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Social media users react to 'Sabado Gigante' ending

Social media users react to 'Sabado Gigante' ending
"Sabado Gigante's" Don Francisco at the 50th anniversary show held in Miami in 2012. (Rodrigo Varela)

What will people do on Saturday evenings? That's the biggest question in social media as people react with shock that "Sabado Gigante" is ending its 53-year run.

Times writer Yvonne Villarreal wrote, "The campy show, which has aired for 3,000 Saturday nights without interruption, features Chilean ringleader Mario Kreutzberger, better known as Don Francisco. He is known for going from wearing silly hats during madcap contests to earnestly interviewing First Lady Michelle Obama."

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While some are sad that their beloved show will leave the air Sept. 19, others saw the program as dated and, at times, offensive, especially to younger generations.

Facebook user Nathan Olivarez-Giles wrote, "Wow. I can't imagine TV without Don Francisco and Sabado Gigante. Crazy." Evelyn Cruz wrote in Spanish on Facebook, "Who is going to miss that guy!! Abusive old man!! And offensive!! It's about time!!!"

Some recognized the talent of host Don Francisco. Pilar Lavin Larrain wrote on Facebook in Spanish, "He is a great communicator!!! We will always remember him."

For many, "Sabado Gigante" marked their childhood, when they watched the show with parents and grandparents. Twitter user ‏@pongalo wrote, “Everybody call your abuelas [grandmothers] today! Make sure they're coping alright!”

Visits to the grandparents would inevitably include a viewing, so naturally Twitter user @macuevas03 wondered, "What will I watch at my Nana's house?!?"

Many grew up with the show and its announced ending had many viewers considering the passage of time. Twitter user ‏@AvilesMeli wrote, "#SabadoGigante is getting canceled! #rightinthechildhood I feel so old."

Even non-Latinos are reacting to the news. Twitter user ‏@mandy_Reeves wrote, "I'm not Hispanic, but I understand Spanish pretty well. Gonna miss Sabado Gigante."

Blanquita Sandoval García wrote in Spanish on Facebook, "Well it has reach its end, for some almost the new generation didn't like it in terms of grandparents it entertained them."

Twitter user @13_nisha wrote, "Don Francisco retiring… Definitely gonna miss seeing him flirting with the ladies & his happy smile."

Love it or hate it, many social media users say it is clearly the end of an era in Spanish-language television.

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