Chacrinha (1918–1989)

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Chacrinha (1918–1989)

Chacrinha (José Abelardo de Barbosa Medeiros; b. 1918; d. 1989), Brazilian television variety show host. Born in Per-nambuco, he was one of the longest-running stars of radio, starting in 1943, then of television, with a leading show on TV Rio by 1958. He was considered very innovative in developing one of the two major Brazilian television entertainment forms, the live variety show (show de auditório). (The other major form is the telenovela.) His programs were characterized by his dressing in a flamboyant clown costume, an outrageous style of comedy, and close interaction with his audience. His shows relied on amateur performances, comedy, music, guests, dancers, and games. His two best-known shows were Buzina de Chacrinha (Chacrinha's Horn) and Discoteca de Chacrinha. In the 1960s and 1970s, Chacrinha was identified with the movement known as tropicalismo to revive authentic Brazilian popular culture, particularly in music. He was mentioned in Gilberto Gil's salute to Brazilian tropical culture, the song "Alegria, Alegria" (Joy, Joy). While Chacrinha was considered in dubious taste by some, including TV Globo's management, which fired him in 1972, many popular culture experts, both Brazilian and foreign, considered his shows the best forum for authentic Brazilian popular culture. He was called one of Brazil's best communicators for his rapport with his audience. His programs, along with other live programs, were banned by the military governments from 1972 to 1979 because they were too difficult to control. In the 1980s, Chacrinha appeared on several competing Brazilian networks.

See alsoRadio and Television .


Joseph Straubhaar, "Brazilian Television Variety Shows," in Studies in Latin American Popular Culture 2 (1983): 71-78.

Additional Bibliography

Barbosa, Florinda, and Lucia Rito. Quem não se comunica se trumbica. São Paulo: Editora Globo, 1996.

                                     Joseph Straubhaar