Chiquito de la Calzada: Google pays tribute to the Spanish comedian on the occasion of his 90th birthday

Happy birthday, Chiquito de la Calzada!

Google doodle on May 28, to celebrate Chiquito de la Calzada, the stand-up comedian. He is also known as a flamenco singer and actor.

Chiquito de la Calzada became very popular in Spanish TV shows (especially Genio featured there) in the mid-90s due to his unique style, heavily based on a surreal approach to jokes and language and constant movement while telling his jokes, cupping his hands around his waist as if in pain. Some of his characteristic words and expressions such as fistro or jarl as well as his humorous comparisons such as “it’s more dangerous than a shooting in an elevator” quickly became memes and have become part of Spanish slang.

Chiquito de la Calzada was born as Gregorio Esteban Sánchez Fernández on this day in 1932, Chiquito’s brilliant comic style has widely influenced Spanish comedians and entertainers to this day.

As children, Fernández and his two brothers grew up in poverty in post-Civil War Spain in La Calzada de la Trinidad. He started singing and dancing flamenco at age eight to help support his family. During this time, he received his stage name, Chiquito de la Calzada.

After hearing Fernández telling jokes at a nearby table, Summers offered him a role in an upcoming comedy show airing on Antena 3, a major Spanish television station. The new show was called Genio, and the production team thought Summers was making a mistake by casting a 62-year-old stranger. Summers still took a chance on Fernández and he was really glad he did.

Shortly after the show aired, Fernández transformed into an instant star. Spaniards from all walks of life found his comedic timing, clever puns and exaggerated movements irresistibly funny. Over the next two decades, Fernández developed an original comic style that continues to influence Spanish comedians and television characters today.

In 2019, Spain’s Ministry of Culture recognized his cultural impact by awarding him a Medalla de Oro al mérito en las Bellas Artes (Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts).

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