Para get permission to go to the park, Xavier had to school to take his two sisters to the climbing on the steering wheel to another in the body of the bike and annoying pedaled to the school gate, waiting to enter and Only then could he go and play. If the girls were hungry, the older brother had to feed. If they were cold, Xavier stopped their games and ran home for the sweater. If the girls wanted to leave, Xavier had to escort them, and if the two sisters fell on the rope, the culprit was always Xavier.
It is not that the childhood of Xavier López Rodríguez, the longest-serving television entertainer in Latin America has been a complete torment, but his father, chef of the exclusive bankers’ club in Mexico City, a member of a conservative peasant family, Was a man of hard character: he deposited on the back of his eldest son, a child of only eight, the security of his two sisters. The most mischievous and funny child on Mexican television was always at home the most rigid and frightening child. He was capable of intimidating family friends, not just because of his precocity. Her sister’s friends were terrified of him. Rosa María López, her younger sister remembers how her guests asked her, “Has your brother arrived yet? We better go. ” Xavier was not only long and wide since he was a child; He had a stern face. “It was imposing.” He was, perhaps, as imposing as his own father: Xavier was not allowed to make a tantrum at home. His dad, the cook of elites, would have turned him into raw meat. “I would have been beaten to death,” recalls Xavier on the show The Adela interview in April 2013. The afternoon Xavier told his father that he wanted to quit his medical career to pursue acting, he squeezed his mouth, looked Fixed in the eyes of his eldest son and snapped: “You choose an insignificant race and not respectable.” Not that the childhood of Xavier Lopez has been a complete torment: sometimes Xavier laughed.
While Daddy was cooking ducks in the orange or salivating caviares for men with bulging beads and bellies, Xavier would answer the phone in mock voices: one day he would do the voice of an old man, another the voice of a northern one, another the one of a Yucatecan. Then, as seldom, he burst out laughing. And it’s not that Xavier’s childhood, the most successful children’s program leader in Latin America, has been a complete torment, but 40 minutes ago, since I was in front of him, in the study of his house, he does not smile, he does not jest, he does not Tutea “You look,” he says roughly to explain what he misses from his childhood: “Not much.”
More than fifty years after the paternal rejection, at the head of a television empire for children, the creator of Chabelo, the boy with perpetual shorts, the prince of the tantrum, the king of children’s contests, is so demanding and perfectionist with his employees, Which merely reminds us of the father’s natural hardness. One morning of rehearsing the program on Televisa, while Xavier was pointing to the microphone, two staff members talked banalities. The driver was so upset that he sent the rehearsal to the fuck: “The program is also my son and I demand that they respect it”. And his heavy body of almost two meters, he moved away, long steps, of the forum, recalls Verónica Albor, production manager of the program Familia con Chabelo.
Among the production staff, the staff of the forum, musicians and animators there are 120 employees who come every fifteen days to Televisa San Ángel to record the program on Saturdays and Sundays. Cameramen working with Xavier check the equipment every Friday, before the recording. The aides-goers review and review their position. The production manager shoots orders for walkie talkie. In the program of Chabelo, even the public receives instructions: the announcer Jorge Alberto Aguilera greets the children, explains the dynamics of the program and tells them how to behave during the recording. With Chabelo no mistakes are allowed. Your team has learned to read your thinking. Every weekend of recording, the pianist Angel Jalili pursues with the eye every movement of Chabelo. They dance their eyes more than their fingers. His hands are waiting above the keyboard and when the driver makes a move that only the pianist is able to decipher, he brings a notilla. “Not Mozart could do it.”
In 45 years of In family with Chabelo, Xavier has only been absent 5 times for reasons of health. There are 2,340 programs. Two thousand three hundred and forty programs. The five medical disabilities account for 0.21367521 percent of absences in forty-five years of driving. An eye infection left him in bed: the driver saw double. Production made a special of the best moments of the program so that the public “did not miss it,” says the production manager.
For other reasons, the broadcast of the program on Channel 2 of Mexican television was suspended only twice: one for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and another for the AH1N1 influenza pandemic in 2009, a period in which the Ministry of Health banned Public events in the country.
