October 23rd is the legendary Johnny Carson’s birthday, and so it’s also National TV Talk Show Host Day. No one’s been going harder than Don Francisco, who has been doing Super Sábado Gigante for 50 whole years this year.
We wrote about him as one of the Latinos that need to have a biopic made about them, but to reiterate:
Born Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld, the man who now goes as Don Francisco is the son of German Jewish immigrants that fled to Chile to escape Nazi persecution. After traveling to New York to study to be a tailor, Keutzenberger became transfixed with television – a novelty mostly unavailable back home. In 1962, he took on the stage name Don Francisco and set out to use the variety show formulas and techniques he learned by watching American television to create a show called Sabados Gigantes in the relatively new field of Chilean programming. In 1986 – that’s 24 years after its inception, for those bad at math – the show began to film in Miami, and Don Francisco became a household name in the United States and, soon, in 185 other countries.
I would watch the hell out of that movie. Just seeing his picture makes me remember afternoons with my ‘buela, being overfed while my parents were at work. Get at me, Remezclanistas: tell us your favorite Don Francisco/Sábado Gigante memories.