“The most difficult period of ‘Happy Saturdays’ was the transition of the change of director”, ‘Barbarita’

WEEK: What does these 50 years mean to you?

Cesar Corredor (CC): for me these 50 years in Happy Saturdays It’s like when you finish a degree, like when you enter nursery school, primary school, high school and then do a degree. Then one dedicates oneself to specializing. That has been Happy Saturdays for me, it was the seedbed in which I started with an illusion, with a talent that God gave me. Everything under the hands of a great teacher or director, such as Alfonso Lizarazo, I began to polish it, to have the experience, to know how to stand on stage.

You see that hotbed that all comedians have had to go through in order to be successful. Some have stayed, others have left, others have gone on, but for me, it’s like finishing a race. Today, thank God, I know that I was able to finish it successfully. I came out well prepared and was part of the best comedians in Colombia

WEEK: An anecdote that you remember fondly?

DC: There are many anecdotes, especially in terms of health, due to the character of Barbarita. Many people have asked me to visit a very close relative on their sickbed, to see if Barbarita can lift their spirits.

Once, a great friend in Bucaramanga: his son suffered from leukemia, I went to see him and I was with him in Bucaramanga before the operation and he caused me a lot of impact and a lot of love. Because the boy had the illusion of meeting Barbarita and the parents’ dream was to fulfill his wish. Obviously, I did it with a lot of love, unfortunately the outcome was the death of the child and that caused me a lot of pain.

Another, in a little town called Monguí. A boy chased the bus in which we were going to a little school and told him to stop. We told the driver to stop. The boy always ran for more than a kilometer behind the bus, along a path. When the bus stopped, the boy arrived and asked for the door to be opened. He gets on and asks: who is Barbarita?, and when they told him that she was me, he looked at me and said: but, are you Barbarita? I answer yes, what happens is that I’m not wearing the wig today, nor the coat. He tells me: give him, please, this gift and he handed me an earthen soap.

A packed earthen soap and it seemed so cute to me that the child wanted to give a detail of something, whatever it was, a stone or in this case an earthen soap. That moved me a lot. The way in which the character has been received in the municipalities or in the small towns, in the most remote places of Colombia, I liked that a lot, I remember it with great affection.

WEEK:I could tell a difficult moment or time in the program’

DC: Undoubtedly, the difficult time of the program was the transition of the change of director of Mr. Alfonso Lizarazo, with whom we adapted and received us in the program and taught us. He gave us and we saw him as a second father, with him we traveled, with him we shared, with him we recorded, with him we learned and when there was the transition to Jota Mario Valencia for me, the truth was not good.

It was not good because Jota Mario took away all the mobility of my character from Barbarita. He took away everything that Barbarita did and built the character that Barbarita was: entering houses, coming out of refrigerators, going down roofs, entering through windows, appearing under a bed, in short. That was the grace that her character and Jota Mario had, she decided to sit her on a sofa. And there she had to throw out all the lyrics, as they say, taking away all the grace of the character. That was a difficult time of confrontation, of confrontation with Jota Mario.

Later, with Ali Humar, well, he also went to a part and where he acted. But, little by little, they have been taking away a lot of mobility from the character and where he had his peak was in the time of Alfonso Lizarazo. So that has been a difficult moment for the character and for me, who was the one who did it.

WEEK: why do you feel the program has been so successful for so many years?

DC: the program has obviously been successful because it has become a brand, it has become a seal, it has become a custom. It became the obligatory task of the majority of Colombians of that time, because today we have to be consistent and clear that young people do not. They don’t really like the show and that kind of humor. Humor has been changing as society has changed.

So the humor that we did was political criticism, parody. The joke that is what I am always trying to rescue, because jokes are no longer told, now everyone tries to make stand up comedy and they don’t do it right. So, I think that the program has remained with Colombians because it is the idiosyncrasy and the representation of what happens in Colombia through happy saturday. We can capture it with criticism, with social work, with jokes, but today.

But it has been very limited and curtailed because today you can’t talk about blackness, you can’t talk about LGTBI communities and you can’t talk about women. Can’t talk about animals. You can’t talk about pastusos, anyway. They criticize everything, they send letters to the viewer and they cut everything more and more.

Today notes have to be less than a minute long and humor of less than a minute can never be good, because you cannot develop a complete idea, a structure of humor through criticism, through a parody. So that’s why the program has been successful, because it has had different nuances, different times and so we have tried to represent them. Today it is not done the same, but it is still maintained in some sections, which can still be removed.

“The most difficult period of ‘Happy Saturdays’ was the transition of the change of director”, ‘Barbarita’