10. Tele-Guía #1141: “"El Chavo del Ocho" está muy entusiasmado por ver los juegos del Mundial y se va a la casa de don Ramón, pero, cuando están más divertidos, llegan a cortar la luz por falta de pago.”
  11. Tele-Guía #1151: “"El Chavo del Ocho" y Kiko le hacen la vida pesada al profesor Jirafales que está perdidamente enamorado de la "bruja".”
  12. Tele-Guía #1152: “"El Chavo del Ocho" y "Kiko" se dedican a inflar globos hasta reventarlos, causando gran escándalo en toda la vecindad.”
  13. Tele-Guía #1177: “'El Chavo del Ocho' provoca un tremendo pleito entre don Ramón y el profesor Jirafales.”
  14. #Tele-Guía #1178: “Todos los niños de la vecindad creen que la bruja de 71 ha convertido en perico a "El Chavo del Ocho".”
  15. Tele-Guía #1221: “"El Chavo" y "Kiko" planean irse de "pinta".”
  16. Tele-Guía #1238: “"El Chavo" y Kiko juegan a la escuelita en el patio de la vecindad y utilizan como pizarrón la ventana de la habitación de don Ramón.”