The Mexican TV comedy legend Chespirito died on November 28, 2014 at the age of 85 in Cancun, Mexico, according to BBC News. Chespirito was a nickname, and he was legally known as Roberto Gómez Bolaños. In America, many people that follow The Simpsons closely know that there are recurring characters that sometimes get written off the show. But, like Mrs. Krabappel, the Chespirito-inspired character, Bumblebee Man, was an anchor.
In the months before his death, The Simpson’s creators placed a special focus on Chespirito’s Bumblebee Man at the Universal Orlando theme park.
In a 2013 video, it was announced that, “The Simpsons Springfield opens Duff Gardens, Lard Lad, Bumblebee Man Tacos at Universal Orlando.”
According to the Sundial, the Chespirito-inspired Bumblebee Man also appeared in September as a host character at “The Simpsons Take the Bowl” played by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
Chespirito’s character, El Chapulin Colorado (The Red Grasshopper), was best known as the inspiration behind The Simpsons character Bumblebee Man. Chespirito created El Chapulin Colorado in the 1970s as a Mexican comedy TV show.
El Chapulin Colorado had several successful seasons, and immediately spawned Chespirito’s other hit TV show, El Chavo del Ocho. Worldwide, Noticieros Televisa touts that Chespirito is best known for, El Chavo del Ocho, which was translated into 50 languages.
A Forbes Magazine article explains the extent of Chespirito’s influence in a 2012 article about how the production of the show ceased in 1992, but the revenues per episode are still going strong.
“The finances of El Chavo are equally astonishing. Since it ceased production in 1992, the show earned an estimated $1.7 billion in syndication fees for Televisa, which owns the audiovisual rights to the series, with reruns on regular TV accounting for $1.5 billion of that amount, while the remaining revenue came from cable. El Chavo made 1,300 episodes during its 24-year run, which means that each half-hour episode has earned more than $1.3 million so far.”
According to a KTLA report translated from Televisa and Univision sources, “A funeral Mass for the actor will be held Sunday morning at Aztec Stadium in Mexico City. The soccer venue has a seating capacity of 104,000.”
The KTLA report went on to say that Chespirito had been battling health problems of a respiratory nature in the recent past, but no cause of death was reported at this time. Chespirito had moved from Mexico City to Cancun to avoid using an oxygen tank.
About his death, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto sent his condolences on Twitter.
“Mexico has lost an icon whose work transcended generations and borders. [Lamento profundamente el fallecimiento de Don Roberto Gómez Bolaños,”Chespirito”. Mis condolencias a su familia.]”
Translated with Google Translate, a Televisa article about the funeral arrangements says, “Sunday, November 30, 2014 in Mexico City, fans can pay tribute to Chespirito at the Azteca Stadium. The event, ‘Chespirito: Thank You Always,’ starts at noon…. Attendees are invited to wear a white flower as a sign of affection to bid farewell to Chespirito.”
[Update: Chespirito funeral photos and videos courtesy of The Latin Times.]
[Update: NotiCNN video footage of the Chespirito funeral.]
[All images are from the referenced links or The Simpsons Wiki]