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100 TV Shows #31-Chico and the Man

Chico and the Man

I know I watched this show, at least until 1977, but I really have no strong memory of any particular episode or dialogue beyond Chico's catchphrase of "Lookin' Good!"

I remember an episode with Tony Orlando, because at the time it was known that Tony and Freddie were close friends and they looked very similar. On the show they sort of circle each other a la the Harpo Marx mirror routine and then they both say "Lookin' Good!" That's all I remember.

I do know I loved the theme song, one of the best of any tv show, as far I'm concerned. (I still Jose Feliciano.)

Sadly, what I really remember is that this was the first death by suicide of a celebrity that I was actually aware of.

Freddie Prinze was SUCH a big star. I remember seeing him on Johnny Carson and on various variety shows. He even hosted the Tonight show, which is impressive considering how young he was. He called himself a "Hungarican" and was the first major Hispanic stand-up comedian, at a point where some people actually thought "Jose Jimenez" was an actual person. He was hip, young, funny and very charming. I was a few years away from crushing on TV stars, but I really liked him.

And he killed himself. At 22. :( It was genuinely shocking. So much to live for. So much talent. So many demons.

They tried to keep the show going for awhile with a new kid replacing Chico, but I doubt I was interested and nobody else was either.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 30th, 2012 05:45 am (UTC)
To this day I can't listen to the theme song without wanting to cry.
Jun. 30th, 2012 05:58 am (UTC)
Oh honey! *hugs* I feel sad thinking about Freddie, but I still really like the theme song. And I get all grumpy that shows don't have cool songs like that anymore.
Jun. 30th, 2012 02:49 pm (UTC)
I think it's a wonderful song but I remember being in such shock when he died that I can't separate the two and it makes me, even so many years later, so sad.

Cool theme songs now? *ponders* Nope, can't think of a one.
Jun. 30th, 2012 05:28 pm (UTC)
Part of the problem is that a lot of the shows don't do long credit sequences, so there's no time for a good song. (Don't even get me started on smushing up the closing credit so you can't even see them.) I'm trying to think of the last time a theme song hit the charts. Friends, maybe?
Jun. 30th, 2012 10:47 am (UTC)
I first found out about Freddie through the novelisation (and later the movie but I read the novelisation first) of Fame. I didn't realise for the longest time that he was a real person, not until I became aware of Freddie Jr, sometime in the 90s, I think.
Jun. 30th, 2012 12:03 pm (UTC)
I loved this show! I found it thru reruns on one of the third-rate local channels we have here years ago. I think this is where my weakness for latinos gort started - he was gorgeous, especially when he did that little head bobbing thing he used to do. I wish the full run was out on DVD - I'd get it in a heartbeat - but they only have out one "special episodes" DVD last time I checked.
Jun. 30th, 2012 05:07 pm (UTC)
He was very cute. Like I said, I was a little ahead of seeing him as romantic or crush material, but if I saw the episodes again, I might think otherwise. I can't remember if he had a romantic interest, but his character had a lot of self-confidence and charm.

Jun. 30th, 2012 05:00 pm (UTC)
Wasn't his other catchphrase, "It's not my job, man." (Actually, "Ees not my job, meng")
Jun. 30th, 2012 05:03 pm (UTC)
I don't have a clear memory of that. I could certainly imagine him saying that. I remember watching the show and the Tony Orlando scene and some bits with the mail lady, but that's about it. I'd love to see some episodes, although as with so much of what I grew up with, I'm not sure how well it will hold up.
Jul. 1st, 2012 02:15 pm (UTC)
I remember being very shocked by his death and thinking it was in very bad taste to try to replace him with that kid. (nobody seemed to think that was a good idea.)
Jul. 1st, 2012 02:28 pm (UTC)
Such bad taste! I'm not sure that had ever happened with the star of a series before. At least it gave later honchos an idea of what not to do in a situation like this...such as John Ritter passing away, or even the situation with Phil Hartman.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )



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