Game Shows Wiki
Don Francisco
Rolando Barral (1986)
Pedro de Pool (1986–1991)
Javier Romero (1991–2015)
Univision (Weekly): 4/12/1986 - 9/19/2015

Sábado Gigante ("Gigantic Saturday") was a long-running Spanish-language game and variety show that aired on Saturday nights. Many of the games that were featured in the show were based on elements from US game shows, including The Price is Right, Family Feud, Name That Tune, $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime, Break the Bank, Card Sharks, and Triple Threat.


Mario Kreutzberger


El Chacal de la Trompeta[]

One of the show's signature segments, six contestants are given the chance to sing a song, with the bad performers being eliminated mid-song by "El Chacal", a ghost-like character who blows an old trumpet to end such acts (similar to The Gong Show). Unlike The Gong Show, El Chacal does not have to wait a specific amount of time before eliminating someone (on many occasions, contestants have been eliminated almost immediately after beginning their performance). Don Francisco would always get into the act, and wear silly hats and wigs to intimidate the contestant. On some occasions, the eliminated performer would be "fed" to a lion in his cave, with Don Francisco chanting "A los leones" ("To the lions"). The "Lion" character was later phased out and would be "replaced" with an Alex the Lion doll. The "surviving" performers are voted on by the audience, with the one receiving the most applause winning a prize or cash (in this case, $1,000). The performer also has the chance to win an additional $1,000 by acquiring "La Córona", which would pre-qualify that performer into the "Reyes del Chacal" competition, which is held every two to four years (although this competition has not been held since 2010). From 1986 to 1993, any performer who advanced also received a six-pack of Coca-Cola.

Often whenever Don Francisco sings during this segment, El Chacal would blow the trumpet mid-song, effectively insulting the host, who responds by kicking El Chacal. He would also kick the character if a bad call was made.

El Chacal's name roughly translates to "the Jackal," and his antics are more in line with such, similar to a laughing hyena. However, there is a bit darker (or dark humor) meaning behind the character and his appearance. He actually has more similarities to an "Executioner" or a "Hooded Hatchetman", who used to kill people on the gallows or guillotine while wearing such a mask. Only in this case, he "kills off" acts of performers by playing the trumpet and not wielding an axe or guillotine.

Miss Colita[]

A parody of beauty pageants, six women compete in swimsuits or other revealing attire for the title of Miss Colita. It is similar to the Brazilian contest "Miss Bumbum". The contest is usually held the Saturday before the Miss Venezuela, Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, although it – or variants of the segment – are frequently held every two to four weeks. A Christmas-themed version, Miss Santita, is held the Saturday before Christmas. Another version, "Miss Colita Petite", features mainly smaller women. From 2003 to 2005, it was succeeded by a similar contest, "Miss Curvilinea", which focused more on the body type and form. The final Miss Colita contest took place on August 22, 2015, the same night as the Miss Teen USA 2015 pageant.

A variant was also made for little girls under the title "Miss Chiquitita".

Elimination competitions[]

Special contests based on a elimination bracket with large cash prizes of over $10,000.

Team competitions[]

Two teams compete in a series of stunts to win $5000. At least one occasion in Christmas 2004, a car was offered as a grand prize (A Ford Freestyle) to the winning team, but the loser team also got the same car as well.

Final de Automovil[]

Throughout it's 53 year run, the grand prize was almost always a car (Although in the 50th Anniversary special, it was $50,000)

Cars given away in the US program have included those from Ford Motor Company (1986–89, 1999-2014, 2015 for the final show), Toyota (1986-1987), General Motors (1986-1987) Honda (1990–99), Daewoo (2000), Hyundai (2005–09) and Kia Motors (2014-2015). In Chile, some cars given away include Volkswagen, Lada, Renault-Samsung, Arica-Mini, and Subaru. During the show's early years in the U.S. and during the final episode, the cars were provided by Miami-based dealership Gus Machado Ford.

While the car prizes in the program were usually either compact and/or mid-size cars (the latter being usually sedans), larger cars such as pickup trucks and SUVs were also used as car prizes.

In the Chilean version, cars may be used as one of the regular prizes during some of the games.

