El Hormiguero

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El Hormiguero
Genre Talk show
Comedy
Presented by Pablo Motos
Country of origin Spain
Original language(s) Spanish
Production
Producer(s) Gestmusic (2006-2008)
7 y Acción (2008-present)
Location(s) Madrid, Spain
Running time 120 minutes (2006-2007)
50 minutes (2007-present)
Broadcast
Original channel Cuatro (2006-2011)
Antena 3 (2011-present)
Original run September 24, 2006 – Present
External links
Website

El Hormiguero (Spanish for "The Anthill") is a Spanish television program with a live audience focusing on comedy, science, and politics running since September 2006. It is hosted and produced by screenwriter Pablo Motos. The show aired on Spain's Cuatro channel from launch until June 2011 and is now broadcast on Antena 3.[1] Recurring guests on the show include Luis Piedrahita, Raquel Martos, Marron & "The Man in Black" (the scientists), and puppet ants Trancas and Barrancas (names taken from the Spanish expression "a trancas y barrancas" what means "in fits and starts"). It has proved a ratings success, and has expanded from a weekly 120-minute show to a daily 40-minute show in its third season, which began on September 17, 2007.[2][3][4] The show won the Entertainment prize at the 2009 Rose d'Or ceremony.[5]

Format[edit]

The show is based on an earlier radio program, broadcast on M80 Radio, called No Somos Nadie ("We Are Nobody"). This show continued until June 2007, when Pablo Motos announced that he would be leaving the program to allow the daily production of El Hormiguero.[6] No Somos Nadie returned in September 2007 with new on-air talent, since most of the old show's talent were part of the television show.[7]

Barrancas (left) and Trancas (right) sing along with the show's rap

Segments on the show included scientific experiments, like a car running on vegetable oil, hangover cures, a superconductivity demonstration, and various chemical reaction demonstrations. Each episode features a satirical rap, commentary on current events, and humorous phrases as spoken by children. Other segments include pitches for viewers to plant trees and "El Kiosco", a section of magazine reviews. The show also airs parodies of other media, which have included Back to the Future, Pop Idol, House M.D., and Mission: Impossible. Many episodes have featured special celebrity guests, including Boris Izaguirre, David Bisbal,[8] Alejandro Sanz,[9] Paulina Rubio, and numerous international celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Sergio Dalma, Ashley Tisdale or Hugh Jackman. Special guests on the show are sometimes involved throughout the episode, including taking part in the various stunts and science experiments. A number of changes to the show, including new segments such as a webcam call-in portion from viewers, were planned for the upcoming format change in the third season, however this segment and some others like training of wild monkeys were removed, the first one due to the amount of time needed and the second one due to low popularity among the audience.

A very popular segment that was later introduced is "Extreme Survival", that features "El maestro empanao" (which roughly translates as "Master Dumbass") Marron and the host Pablo Motos testing out tips and hints on how to survive extreme situations or conditions (such as how to survive being overrun by a car, trapped in a falling lift, attacked by a pack of wolves, etc.). Another popular segment includes Trancas and Barrancas making fun of the day's news.[10] A satirical news show in which puppets read the news, Las noticias del guiñol, formerly aired on Cuatro.

International attention[edit]

The show first received international attention in 2006 for having people walk across a swimming pool filled with a non-Newtonian fluid, a suspension of cornstarch and water called oobleck, that was mixed in a cement truck.[11] This experiment was performed in an October 2006 episode of the show and was repeated with a new batch of oobleck on the Christmas Eve special episode due to its popularity.[12] In 2007, Cuatro signed an agreement with YouTube that allows clips from Cuatro programs, including El Hormiguero, to be showcased on the site.[13] In 2009, El Hormiguero was awarded as the best entertainment program in the international Rose d'Or awards.[14] The win was the fourth time a Spanish program has received the award, the first since 1994.[15]

