by Carlos Alberto Montaner
The only D. Francisco in Latin America was the host of Sábado Gigante, until Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio took that name when he assumed the Papacy. Now there are two.
Chilean-born Mario Kreutzberger is known by everyone in Latin America as “Don Francisco from Sábado Gigante,” the television program that has been on screen the longest of any show in the world’s history of that ubiquitous invention — 53 years. It seems that, finally, as everything else in this life, it will soon go off the air.
Mr. Kreutzberger did well by adopting a simple and sticky stage name. That paternal surname wouldn’t have made it easy for him to become the most successful host in Spanish-language television. Nevertheless, that surname, buried under the weight of the pseudonym he chose, perhaps explains partially another essential facet of this very admired artist: his intense philanthropic bent.