Did Mexico’s Decency Die With Chespirito?

The Loss of a TV Legend Whose Characters Were Defined by Their Kindness Coincides with a National Crisis of Morality


Latin America’s “little Shakespeare,” or “Chespirito,” the most famous TV personality ever in the Spanish language world, died late last month. The only dispute surrounding his towering legacy is over which one of his two iconic characters—“El Chapulín Colorado” (the “colorful grasshopper” superhero) or “El Chavo del Ocho” (the homeless “Kid of number 8,”)—was more popular. It’s a close call.

I grew up watching Chespirito’s shows in the 1970s (my father played a minor role in launching him as an executive at fledgling Channel 8, the first station to carry him, …

More In: Trade Winds