“Que tal amigas y amigos” — this was the opening that scores of Latinos across the globe would hear every Saturday from legendary TV host Don Francisco. When “Sábado Gigante” would come on, it almost felt like time would stop. Familias everywhere flocked to their TVs to get lost in the delight that was “Sábado Gigante.” 

The show, which became the longest-running variety show in the world (as cited in Collider), had something for the entire family. It had music, fun, excitement, La Cuatro and El Chacal. “Sábado Gigante” began in Chile during the 80s, but it wasn’t until Univision picked it up that it reached iconic TV status.

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With so many unforgettable talents and characters that crossed our screens throughout its 53-year run, we began wondering where they all were. In this latest installment of Where Are They Now, we dig into where Don Francisco and crew ended up and uncover the man behind the Chacal mask.

Don Francisco

Mario Kreutzberger, better known by his stage name Don Francisco, has been someone that has held a space in the mind and hearts of people everywhere. He launched “Sábado Gigante” in the United States in 1988, hosting it alongside the likes of Javier Romero until the show went off air in 2015. Nowadays, you can catch the TV veteran interviewing folks from across different industries on his show “Reflexiones con Don Francisco,” which has been on for six seasons and airs Sundays on CNN en Español.

Lili Estefan

Most Latinos can’t imagine a TV landscape without the bubbly and friendly Lili Estefan. The Cuban TV personality first got her start on the small screen when she was hired as a model for “Sábado Gigante” at 19, Distractfy reports. When she left the show in 1999, it was to jump onto another juggernaut for Univision, “El Gordo y la Flaca,” alongside Raúl de Molina. Estefan also participated in Facebook’s “Red Table Talk: The Estefans” alongside her niece Emily and aunt Gloria.

Javier Romero

Romero was one of the many co-hosts that joined Don Francisco every Saturday night. The TV personality and radio host was a key figure of the show for 25 years, per La Cuarta. The publication cites that in a 2019 interview with Tony Dandrades, he referred to his time on the show as his version of “high school, college and [a] masters” and remarked that it was a very “enriching experience both personally and professionally.” Since leaving the show, Romero has focused on his radio morning show “El Desayuno” on Miami’s 107.5.

Amara La Negra

Much like Estefan, Amara La Negra also got her TV start on the popular Saturday variety show. Per La Opinion, Amara started on the show at the ripe and mature age of four as part of a child-focused segment very à la “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” Today, the TV personality is living her best life as an entrepreneur, podcast host and very orgullosa mom to her twin girls Sumajestad Royalty and Sualteza Empress De Los Santos.


Sábado Gigante un programa familiar #sabadogigante🎤 #lacuatro #Donfrancisco #humor

♬ sonido original – Marr Murillo

La Cuatro Dientes (aka La Cuatro) 

Next to El Chacal, La Cuatro Dientes was one of the more popular characters that appeared on the show. Played by Chilean actress, comedian and singer, Gloria Benavides, La Cuatro would pop up for skits that had deeper involvement with Don Francisco himself, as she would playfully flirt with him and give him a hard time. While no longer donning her iconic blonde wig, the 75-year-old comedian is still performing live events.

El Chacal de La Trompeta

Ahora, al más despreciable de todos — el Chacal! Played by Chilean trumpet player, musician and composer, Leonardo Núñez Guerrero, el Chacal de la Trompeta turned into one of the figures most associated with the show (aside from Don Francisco, that is). The character was part of a singing segment that would have contestants compete and el Chacal would then decide the worst singers by playing his trumpet, per districto comedia.

Two years shy of the cancelation of the show in 2015, Núñez Guerrero was let go. Soy 502 reported that in an interview he did with “Suelta la Sopa,” he revealed that after 32 years on the show, he was let go due to his age. He explained that his farewell from Don Francisco was lackluster as he received a handshake and a very dry goodbye. After leaving the show, Soy 502 says that Núnez Guerrero continued with his music career, but it is unclear if he has.

Sissi Fleitas

Isabel Fleitas, best known as Sissi, was one of the many model co-hosts that appeared on “Sábado Gigante.” Elsalvador.com cites that her ability to go toe-to-toe with Don Francisco made her a memorable co-host. Like many on the show, Fleitas was there for several years having started in 1998 and departing in 2005. 

Since then, she has gone on to appear in several film projects and serves as a trustee for the Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education. Fun fact: Fleitas was the señora that Wisin & Yandel, Daddy Yankee and Baby Ranks sang to in the “Mayor Que Yo” video.

Rashel Díaz

Like Estefan and Amara, Díaz used “Sábado Gigante” as a stepping stone into a long-standing career in the public eye. Pop Picante cites that she first appeared on the show in 1994 and remained a mainstay until 2005. As well as being an actress, model and TV personality, she is also an entrepreneur and life coach

Carlos Yustis and Patricio Torres

Mexican comedian Carlos Yustis and Chilean comedian Patricio Torres were responsible for the La Familia Fernandez skit on “Sábado Gigante.” This skit humorously portrayed the life of a dysfunctional Mexican family. Since leaving the show, Torres has continued working on TV projects with his most recent credit appearing in a 2022 episode of “Paola y Miguelito: La Serie.” Ever the comedian, Yustis still performs live events.