In 2000 and from 2005-2009, another car prize (usually from a different manufacturer) was offered at the end of the first hour of the show.

Prior to the revamping in 2008, the games played for the car were similar to the pricing games seen on The Price Is Right, but were based on luck rather than having the contestant guess the actual price of the car. These have included a game with a staircase of buttons in any of these three colors (red, green, or blue) with the contestant trying to avoid a "broken" button (indicated by an alarm) to win (this game was relaunched in 2005 with a man in a cherry picker, usually a stunt double, falling out of it if the broken button was pushed). A similar version was played in Chile and in some occasions on the Univision version, where Don Francisco uses a pistol and the contestant would lose if the pistol fired. The concept is loosely based on The Price Is Right's "Ten Chances" pricing game, albeit largely unrelated.

This game is similar to The Price Is Right's "Any Number" pricing game. It's where contestants can call out digits one at a time, revealing them in the retail prices of four prizes on the gameboard, and wins the first prize whose price is completely revealed. A gameboard contains spaces representing five digits in the price of a car, four digits in the price of a trip anywhere in the world (usually a Spanish-speaking country), four digits representing an amount of money that is valued at more than $1,000 (similar to a piggy bank), and three digits in the price of a smaller prize. The first digit in the price of the car is revealed at the beginning of the game (a rule implemented after cars valued at more than $10,000 were used in the game).

Another game involved 10 keys with the contestant having to choose the key (with a set number of chances) that opens a large "vault" containing the car inside (similar to The Price Is Right's "Master Key" and "Safe Crackers" pricing games). In 1995, the "vault" changed color from gold to blue. In 1999, a relaunch of the game had all the finalists choose one key each and was expanded to 16 keys, whilst the 2006 relaunch returned to the old format, but with a makeover (it resembled a bank vault and the keys in-game were modeled after real keys). From 1993-95, a giant die rolled from the bleachers determine the number of keys to pick (a fish bowl was used from 2006–08). If the vault opens in which they pick the winning key number, a siren went off and the contestant wins the car. Otherwise, the buzzer will sound if the vault does not open in which the contestant picks the wrong key number (with Don Francisco showing the audience the winning key number in an envelope and, occasionally, using that key to open the vault). There have been multiple occasions where contestants won the car on the first/only key. This game was considered the most popular car game of the show and is the first car game played. This game now appears occasionally, with all finalists each picking the key they believe opens the car door. And if the car door opens, they will win a new car. During gameplay, whenever contestants are on their sole/final key, Don Francisco would offer a cash prize (up to $2000) in exchange for their key (there have been multiple instances where contestants picked the winning key but took the cash prizes). The final episode in September 2015 had a guaranteed winner of a car, as five members of the audience were allowed to pick a key from a bowl and try it in the door lock. The third contestant was successful.

There are games similar to The Price Is Right's "3 Strikes" pricing game, but gameplay varied depending on that game's concept (with the El Chacal de la Trompeta character image used as the "strikes", and the player must spell out "GIGANTE" to win; unlike "3 Strikes", each letter was discarded after being drawn. If the contestant finds the Sábado Gigante logo, it will eliminate one strike and awards a $500 bonus, which the contestant gets to keep regardless of outcome). Each wheel adds $1,000 to the player's score, and if the contestant successfully finds all 4 wheels, the contestant wins $4,000 and a brand new car and the prizes they have accumulated. A variant of this game uses people holding large cards containing El Chacal, the Wheel and the Sábado Gigante logo. This version appears only in special episodes of the show and wherever the show is broadcast remotely outside Miami. Notable participants have included Nuestra Belleza Latina/Miss Venezuela contestants, Sábado Gigante characters, Miss Colita contestants among others.

Since 2008, the number of panels is determined by the number of players competing during the show. One of them has the word "Auto" in it, while the others have El Chacal (older versions included amounts of cash (up to $300) and a "Muchas Gracias" marker). The player who finds the Auto panel, moves on to the car game. There was also one where players pick cards, with the one who finds the highest card or an ace moves on to the car round. There was also a segment from 1987 that has players spin a small wheel to double, triple or halve their cash winnings, including a chance to qualify to win a new car.

