‘Sábado Gigante’ parodies exposed variety show to broad audience


Even people who never saw “Sabado Gigante” have probably seen a parody of it.

The over-the-top Spanish-language variety show -- which broadcaster Univision is shutting down after 53 years -- has been spoofed numerous times throughout its run, exporting the broad notions of the program to English-language viewers who never laid eyes on the original.

For several years starting in 2002, “Saturday Night Live” cast member Fred Armisen played Ferecito, the gold-toothed, timbales-beating host of “Show Biz Grande Explosion!” Ferecito would deliver modest punchlines, then strike a cowbell, pull a long face and say, “Ay, dios mio!” (“Oh my God”).


RELATED: Spanish TV staple ‘Sábado Gigante’ to end run after 53 years on the air

On “The Colbert Report,” Stephen Colbert played a recurring character, “Esteban Colberto,” on “Colberto Reporto Gigante.” Senor Colberto wore a pencil-thin mustache, smacked gum and shimmied to Latin music with two attractive women by his side. (Colbert, who left the Comedy Central show at the end of 2014, will become host of CBS’ late-night show later this year.)

“Family Guy” got into the act back in 2006, with Stewie suddenly bursting out into Spanish during a conversation with the dog Brian. “What?” Brian asked, startled. “Sorry, I started sleep-watching ‘Sabado Gigante’ last night.” That was followed by a cutaway in which a buxom Latina laughs and exclaims, “Chiste grande!” She’s ogled by a guitarist dressed in a white cowboy hat and matching boots.

Viewers who long for the original, of course, can always turn to clips such as this.

What did you think of “Sabado Gigante.”

Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT