Sábado Gigante: Popular Variety Show Cancelled After 53 Years

Sábado Gigante remains one of the most popular Spanish language variety shows. Although the program holds the world record for the longest running variety show in television history, host Mario Kreutzberger is ready to call it quits.

The popular program debuted on Chile’s Channel 13 in 1962. Although it was originally titled Sábado Gigantes, the show maintained its original format for 53 years.

As reported by Fox News, the program’s name was changed to Sábado Gigante in 1986, when it was picked up by Univision.

The name, which means Saturday giant, is actually quite fitting. For more than five decades, the three-hour program entertained audiences with comedy acts, games, musical performances, and celebrity guests.

Mario Kreutzberger, AKA Don Francisco, has been the host of Sábado Gigante since its debut. Univision Communications’ Programming and Content President Alberto Ciurana said the host was instrumental in the variety program’s continued success.

“Mario’s uncanny ability to connect with audiences has transformed how we look at variety shows and allowed ‘Sábado Gigante’ to endure the test of time… For so many in the Spanish-speaking community, Don Francisco’s weekly three-hour show defines Saturday evening entertainment… “

As reported by NPR, Kreutzberger has been honored with numerous awards, including an Emmy Award and induction into the Television Hall of Fame. The program has also won several awards and remains The World’s Longest Running TV Variety Show, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Although he has enjoyed incredible success with Sábado Gigante, Kreutzberger said it is time to move on. In an official statement, the host thanked Univision, and his fans, for their ongoing support. However, he confirmed the final episode will air on September 19.

Kreutzberger said he will remain with Univision after Sábado Gigante. The infamous host said several “new projects” are in the works. Although he did not discuss details, Kreutzberger said the planned programs will include “entertainment specials.” He also confirmed he will continue hosting the annual TeletonUSA telethon.

Fans were disappointed to learn Sábado Gigante is being cancelled. However, Kreutzberger is confident that he and the network made the right decision.

[Image via Getty/Rob Loud]