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The Trapalhões: Mussum (green shirt), Zacarias (blue and yellow shirt) Dedé (blue shirt) and Didi (white shirt)
|Created by||Wilton Franco|
|Country of origin||Brazil|
|Original channel||Rede Globo|
|Original run||1977 – 1993|
Os Trapalhões (Portuguese pronunciation: [us tɾapaˈʎõjs]) was a Brazilian comedy group and also a television series created by Wilton Franco. Its members were Dedé Santana, Zacarias, Mussum and their leader Didi Mocó, that was played by Renato Aragão. The name Trapalhões is derived from the Portuguese verb atrapalhar, which means the opposite of helping, to do something the wrong way or to Those that confuse. The name is translated "Tramps" in English DVD subtitles. It was originally aired by Rede Globo from 1977 to 1993.
On March 18, 1990, Zacarias died due to respiratory failure, but the group and the series didn't come to an end until July 29, 1994, when Mussum died due to an unsuccessful heart transplant.
The series consisted of several different minutes scenes featuring comic adventures and situations of the four protagonists, sometimes with just one of them (mostly Didi), two, three and even with all of them, in which they opposed enemies and even each other (these internal fights between them almost every time consisted of Dedé, Mussum and Zacarias against Didi, but Didi, as well as anyone of them who stood by Didi's side, often triumphed over them, very similar to Looney Tunes' Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck rivalry), played pranks on each other or worked together in order to achieve a common goal. There was also, in all the years of the series, several parodies of traditional comics' superheroes, like Superman (mostly played by Didi because of his leader role), Batman (played as a second banana by Dedé because of Dedé's second banana role and also because of the homosexual interpretations about Batman and him), Spider-Man, Hulk, The Phantom, etc.
The leader of the group who however, in some scenes, was treated by his three friends as the most worthless member. A very clever man from Ceará with a peculiar manner of speaking. He rarely ended the scenes with bad luck or as the loser, in which he "fought" enemies or even his own friends.
Interpreted as a "second in command" role. He was the most serious one and acted as the brain of the group. His masculinity was always mocked by Didi.
An afro-Brazilian man who was ever proud to say that he came from Morro da Mangueira, a slum in Rio de Janeiro. He also had a very peculiar vocabulary. His greatest passion being cachaça (the most common distilled beverage in Brazil), which he nicknamed "mé" (or "mel", Portuguese for honey). He was always the butt of jokes and nicknames because of his skin color, as to be sarcastically called Maizena (Corn Starch) by Didi or then the latter's insinuations and innuendos comparing his skin color to that of a vulture's, at which Mussum would become verbally (sometimes physically) aggressive and answer back with offensive jokes about Didi's own northern origins or even his own mother.
A stocky, little man with child's voice and mannerism - frequently putting on childlike tantrums in face of trouble or even role playing as a kid when the sketch asked for it. He also wore a wig due to baldness. This was exploited in sketches where it would be taken off either by Didi or by any other adversity such as an arrow which, missing his head, stabbed the wig to the wall, for instance.
Main cast of supporting actors
- Dino Santana- Dedé real life's brother. He played several secondary roles in the series and in some Trapalhões' films. He also was a secondary actor in the series Dedé e o Comando Maluco, where Dedé played the role of General Dedé. He died in 2010.
- Carlos Kurt- A tall blonde man with a very bad look and huge eyes. He often played villain, bully and other enemy roles in the series and also in some Trapalhões' movies. He died in 2003.
- Roberto Guilherme- An obese and bald man with whom Didi always had fun by taking off his wig. Also played a large number of antagonist roles, sometimes along Carlos Kurt. Though he played numerous secondary characters, the most memorable of them was the Sargento Pincel (Sergeant Brush).
- Tião Macalé- A very funny toothless black man that usually ended the scenes saying the word Nojento! (Portuguese for Disgusting). This quote make him very famous both in the series and in Brazil. He died in 1993.
- Ted Boy Marino - A real-life wrestler with a Spanish accent and haircut similar to He-Man's. He died in 2012.
- Ramone, Marcus, (2009-07-09).Os Trapalhões na Bloch Editores: a história de um clássico dos quadrinhos (portuguese)