Mario Kreutzberger who is known to millions of television viewers as Don Francisco celebrated 50 years of his longest variety television show Sábado Gigante that was televised this past Saturday from Univision’s studios in Miami. The celebration included red carpet and a VIP party.
Sábado Gigante hosted by Don Francisco originated in Chile on Aug. 8, 1962 and then continued in the United States starting in 1986 on Univision. It’s a mix of comedy, music, games, contests, reports, interviews, audience sing-alongs, including risqué segments and a children’s interaction segment. Numerous singers launched their singing careers with Don Francisco by giving them the good luck kick and many models started on Sábado Gigante.
Univision employees, celebrities and guests were present to congratulate Don Francisco upon his arrival at the red carpet entry to Univsion’s studio. The 2 hour special show followed that included Don’s Francisco’s daughter as co-host reminiscing 50 years of Sábado Gigante. Chino y Nacho, David Bisbal and Luis Fonsi not only performed but also remembered their first appearance on Sábado Gigante that launched their careers. And as the finale, a lucky winner walked away with the grand prize of $50 thousand.
Don Francisco and Lili Estefan, one of his first models on Sábado Gigante, shared how they all reached an agreement with Univision to continue the show earning half the salary when it was going to cancel Sábado Gigante. Don Francisco was very grateful to that major decision that has enabled him to celebrate 50 years of the most popular show today.
The VIP party included the popular singing contest similar to the American version of the Gong Show but instead it’s the sound of a trumpeter known as the Chacal that disqualifies the worst singer. A few of Univision employees were the contestants. Special performances by Mexican singer Thalia who sang her latest release ‘Mania’, Dominican merengue singer Hector Acosta ‘El Torito’ and Paulina Rubio ended the four hour celebration with ‘Boys Will Be Boys’.
And just before Sábado Gigante’s celebration ended, Don Francisco was presented with a plaque certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running TV variety show.
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