El Chanfle (Roberto Gomez Bolaños) is a waterboy at Club América who helps the coach, Moncho Reyes (Ramón Valdés) during soccer games, by giving the players water and helping them with shoes and everything else they need during the game. Constantly he daydreams during the games, causing him to accidentally kick the coach during penalty shots.
He is married to Tere (Florinda Meza), a typical housewife, passionate about soccer, mainly because of Chanfle's job. Despite having been married for 10 years, they are not precisely in the best financial situation, to the point in which they could not afford fixing an old sofa, which falls to the back when someone sits on it.
One day, Tere was talking to Chanfle about saving, and she said (talking about saving money): "You saw what I bought at the supermarket?". Then Tere showed Chanfle a pair of new shoes. So Chanfle said: "That isn't saving, that is spending!". After that Tere said: "Nope, it's saving, because I bought them in the supermarket and nobody charged me for them", making Chanfle realize that his wife took a pair of shoes without paying them, so he (as a recurring gag to show him as a straight up guy) rolled up two imaginary sleevs and returned to the store with Tere.
There, he paid 299 pesos, in order to pay for the shoes, to a nice cashier store clerk (Angelines Fernández), who told them that already their bosses had discounted that amount from her salary, therefore he did not have to pay for the shoes. Tere and Chanfle, who had been married for 10 years, never had children and they wanted to, since Tere was 28 years old and Chanfle was 35.
So, Chanfle's boss and president of the club, Mr. Matute (Rubén Aguirre) knew that after Chanfle asked him for a raise. Then, Mr. Matute told Dr. Nájera (Édgar Vivar), who was the physician at the soccer team, about Chanfle and Tere's predicament. After Tere and Chanfle talked with Dr. Nájera, the Doctor told them that he knew some people at a lab, so Chanfle and his wife went there for some lab tests. Incidentally, Dr. Nájera sat on the coach and, due to his overweight figure, he brokes the floor making him fall down to Dr. Chapatin's apartment, some floors below.
After that, Tere brought the results to Dr. Nájera, who told her she was going to have a baby. She was nervous and very happy at the same time, then she gave the news to her husband, who also was very happy, to the point of jumping and dancing at the club's patio.
But Tere and Chanfle were still in need of money like they had before. So they decided to sell an old gun, formerly belonging to Tere's father. Chanfle and Tere went down the street and tried to sell the pistol to a drunk man named Paco (Raúl 'Chato' Padilla), who thought that they were trying to rob him, due to Chanfle showing the gun as he was pointing him, and proceeded to give some things from his house to Chanfle (and old lamp, a guitar, etc.). Paco then yelled at a policeman, saying that Tere and Chanfle were trying to rob him, so they began to run and were not successful in selling the pistol.
Another day, Chanfle and his wife Tere were shopping at the store where the nice clerk was working at. So, it is later discovered that Paco, the drunk man, was the husband of this nice cashier. Paco bumps Chanfle at the parking lot of the store, and because Paco was angry because he thought Chanfle was robbing him the other time they had met, he threw a watermelon at Chanfle and chased him all the way to a city park. When Chanfle got back to the parking lot, Tere wanted to drive home herself and was impatient about it, causing her to become less careful with her driving and to crash with another car.
Then, because Chanfle was highly ethical, he was willing to pay for the damage to the car's owner. So he went to the clerk and asked her who was the owner of the car with the license plates: 631-ACJ. When the clerk heard that she sadly said: "Only yesterday, I had my car at the mechanic".
Another worry for Chanfle and Tere: they didn't have money for paying to the lady's car damage, nor to repair their old sofa. This problem was solved when Tere went once again to the supermarket and gave the nice clerk 100 pesos for the car's repair. Then, the clerk confessed that her husband wanted to buy a gun. When Tere heard this, she promptly and very happily said: "I'll sell you one!!!". That evening, she sold the gun to the supermarket clerk and now Tere was debt-free.
So the months go by, and Tere was going to give birth. Club America is expected to play the championship game against Atletico Español and Tere is expecting to have her child after the game, so she went to the soccer stadium with Diana (María Antonieta de las Nieves), the soccer club's secretary, who was in love with one of the most popular players at the team, Valentino (Carlos Villagrán). Then Tere met again with the clerk and her husband Paco, who said, stranged: "Have we met before??", during the game, Tere began to give birth so, with the help of Tere and the nice clerk she is taken to the infirmary to be attended by Dr. Najera.
At the same time, Valentino cheated to provoke a penalty kick which helped América get a goal. In the second half, Chanfle learns that his wife was about to give birth, at the same time that an Atletico defender puts Valentino down to sentence another penalty kick. At that moment, Chanfle daydreamed about his son to be, dreaming that the boy became a famous player for America (with the looks of Chanfle) and is able to be a forward for his team scoring an irrational number of goals for America in that game. But he wakes up after kicking coach Don Moncho again when daydreaming about his son shooting a penalty kick. After this he is kicked off the game intentionally in order to see his wife.
Chanfle bumped with Paco again, who had the gun already on his hands, and was going to kill Chanfle. The wild run which ensued, caused them to enter the stadium again and both end causing the game to be suspended. While Tere is suffering with the birth pain at the same time as Valentino is suffering due to the lesion he got in game. When Valentino sees Tere he asked her what is going on, and she tell him "We'll have a baby", surprised (as long as Valentino was hit in his ribs and doing his trademark Quico face) he began to scream stronger.
Paco chased Chanfle to the medical office, where Tere was giving birth to a girl, to Chanfle's dismay. So, the clerk explained to her husband that Chanfle was that honest man who paid his wife's soes and sold her the pistol. Paco still thought that Chanfle was trying to rob him, until Tere said that her husband's real purpose was selling the gun when Paco was drunk. Tere then said that Paco couldn't kill Chanfle because the pistol was broken. Then Chanfle, hearing this, asked Paco: "How much do I owe you?".
At the end, Mr. Matute announced that Chanfle wasn't going to be in his current job, instead he'll be the Children's team coach. At the time when Chanfle was going to sign his contract, he accidentally broke all the office furniture and also a "The End" glass sign.
- Roberto Gómez Bolaños as Chanfle
- Florinda Meza as Tere
- Rubén Aguirre as Mr. Matute
- Edgar Vivar as Dr. Nájera
- Carlos Villagrán as Valentino
- María Antonieta de las Nieves as Diana
- Ramón Valdés as Mr. Moncho Reyes
- Angelines Fernández as Supermarket clerk
- Raúl 'Chato' Padilla as Paco
El Chanfle was premiered in Mexico and Latin America in late 1978 and 1979. The movie had mixed reviews, but it was a huge hit, due to the popularity of Chespirito at that time. The movie was so successful that even rivalized in the box office with "Superman, the Movie" on the Latinamerican cinemas. The film is also highly regarded by Chespirito's fans, because it showcase the first and only time that the entire cast was together in one production. After the movie was premiered, Carlos Villagran left the group due to the constant clash with Gomez Bolaños. Ramón Valdez left the group a few months later, and did a brief comeback in 1981. Raul "El Chato" Padilla was a guest member of the group for almost a year, and became a permanent member of the cast from 1981 until his death in 1994.
A sequel of El Chanfle (El Chanfle 2 or El Chanfle Segundo) was premiered in 1982. It was successful at the box office but not at the level of the first film.