Chiquito de la Calzada’s 90th Birthday – Today’s Doodle celebrates Chiquito de la Calzada, a Spanish singer, actor, and stand-up comedian who left a lasting cultural impact in Spain. Born as Gregorio Esteban Sánchez Fernández on this day in 1932, Chiquito’s brilliant comedic style has widely influenced Spanish comedians and entertainers to this day.
As children, Fernández and his two brothers grew up in poverty in post-Civil War Spain in La Calzada de la Trinidad. He began singing and dancing flamenco at eight years old to help feed his family. During this time he received his stage name, Chiquito de la Calzada.
Fernández spent most of his adult life performing flamenco throughout Spain and abroad. After spending 54 years in the flamenco industry, his life took an unexpected turn when he crossed paths with a television producer named Tomás Summers at a restaurant.
After overhearing Fernández tell jokes at a nearby table, Summers offered him a part in an upcoming comedy show airing on Antena 3, a major Spanish television station. The new show was called Genio y figura, and the production team thought Summers was making a mistake by casting an unknown 62-year-old man. Summers took a chance on Fernández anyway and he was sure glad he did.
Soon after the show aired, Fernández transformed into an instant star. Spaniards from all walks of life found his comedic timing, clever puns, and exaggerated movements irresistibly funny. Over the next two decades, Fernández developed an original comedic style that continues to influence Spanish comedians and TV characters today.
In 2019, the Ministry of Culture of Spain recognized his cultural impact by awarding him a Medalla de Oro al mérito en las Bellas Artes (Gold Medal of Merit in Fine Arts).
Happy birthday, Chiquito de la Calzada!
You can find more about Chiquito de la Calzada’s 90th Birthday on the official Google Doodle Page