In the best style of an international gala, as if it were the Oscars or the Grammys, the members of Happy Saturdays will celebrate tonight the 50 years of the program on the air.
It will be a day, starting at 8:00 pm, in which they will pay tribute to the comedians, who at different times have been part of this family space, which curiously is not the oldest on Colombian television. The record has it God’s Minutewho turned 67, one less than what TV has been in the country.
Juan Ignacio Velásquez, manager of entertainment programs at Caracol, summarizes the secret of the validity of Happy Saturdays, in two points: it is a family program and has accompanied (with laughter) the viewers in the hardest moments of the country. From Alfonso Lizarazo, its founder, to Humberto Rodríguez, its current host, this is a journey through the five decades of Happy Saturdays.
It debuted on February 5, 1972 under the name of champions of laughter and a year later it assumes the name of Happy Saturdays. Alfonso Lizarazo was the director and presenter. Initially it was just a joke-telling contest and then the skit (staging), represented jokes, and some parodies of programs like Animalandia, tells the comedian Heriberto Sandoval. In 1974 Humberto Martínez Salcedo arrives, the program bets on political humor, its essence until 1998. Comedians: Hugo Patiño (current today), Flaco Agudelo, Mocho Sánchez, Óscar Meléndez and Los Tolimenses.
Color television appears and marks a fundamental change in production. Alfonso Lizarazo continues to lead the project and the program bases its scheme on 50% jokes, between acted, told and those of the correspondents, and 50% of sketch. Parodies of soap operas appear as Rooster Ramirez, But I’m still the king, The grandmother Y Hato Canaguay. The political humor is in charge of Jaime Santos, with the character of Clímaco Urrutia. The campaign appears Carry a little school in your heart. The cast is joined by Enrique Colavizza, Álvaro Lemon, Nolberto López and Jackeline Henríquez.
In 1998 Alfonso Lizarazo left the program and Jota Mario Valencia took over as director and later as presenter to replace Enrique Colavizza who had replaced Lizarazo.
The space goes from an hour to an hour and a half and the jokes continue to be the pillar of the format. There is a greater commitment to parodies. Alerta, Barbarita, Jeringa, la Gorda Fabiola, Heriberto Sandoval and Patricia Silva arrive at the group of comedians.
In 2003 there is a new change of presenter, Hernán Orjuela Buenaventura arrives, while Ali Humar is the director. There are few changes in the scheme. The presence in the cast of Tola and Maruja is given, Miguel Lizarazo and the Witch Dioselina (Gustavo Villanueva) also joined. The sketch are strengthened by actors in training.
In 2012 Hernán Orjuela leaves the presentation and takes over the Gato (Humberto Rodríguez) and joins a large group of comedians, including Piter Albeiro, Mono Sánchez, Joselo, Piroberta, Risaloca and Boyacoman, among others. For the first time there are two presenters with the presence of Vaneza Peláez, who came out in 2020.
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At the gala this Saturday, which will begin at 8:00 pm, a tribute will be paid to the characters who have passed through the program and have already died. A day to remember names like Humberto Martínez Salcedo, Jaime Agudelo, Enrique Colavizza, el Mocho Sánchez, Mandíbula, el Topolino, Lucero Gómez, Jota Mario Valencia, Pacho sin fortuna and Hernando “El Chato” la Torre.