Jose Candelario Trespatines was the name of a character in the most famous
radio comedy of Latin America, La Tremenda Corte (The Tremendous Court). It
was aired in the 1950s in Cuba and after the revolution, moved to Mexico.
Later on, this series would move on to the TV screen and enjoy a moderate degree of
Trespatines was interpreted by Leopoldo Fernandez, of whom I know very little,
unfortunately, except that he began as a singer along with his partner Anibal de
Mar, who interpreted the Judge in the program.
La Tremenda Corte was about a courtroom where the most outrageous cases were
presented (think Night Court, only funny). Trespatines would invariably be
the accused, usually of some kind of fraud or scam and would always end up in
conviction. Some of this scams wouldn't even merit a second glance in real
life (the naivete of those scammed was amazing. Eg: the sale of a plot of
land in the ocean, medicinal remedies a quaker would be ashamed of...)
The format of this trials were those of a small claims court (no lawyers
present). The actual plot took a second place to the comedy, based a lot
on improvisation (so much, in fact, that the actors would end up in laughter
along with the public).
These programs have been re-played in radio stations in the US and Latin
America in an almost uninterrupted fashion. It would be very hard to find
a spanish speaking person that hasn't heard of it.
Some of the jokes on this programs are timeless, others rely heavily on
situational awareness (the time and socio-political situation of Cuba in those
days), and most are unstranslatable, since modism and slang abound.
Some of the recurrent characters of this show were:
Rudecindo Caldeiro y Escobiña: A overly naive spanish gallego (natural
from Galicia). Always the victim, always clueless.
Luz María "Nananina": Trespatines' old flame (hinted but never said out loud)
turned his enemy. Also a common victim.
Mamita (mommy): Trespatines' mom. Never actually present, but
usually the mastermind behind her son's delinquency, and the author of scams
such as painting an elephant yellow, so she could smuggle it into the island
disguised as a school bus (she was planning to sell elephant meat).
I won't bore you and go in detail of every chapter (those I remember anyway),
but if you have some info regarding this wonderful show, such as, who holds the
copyrights, the biography of the actors, trivia, etc, please add to this
nodeshell, or send me a /msg and I'll add it to this writeup.
"A la reja!!"