There was one game where contestants are given a survey question and must correctly guess five responses related to the question (similar to Family Feud).

The new car games introduced in 2008, which are essentially updated and digitalized versions of older games, have included:

  • A car puzzle, which contestants find the parts of a digitalized car. Each piece adds $1,000 to the player's score, while El Chacal takes money away. The first one takes $1,000 from the player, the second deducts $2,000 and everything for all three; thus it is possible to have a negative amount after the first and/or second strike. Even worse, a contestant wipes out of the game and didn't find a single part which occurred on April 26, 2014. If the player successfully finds all 7 parts of a digitalized car without finding El Chacal 3 times, the player wins a brand-new car and whatever money has been accumulated (up to $7,000). The older version has players spell out the word "Gigante", similar to The Price Is Right's "Spelling Bee" pricing game and is played using the 3 Strikes.
  • A virtual race, where contestants select a colored stock car (Red, Green or Blue) – which closely resemble Formula One cars – and wins if the chosen color places first. This preceded a similar game where the 2001 to 2005 versions included a car, El Chacal, and a cruise ship (if the ship placed first, the contestant wins a cruise to an unspecified location). The 2006 to 2008 versions have depicted a horse race and is similar to the current format. This game was played twice during the final episode with three contestants choosing each colored car. This was similar to The Price Is Right's "Rat Race" pricing game.
  • A roulette game, where players spin a virtual wheel and try to stop at the car space five times. There are 6 parts of a car spinning around a virtual wheel including a gallon of gasoline, license plate, car door (replicating a Ford Fiesta door), steering wheel, car key, and a car tire/wheel. Each parts of a car adds $1,000 to the player's score, and if the contestant successfully stops at the car space 5 times without stopping at the "Chacal" space 3 times, the contestant wins a brand-new car and whatever money has accumulated. The older versions have the word "Auto" and "Chacal" and amounts of cash (between $500 and $1500) on the wheel. Additionally, the 1998-99 version also had the actual car center stage, with the wheel on the right side, drawings of cars on the top center and those of El Chacal on the left. The 2000-08 version was downsized to a single game board, eliminating the center stage. This was similar to Let's Make a Deal's "Go For a Spin" game.
  • There was another game in which a contestant picks a door up or down, and are then shown a number and the contestants are asked if the next door's number is higher or lower. Each correct answer adds $1,000 to the player's score, and if the contestant successfully gets 5 out of 7 right without making 2 mistakes, the player wins $5,000 and a brand-new car. This is similar to the Money Cards round from Card Sharks. A similar game is used with playing cards, and in this game, 8 rows are played. The top card is turned over, and the player must guess whether the bottom card is higher or lower. The 1996 to 1999 version was played differently, where the contestant must collect cards containing five pictures of a disproportionate car (equaling 1 part each), with the adjacent card being a drawing of a monster (named after El Chacal de la Trompeta despite it not looking like the character). Additionally, If the contestant draws a card with a gold medal of that disproportionate car, the player automatically wins the car and whatever money accumulated. The 2000 to 2008 version is similar to the current format and was first played using large playing cards (with Jacks, Kings and Queens being equal to 10, and Aces either 1 or 11, a la Blackjack; Should multiple rows of cards contain the same number and all rows have exhausted before winning the car, the contestant wins whatever money accumulated). The game board also was overhauled with ice-platinum borders, wheel lights, a cardboard cut-out of a car and two El Chacal silhouettes. In 2002, the "playing cards" were replaced by large flash cards with the Sábado Gigante logo and a number (1-12) on each side.

List of game shows that were utilized or copied in Sabado Gigante[]


  • The show began August 8, 1962 as Show Dominical ("Sunday's Show"), airing on Canal 13 in Chile with Don as the sole host. In 1963, the show changed to Sábados Gigantes, with the plurals removed upon the show's move to Miami in 1986.


Official Site

YouTube Videos[]

Car Bonus Game Win (Master Key)
La Tomboleta (based on the 1980s Break the Bank)
El Chacal De La Trompeta
A playing based on The $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime with a car as a grand prize
Car Game from 2007 (The Big Wheel)
Another Big Wheel Car Game
Stairway car bonus game loss from 1995
Card Sharks-style Car Game