Google Doodles often pay homage to cultural figures who, while beloved by their fans, deserve a higher profile worldwide. Today’s doodle is no exception: Friday’s artwork is a tribute to the Mexican television star Robert Gomez Bolaños, better known by his stage name “Chespirito,” who was born on this day in Mexico City. Chespirito, a sketch comedy show Bolaños created and starred in, ran from 1971 to 1992 and quickly became one of the most beloved and hugely popular shows in Mexico due to its optimistic, goofy and thoroughly apolitical brand of humor.
After Chespirito’s death in 2014, the Mexican-American essayist Ilan Stavans explained the impact of his eponymous sketch show in the New York Times: “It never directly addressed issues like violence,” Stavans wrote, “nor did it talk about drugs, abortion or homosexuality. Its repertoire overflowed with stereotypes like the crying girl, the fat real estate developer and the goofy teacher. In short, its content was docile, even anodyne in the milieu of its time. And although it might have been lowbrow, it was never of low taste. It humanized its characters with a sense of humor that was accessible to all social classes.” Chespirito also featured a rotating guest cast of famous Mexican actors and artistic stars, making the show a huge part of the country’s national identity and pride.
The sketch show, which includes some of Chespirito’s iconic characters like El Chapulín Colorado (“The Crimson Grasshopper”) and El Chavo del Ocho (“The Boy From No. Eight.”), continues to be syndicated to this day and has a huge amount of viewers on YouTube, successfully bringing Bolaños’s brand of universal humor to new generations. As for the Google Doodle itself, it was made by Helene Leroux via Photoshop.