Xavier is a 79 year old man who works with the resistance of a steam engine and the timeliness of a Swiss watch. Working for the most successful childrens driver on Latin American television is not easy for his sister. Rosa María López, who previously traveled on the bicycle handle of her brother and now manages his work schedule. “Here in the office no one dares to cross that line between boss and brother.” But the effort is worth it: Xavier is King Midas of children’s entertainment on the Star Channel. The rating levels recorded in family with Chabelo start with 2.6, a score achieved mostly by children who have no choice but to turn on the TV at seven in the morning while their parents still rest, but three hours later reaches the 8.3 points, which on share scale – or share of screen – reflects that after waking up, all members of the family decided to have breakfast without using zapping until the end of the program. A round business for official sponsors.
Mario de la Piedra, ex-president of Production of Televisa, told the program The story behind the myth, that in family with Chabelo “puts more money to Televisa than all the night programs together”. Chabelo is not only the most prosperous child of Latin American television, but also a brand that only works in the hands of his mentor: Mr. Xavier López. If as a child Xavier was subject to the instructions and income of the father, his children have lived in large shadows. His talent in driving and business has instilled it without much success among his children, as in his first-born Xavier López, who created the High Technology Pavilion (PAT) in Mexico City in 2006 to offer plays. An investment of more than three million dollars and without many results closed its doors in July 2013, according to a report in the newspaper El Economista. “Yes, it’s already closed. Everything has a cycle and the Plaza has changed a lot. I think it was a positive experience. In the creative part was satisfactory, but in theater and business is always a theme of drama, tears and laughter, “lamented the driver’s son.
Chabelo, the character, is the hyperbole synthesized of the hypothetical: what Xavier could never be.
Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud argued that adults are predestined by the circumstances that marked their childhood. The adult does not remember anything of the repressed, but lives it again. It does not reproduce it as a memory, but as an act. The Mexican psychiatrist, Santiago Ramírez, titled to his work more recognized by the medicine, Childhood is destiny; A thesis where the Freudian thought continues: “The children’s years have forgotten; In spite of this, we have, as in the lost cities, remains that help us to reconstruct its architecture ». The German poet, Michael Krüger wrote in Foreword of Time: “Sometimes I write my childhood a postcard: Do you remember?” Silvio Rodríguez, the Cuban troubadour sings in Sobre los padres: “If he began to draw his houses and suns, he would shatter it: the males play ball and fight; Get yourself a kite and stop dreaming. ”
Xavier was not the doctor that his father dreamed, but the child actor with more trajectory worldwide. “I confess that the character has given me the opportunity to get rid of all the repressed desires of when I was really a child,” Xavier told reporter Adela Micha on her television program. In December 2012 two Guinness Record. The first, for the children’s program with an older animator, at age 44 in Family with Chabelo. The second for having represented the same character for 57 years.
But before winning any commercial battle, Xavier had to serve the United States on a military base. At age eighteen, the tall, stout, stern young man was recruited by his home country: Xavier was born on February 17, 1935, in Chicago, Illinois. It was July 1953, and North Korea was fighting South Korea when the prince of tantrums was recruited to serve Californian soldiers in the city of San Diego. He lived for more than sixty days among firing ranges, country houses, canned food, and soldiers atrophied by war. “I met a lot of people who had been in the war and they were very bad,” says Xavier with an index finger on his temple. Today it has a large collection of nineteenth-century revolvers at home. He returned from the military base with the idea of giving up his American nationality, but it was a battle he lost in the process.
The only memory
that Xavier conserves of Chicago, is the history of his parents: Jose Luis López and Eulalia Rodriguez were reunited in the city of the winds. “They were from Guanajuato. They met since childhood. They separated. They met again. They were married and I was born. ”
Even so, Xavier claims to be a Mexican at heart. The country where he grew up and returned to study medicine and specialize in gynecology, but only ended up entertaining. After so much disturbance in the military base, Xavier planned to reconcile with the life receiving babies. Instead of bringing them into the world he set about making them laugh. Two years after his studies began, when he discovered his histrionic talent, Xavier disinterested in medicine and his father disinterested in him. “We never talked about it. I do not know if he was content with what I do before his death. ”
The beginnings of Xavier López were in Televicentro like executive B, that is to say, assistant of production, cameraman and floor manager. There he met Ramiro Gamboa “El Tio Gamboín”, a children’s program conductor, who gave him the opportunity to play the character of a boy named Chabelo who appeared in a book of jokes. Gamboa chose Xavier to interpret the character, because the employee knew how to imitate voices of all kinds. If Xavier used to imitate voices on the phone, hidden from his father, he started doing it on television, in public. And against the prognosis of the father, the performance worked for Xavier: it was never an insignificant race.
