Many of us grew up watching television series with our family. Often times, those series are meant to be watched with all members of the family. It’s really hard to watch something as a family because the theme or the language of it might not be suitable for kids. You’re really only left with mostly animated series on public access networks. There are a bunch of live action series that are written primarily for kids but the older members of the family can also enjoy. It’s still available out there, but sometimes kids are more prone to watch videos on YouTube on their own.
I didn’t really grew up with Chabelo in my home. Primarily because I don’t live anywhere near the places that his shows aired in. Sometimes we just don’t grow up with the same things as other people. And that’s okay. A lot of cultural references elude me because I didn’t grow up knowing those references. Sometimes it’s a struggle when you talk to other people. But it’s easy to come to terms with it.
There isn’t really any information I could find about Chabelo’s life growing up. How could find lore for a character? Maybe there are ones but they’re probably written in Spanish. While Google Translate could help you in a pitch, the translation results can be kind of clunky so it isn’t as reliable as getting an actual person who speaks and writes Spanish to translate it. It’s fairly common for a bunch of different personalities to not have very detailed biographies on places like Wikipedia.
All I could find was that Xavier Lopez was born in Chicago, Illinois to two Mexican parents. His dad fled home when he was 11 years old while his mom was an orphan who was adopted by a family who lived in Chicago. That’s pretty much were his parents met. Like I said, there isn’t really much else to his personal life prior to him playing Chabelo. It seems that they went back to Mexico to raise him. When he was a teenager, he got drafted to join the army during the Korean War, mainly because he had American citizenship. Fortunately for him, he only spent a few months in a military base in San Francisco. After that, he was returned to Mexico.
Apparently, when he returned to Mexico he decided to study medicine. But it didn’t really last long. He had a few odd jobs here and there. But it was in the television industry where he sort of got the hang of. He tried to juggle his studies and his work as an assistant for a show. But it’s hard to balance studies and work, especially when both of them are very demanding of your time and energy. He had to stop his studies in order to get to work. But he didn’t go back to working for a production until later on.
It was through his work with Panseco Panzon that he slowly started getting used to the grueling requirements of a production for television. Panzon was part of a famous duo known as Panzon and Gamboa. They seem to have a very popular show back in the day. I don’t really know much else about it because, like I said before, I didn’t grow up with these shows. Once Panseco Panzon went back to radio, he stayed on with Ramiro Gamboa as an assistant. It was in one of the variety shows that Gamboa hosted that Xavier Lopez played the character that would become Chabelo.
Eventually, Xavier was asked to play Chabelo in a bunch of Pepsi ads that seem to have aired in South America. But after doing that gig for Pepsi, he struggled a bit at getting work. He did have to compromise in some of the gigs he managed to get. Eventually, Xavier had the idea to create a variety show where people of all ages could participate. That idea became En Familia con Chabelo. Who would’ve thought that his idea would be the one would earn him a net worth $75,000,000. He managed to play this character for more than fifty years before ending his show in 2015. Despite his retirement, his character lives on in the culture in Latin America.
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