Memory Lane: Mami and Papi’s Favorite TV Shows

My parents and I have very different taste in TV, and the shows I watch illicit all kinds of negative responses from them. For instance, I love HBO’s True Blood, but when my parents came across the show, they thought the vampire drama sucked. They’re just as horrified by another one of my favorites: Showtime’s serial killer drama, Dexter.

As much as I love you mami and papi, guess what? I don’t care for your favorite shows either! There’s nothing about a grown man wearing lipstick and a lavish gown—while reading tarot cards—that gets me excited about watching television. Nor am I drawn to a gossip show where a heavy-set man talks to a rail thin woman about the marital infidelities of D-list Latin celebrities. On that note, Vivo Por Tivo reluctantly presents your mom and dad’s favorite TV shows!

Sabado Gigante: Screw Saturday Night Live! For Latinos whose first language is Español—it’s all about “Giant Saturday” (Sabado Gigante). The longest running variety TV show in the world—according to the Guinness Book of World RecordsSabado Gigante is adored by millions of Latin parents, mine included. The show began airing in Chile in 1962 and celebrated its 1,000th episode on Univision in 2006. Chilean journalist, Mario Kreutzberger hosts the show, but you might know him as Don Francisco! Sabado Gigante is just that: Gigante! The variety program offers a little bit of everything, including singing, dancing, human-interest stories, and sketch comedy routines.

Cristina: Cristina Saralegui is so famous, she doesn’t even need a last name. Known only as “Cristina,” she’s been hosting her own self-titled talk show for Univision since 1989. Like Kreutzberger, Cristina is also a former journalist who began hosting El Show de Cristina for Univision in 1989. Since then, she has interviewed the biggest stars on the planet, including Celia Cruz, Selena, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin. Cristina also published her own magazine, Cristina: La Revista, and she has written several books. It’s safe to say this no-nonsense lady with killer journalistic instincts is the Latina Oprah!

La Comay: The Puerto Rican Wendy Williams, La Comay—as she  (or is it, he?) is affectionately known—is a man who dresses in drag and spills some major bochinche to his/her? millions of adoring fans. But La Comay is more than a show about juicy celeb gossip—it’s also a credible source for international news, and a forum for healthy debates on social issues.

El Gordo y la Flaca: A fat man and a skinny lady—that’s an unbeatable combination. At least that’s what Raúl De Molina (El Gordo) and Lili Estefan (La Flaca) have proven with the success of their hit TV show. The show, which features interviews with actors, and musicians, premiered in 1998, and it’s still going strong. I’m not surprised: Who doesn’t love two sassy Cubans talking chisme? That’s what we do best!

Walter Mercado: I know what you’re thinking: “Walter Mercado is not a TV show!” You’re right. But he was a major part of “Primer Impacto.” The charismatic, lip-stick wearing, tarot card reading Puerto Rican astrologer may have left Univision last January after 15 years—but I think we can all agree that he is a Latino legend, and a huge part of Latin pop culture. Who can forget his mantra: “Les deseo mucha, mucha paz, pero sobre todo mucho, mucho AMOR!”

What are your mami and papi’s favorite shows? Let me know in the comments!

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