Photo: 100 Years of Cantinflas
Charlie Chaplin once said that his Mexican counterpart, Cantinflas, was the funniest comedian alive. Celebrate with us 100 years of “Cantinflas”
The voice of Mario Moreno, his clever speech and grammatical inventiveness, that ridiculously funny mustache that made his mouth look like it was between quotation marks, his humble demeanor, enormous heart, quick wit, rope belt, silly hat, all those things that made Chaplin say to him once “in this world, there is only you and me,” are one hundred years old today.
His image, both in cartoons and photos, as well as immortalized in 50 different films, is everywhere today in a México that has turned 100% Cantinflas, in the celebration of his hundredth birthday, because in many ways, Cantinflas is México.
Cantinflas’ “tramp” character, or “peladito” became an icon and the voice of the so many unprivileged Mexican folk that plow through life with wits, audacity, a big heart and a sense of humor.
Cantinflas was the eldest child of Pedro Moreno Esquivel, a mail carrier, and María de la Soledad Reyes Guizar. The Michoacán couple had eight children
From very humble beginnings, Cantinflas made it through difficult situations with the same street smarts that he’d showcase in his movies, after unsuccessfully taking stabs at boxing, and bullfighting.
Today, Mexico City’s metro, a system that moves some 6 million people every day is playing audio clips of Cantinflas emblematic syntactically convoluted dialogue, the comedian’s most recognizable trait.
“Cantinflear,” the art of speaking a stream of words, without actually saying anything at all; a verb actually recognized by the Royal Academy of Spanish Language a year before the actor’s death, and defined as “speaking in a random way, incongruently and not saying anything.”
Take a look at the selection of Cantinflas clips below, and join us in our forums section, where we will be “Cantinfleando” left and right and vice versa, why? To observe a hundred years of Cantinflas, but not year by year because that would take a hundred years of observation and staring is in poor taste, so instead we’ll pay homage, as long as after we pay we can get some change. Confused? You’ve been Cantinflas-ed.