Kreutzberger, Mario (1940–)

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Kreutzberger, Mario (1940–)

Mario Kreutzberger was born on December 28, 1940, in Talca, Chile, to German-Jewish parents who had fled Nazi Germany. Initially studying to become a tailor, Kreutzberger spent some time in New York, where he became familiar with television programming in the United States. When he returned to Chile, Kreutzberger started a television show in 1962, Sábado Gigante, which initially aired for eight hours every Saturday. With this show he took on his artistic name, Don Francisco. In 1985 Sábado Gigante began production in Miami, and in 1987 it became the first regularly and nationally broadcast Spanish-language program in the United States. The variety show runs for three hours during prime time on Saturday nights across forty-two countries, including parts of Latin America and Europe. The show is consistently a top-rated show among Latino audiences in the United States and is a mix of performances, interviews, comedy sketches, and games featuring audience participation and product placement. In 2002 the program celebrated its fortieth anniversary, becoming the longest-running variety show.

See alsoRadio and Television .


Kreutzberger, Mario. Don Francisco: Life, Camera, Action! Morales, Mexico: Grijalbo, 2002.

Winslow, George. "Mario Kreutzberger." Broadcasting & Cable 134 (November 8, 2004): 26.

                                       RocÍo Rivadeneyra