Today, the man who has become the remote babysitter of millions of children in Mexico for 60 years, rejects his biological parents: “I have always said that my father was Ramiro Gamboa and my mother was watching TV,” Xavier said recently in a program Directed by the journalist Atala Sarmiento. So much affection for television has been motive. Comedian Ben Stiller directed The Cable Guy in 1996, a black comedy where Jim Carrey is a lonely stalker who seeks out and becomes obsessed with new friendships. At the climax of the film, the protagonist claims his mother had left it plugged into television programs of the 70’s: “You were never for me, right mother? You hoped Mike and Carol Brady raised me. I am the bastard son of Clair Huxtable! I’m the lost Cunningham! I learned the facts of life, looking at the facts of life. Oh God!”.
For nine in the morning in the Televisa two forum, there are more than 2,400 people queuing to get a space in one of the two groups that will enter the recording of the program. Many came to form from six in the morning with the illusion of getting a good place, win a room furniture, a computer, cash or in any case, get a few seconds on television. A girl who does not stop jumping asks her mother: “Are you sure that today is your birthday?” Open a package of cupcakes and place a blue candle. This day will be recorded the program that will be broadcast on Xavier’s birthday, so the audience will sing the mornings.
The aide-de-camp sit down to the dances of the sailor’s suit, the musicians test the sound, and the servants take care of the high belly drum with which Chabelo will sing Bold watermelon at the beginning of the show and others polish a floor that already looks like a mirror .
At each corner of the platforms are the cheerleaders dressed in black pants and red blouse. They are two twins and have been working in production for 15 years. “I started working with Mr.-Xavier, who plays a child,” he says, “when I was pregnant with my son,” says Marisol.
A circle-shaped light illuminates the curtain. Chabelo appears, with his mythical shorts and a red guayabera. Thanks the public for getting up so early on Sunday to go to the program.
Araceli, one of the aides, takes to the stage the girl who has the cake with a candle to give it to Chabelo, who gets down on her knees, hugs her, puts out the candle, bites the cake and opens the curtain to start the program. The drums sound. The lights come on. The curtain opens and Chabelo leaves the tunnel of colors. The public does not stop applauding. “Master music!” Shouts Chabelo with that voice that accompanies Mexican children for six decades.
For the speaker Jorge Alberto Aguilera, who has been collaborating for 23 years in the program, Xavier has managed to adapt to the audience despite being technological. And although the announcer does not escape the rigor of Xavier, says that the success of the program lies in “the white soul of Chabelo,” which reflects the idiosyncrasy of any child.
Xavier says that Chabelo and he are two different people living in the same body: the child allows the adult to live comfortably. The house of the man who measures 1.90 meters is the image of a story. To get to your studio you have to walk between a garden full of trees and flowers and cross a wooden roof with gable fall similar to the house of Hansel and Gretel. On his wooden desk there are an infinity of glass candlesticks. Some with gummy, some with candy or popsicles. And there is, also, an impeccable order: polished wooden shelves without a trace of dust. Hundreds of mobile dolls and talkative Chabelo that went on sale in the nineties, lined by shirt color and pockets of shorts: blue, green and red. A person over 60 years old imitating a child is a gentleman who can not stand the disorder.
The walls. Four walls upholstered with diplomas, recognitions and photographs of Xavier in a short sailor suit and bib that was made by his mother about five decades ago. Something Xavier learned from his parents: until now, Xavier personally makes his shorts and also considers himself an excellent cook, confessed journalist Adela Micha.
Besides being methodical and disciplined, Xavier likes to collect frog figurines. In one of its offices in Mexico City, it has more than 2,700 of all sizes. Of all the places in the world. Like amphibians, Xavier likes to make long jumps. Always looking to the future. Never to the past. “He does not back down when he is attacked. He always moves forward, “he said of the amphibian in the After the Truth program.
Next to your desk is an organ with an integrated microphone. Because in addition to acting and driving, Chabelo also sings. In fact, he is the only Mexican who achieved “the authorization and support” of Francisco Gabilondo Soler, better known as Cri-Cri, to interpret the successes of the singer-songwriter. Before him, only the Argentine Libertad Lamarque and Marco Antonio Muñiz had interpreted some success of the singer-songwriter.
