Inside Move: Gigantic run for ‘Gigante’

Chile's skein hits 44th year

Guinness World Records will officially proclaim Univision’s “Sabado gigante” the longest-running show in the world — 44 years on the air — when the variety/talkshow celebrates its 20th anniversary on Univision May 20.

The Saturday night show has been playing without interruption or reruns since its 1962 debut in Chile.

On the 40th anniversary of the show in 2002, its Chilean-born host, Don Francisco, was estimated to have been on air for the equivalent of 600 days nonstop, flown more than 2.8 million miles for the show’s weekly travel segment, hosted more than 1.5 million contestants and guests, doled out more than 3,000 cars and over $50 million in prizes.

Francisco was recognized by members of Congress for his commitment to Hispanic broadcasting in the U.S. in Washington, D.C., a year ago; he also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2001.

Last year, Francisco won a special Emmy for leadership in Spanish-language television.

Notable Latino talent led by Thalia, Luis Fonsi, Don Omar, Shakira, Olga Tanon, Chayanne, Los Tigres del Norte, Montez de Durango and Mariana Seoane will join the commemorative fiesta in various broadcasts throughout May.

Monthlong celebration includes appearances by couples who were engaged or married on-air, as well as winning participants and the original cast members of the well-known segment “Clan infantil.”

Popular Univision Radio DJs Piolin Sotelo from Los Angeles, Jose Antonio from Miami, DJ Kazzanova from New York, El Gatillero from Phoenix and Raul Brindis from Houston will test their crooning abilities in the popular “El chacal de la trompeta” segment to win a donation for their hometown charity.

Retrospective segs “20 anos de humor” and “20 segundos de historia,” airing this Saturday and May 20, will highlight the funniest and most memorable moments from the past 20 years of “Sabado gigante.”

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