"I saw Jack Paar, Art Linkletter, Steve Allen, Johnny Carson. And then I made a mixture of everything that I saw. That's why when they asked me -- what is Sábado Gigante? I have to say that (the show) is like a soup. We have ingredients that has the basic flavor of the soup but we can add or we can take off some of the spare ingredients. Then you have to make that soup a little different every week but with the flavor of Sábado Gigante."
About This Interview
In his one-and-a-half hour Archive Interview, host Mario Kreutzberger discusses moving to the United States from his native Chile as a boy to study men's tailoring - a career his father wished him to pursue. Upon arriving in New York City, he was immediately fascinated with television: "a radio you could watch." He describes being influenced by the American television hosts Steve Allen, Jack Paar and Johnny Carson and details abandoning his first career to try to get Chile's Canal 13 to give him a chance as an on-air host. He recalls his first Sunday show, which was soon cancelled and outlines the creation of a new, 8-hour live show on Saturdays, called Sabado Gigantes ("Giant Saturdays"), which he hosted under the pseudonym "Don Francisco." The show premiered in 1962 and in 2003 was proclaimed the longest-running variety show on television by the Guinness Book of World Records. In over 50 years of hosting, Kreutzberger only missed one Saturday show -- when his mother passed away. In 1987 Sabado Gigante (he took out the "s" for the American version) was the first regular Spanish-language show broadcast nationally in the U.S. Kreutzberger also discusses Teleton, a charity telethon for physically disabled children, talks about the production schedule of Sabado Gigante, speaks of various stars who got their start on the show and articulates the program's legacy. Claudio Tona conducted the interview on July 20, 2011 in Miami, Florida.