While at the stage he sings, at home he is silent. If in the forum you climb a bicycle, you rest at home. While in the study he talks, at home he meditates. In his bubble, Xavier does not behave as if the world were a stage with an audience around him. Without Chabelo, Xavier is a man of almost eighty years of few words. It moves, speaks and sings with some rigidity that before the camera is never shown. Greet with a handshake that does not squeeze. Wear denim pants with a perfect ironed line. Dress Converse without laces or socks and smells of manly fragrance.
Is a stubborn child a successful child? Last year, the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict was retiring because of his advanced age. The decision shook millions of Mexicans. In this country, while 84 percent of the Catholic population was trying to recover from the commotion, users of social networks made viral jokes with the image of Chabelo dressed in a cassock to occupy the post of Joseph Ratzinger. Mexicans scoffed at the age of the biggest child on television. When Xavier found out he was annoyed by disrespect “for a church authority.” If something inspires faith to King Midas of children’s television, it is Catholicism. He is a devout “Guadalupano”, generous with the people who surround him, but angry with those who dare to ask about the paternity of Leslie Perez, a young woman who denies, and who at the moment refuses to speak.
Some time in 2009, a journalist from the Ventaneando program asked Xavier if the alleged paternity affected his image. Xavier glowered at the journalist, but when he heard the question caught fire, he lifted his chin, looked at his eyelids, wore the sclera, frowned, and walked away from the cameras. His two escorts blocked the group of journalists. Waving the microphones, insisting on the subject shouting, they walked behind the pair of heavy, agitated, tall, obese bodyguards who wore black and looked after an adult in red denim overalls. Moving forward, the driver did not resist: he dodged the henchmen, he stood in front of the journalist’s eyes that barely reached Xavier’s chin.
“Fourteen times I have told you and I repeat: the only public of mine is my work.
From the television screen, the driver’s long index finger from the sky, to his chest and ends in the air, is aimed at the journalist’s nasal septum.
“May it be the last time. I’m asking you, please.
“Perfect, sir,” says the reporter, his left arm pressed to his torso, protecting his nipples, his waistcoat tight.
Xavier breaks his voice. He slaps the journalist’s microphone.
-I do not get into your life, do not get into mine.
The journalist keeps his left arm crossed and his right arm down. The camera continues to record. The cameraman walks to get a better shot. The scene of the oldest infantile driver of annoying Latin America does not seem ordinary. And Xavier repeats:
“The only public of mine is my work.
Between Xavier and the journalist is the left arm, wide, hairy, stiff, wrapped in short black sleeves of an inexpressive bodyguard, bearded and with glasses that looks at nothing. The journalist lowers his chin, looks at his feet and responds, in a low voice.
If as a child, Xavier was able to intimidate his sister’s friends, he is capable of frightening journalists who live by irritating celebrities and paralyzing executives of Televisa, the most powerful channel in Latin America. In 2007, Xavier’s channel executives announced to Xavier the program’s schedule change by reorganizing transmissions: it would not start at 7:00 a.m., but at 6:30 p.m., something that originally upset the character. Chabelo said in an interview with TV journalists: “When Xavier told me that we were not going to be there, I did scream.” After Xavier showed his courage: “I’d better give you my resignation and I will not do the show. I’m going to Venezuela or I do not know where, but I can not change the schedule, “recalls Mario de la Piedra, former Vice President of Production of Televisa and friend of Xavier in the program The story behind the myth.
At the board where he participated in the Stone, the executives decided to fire Xavier, who did not give up 30 minutes. But from the Stone he warned them: “If you quit, you will not see him again. I know him. ” And the managers gave in: “All right. To stay. What are we going to do without Chabelo? ” At the meeting it was agreed to leave the program at 7:00 in the morning and modify the rest of the channel’s programming.
Days later, Xavier smiled before the camera: “When I saw my refusal to follow a new schedule, they did me the favor of reconsidering it and I went back to doing the program.” The tantrum, again, saved Chabelo. And Xavier.
“But they say Don Xavier is a tantrum too?”
-Do not! I had to have my head and feet flat on the floor to be able to organize my life and do things that go beyond. The character has demanded some care in my behavior. Somehow, I was an example for the children of Mexico, so it was not convenient that throughout my career had not taken care of those points, otherwise, that would have brought me as a consequence that the parents would not let children see Chabelo on television.
“What stranger of your childhood?”
“Not much childhood. The only thing I miss is my parents. But if I’m frank, the fact of playing Chabelo during half of my life has made me not lose that essence. Like Chabelo I have been able to do many things that I could not do before.