A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that El Chavo (also known as El Chavo del Ocho) is a classic Spanish-language situation comedy created and produced in Mexico. It features lots of slapstick humor and runnings gags, some of which include hitting or punching. It also has bathroom humor, sexual innuendo, and other off-color comments that are generally considered more culturally acceptable in Latin America. It also touches on social issues like poverty, homelessness, loneliness, as well as the importance of community. There’s some occasional drinking and cigar smoking.
What's the story?
Written and directed by the late Spanish-language comedian Roberto Gómez Bolaños, EL CHAVO (1971-1980) is a classic Mexican live-action comedy series about a misunderstood orphan living in a fictitious low-income housing community. Gómez Bolaños stars as the iconic El Chavo (Spanish slang for "The Kid"), an eight-year-old boy who, when he isn’t hiding out in a barrel, goes to school with kids like the privileged Quico (Carlos Villagrán) and La Chilindrina (María Antonieta de las Nieves). Among the adults he often interacts with are his teacher, Profesor Girafalde (Rubén Aguirre), and his love interest, Doña Florinda (Florinda Meza). He also has run ins with Doña Clotilde (Angelines Fernández), who is known as "the Witch of 71." Adding to the fray is the landlord, Señor Barriga (Édgar Vivar), who is always trying to collect the rent from the tenants, and Don Ramón (Ramón Valdés), who frequently gets blamed for the neighborhood kids’ mischievous behavior.
Is it any good?
This quirky situation comedy, which was extremely popular among international Spanish-speaking audiences in its heyday, features lots of physical, slapstick-style humor that remains fresh over the years. While these antics were designed to generate laughs, they were also used to introduce important social issues, including poverty and homelessness into the story. Nonetheless, most of the show’s fans will nostalgically remember the series for its running gags, sexual innuendo, and often-indelicate jokes, which were more acceptable in Latin America at that time. But El Chavo also serves as a visual document of Mexican television history, and is but one example of what makes Roberto Gómez Bolaños one of the most important Spanish-language humorists of all time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about humor. What things do some cultures consider to be funny, while others do not? Can comedies from other countries be successful in the United States if the humor is different?
Why was El Chavo so popular when it originally aired? Is it still considered funny today?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love Spanish-language classics
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
Streaming options powered by JustWatch