Since 2008, the show has received a large number of appearances from international celebrities including professional wrestler Batista (Rey Mysterio was interviewed by the El Hormiguero´s ants in USA) from WWE, sportsmen Dwight Howard, Rudy Fernández, Novak Djokovic, Fernando Alonso and Rafa Nadal, the models Alessandra Ambrosio and Heidi Klum, the astronaut Charles Duke, the writer Dan Brown, the dog trainer Cesar Millan, actors and singers Hugh Jackman,[16] Rob Schneider, Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Matt Dallas, Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Lawrence; Lost stars Matthew Fox and Jorge Garcia; Gary Dourdan, Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jackie Chan, Hugh Grant, Michael C. Hall, Danny DeVito, Jean Reno, Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Geraldine and Oona Castilla Chaplin, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Johnny Knoxville, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Bradley Cooper, Frat Pack members Ben Stiller, Steve Carell and Will Ferrell, Eva Mendes, Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Clive Owen, Ricardo Darín, Laura Natalia Esquivel, Robert Englund, Mark Wahlberg, Gwyneth Paltrow, Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, the Phelps twins, Russel Crowe, Dwayne Johnson, Ed Harris, Peter Coyote, Alex Pettyfer and Teresa Palmer, Channing Tatum, House M.D. stars Olivia Wilde and Lisa Edelstein; Orlando Bloom, Vin Diesel, Elsa Pataky, Chris Hemsworth, Leo Bassi, Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Mel Gibson, David Hasselhoff, William Dafoe, Elijah Wood, Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Rowan Atkinson, Amanda Seyfried, Justin Timberlake, Ashley Tisdale, the Jonas Brothers,[17] Enrique Iglesias, The Backstreet Boys,[18] McFly, Tokio Hotel, One Direction, Kylie Minogue, Alejandro Sanz, Shakira, Alesha Dixon, Ke$ha, Iggy Pop, Chayanne, Emilia de Poret, Eros Ramazzotti, Chris Isaak, Emeli Sandé, Michel Teló, Gloria Estefan, Lang Lang, Alicia Keys, Pitbull, David Guetta, Juanes, Nelly Furtado, Lenny Kravitz, Duffy, Taylor Swift, Laura Pausini, Mika, Spandau Ballet, Craig David, Jamie Cullum, Paulina Rubio, Carly Rae Jepsen, young actors and singers Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.

In addition, sometimes, Pablo Motos moved to other countries for interviewing notable people in them. This was the case of the interviews conducted by Motos to Hugh Laurie (in Los Angeles), to Rey Misterio, and Will Smith and Jaden Smith (in his fourth and second interview with Motos, respectively, in London).

In 2009, Siete y Acción licensed the show's format to Grundy Italy, an Italian production company, to produce a local version of the show.[19] Also in 2009, a Chilean and a Brazilian versions were produced only to meet bad reviews in both countries.

After Jesse Eisenberg spoke negatively about his experience as guest on El Hormiguero, in an interview with Conan O'Brien on TBS's Conan,[20] Pablo Motos gave a humorous retort to the actor and the American talk-show host from the Spanish program.[21]

In 2011, El Hormiguero was nominated to an International Emmy Award in the Non-scripted entertainment category, but didn't win.

As told in the January 16th broadcast, Pablo Motos was offered Santiago Segura's Spanish character on Jack & Jill by Adam Sandler himself, who has been a guest on El Hormiguero on several occasions. Motos didn't speak English, so the offer flustered him, but when he was ready to decline it, some of the show producers spoke with Sandler about the idea, reaching an agreement: They would send a screen test with Pablo performing his lines, learned by phonetic sounds. Jorge Ventosa, one of the producers, performed Sandler's travestied role. Motos and Segura (who is a frequent collaborator) decided to broadcast the audition during an interview on the programme, promoting the release of the movie.

Cast[edit]

  • Pablo Motos - Himself - Host
  • Juan Ibáñez Pérez - Himself - Trancas
  • Damián Molla Herman - Himself - Barrancas
  • Pablo Ibáñez Pérez - El Hombre de Negro (The Man in Black)
  • Enrique Pérez Vergara - "Flipy", El científico loco (The Mad Scientist) (Until 5th season)
  • Jandro - Super-Fan, El experto en todo (The expert in everything) and Contador de chistes con carteles (Jokes with posters) (5th season)
  • Mario Vaquerizo - Himself
  • Raquel Martos González - Herself
  • Luis Piedrahita - El rey de las cosas pequeñas (The King of Little Things) and "Mago que revela sus propios trucos" (Magician that reveals his own tricks) (5th season)
  • Jorge Marrón Martín - El Maestro Empanao (The Dumbass Master), "El efecto mariposa" (The Butterfly effect), "El científico" (5th Season, The Scientist)

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media[edit]