via press release:
“SABADO GIGANTE” CELEBRATES WORLD-RECORD BREAKING 53-YEAR TV RUN IN UNFORGETTABLE, EMOTION-FILLED, STAR-STUDDED FINAL SHOW
MIAMI, FL – SEPTEMBER 20, 2015 – With more than a thousand loyal fans in the studio and outside along the Golden Carpet, Univision Network’s “Sábado Gigante – ¡Hasta Siempre!” (Giant Saturday – Forever!) final telecast more than lived up to its name. The live, 3-hour show provided viewers an emotion-filled evening celebrating the show that has been a Saturday night tradition in millions of Hispanic households around the globe for more than 53 years.
Host and creator Mario Kreutzberger, known the world over as Don Francisco, led the festivities as he welcomed a parade of stars who got their start on the “Sábado Gigante” stage, former cast members, and numerous dignitaries who came to recognize the legendary host and program.
Opening the show, viewers were treated to a musical number entitled “Gracias a la Vida” (Thanks to Life) featuring an international cast of singers including Colombian songstress Carolina La O, ex-Menudo member and actor Alexis Grullon, “Va Por Ti” (This One’s for You) finalist Fernando Corona, “Viva el Sueño” (Live the Dream) finalist Fedro, “Sábado Gigante” singers Bea, Olga Lidia and Muriel, as well a children’s chorus comprised of “Estrellas del Futuro” (Stars of the Future) winner Mateo Yunga and finalists Jazmín Lujan and Adrián Ángel.
In a special moment, the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, along with the First Lady Michelle Obama, sent a congratulatory message to Don Francisco and the cast of “Sábado Gigante.”
Musical performances throughout the show included; Puerto Rican pop star Luis Fonsi singing “Corazón en la Maleta;” Regional Mexican idol Espinoza Paz, Norteño supergroup Intocable performing “El Poder de tus Manos;” Colombian singer/songwriter Juanes singing “Volverte a ver;” and Italian recording artist and current “La Banda” judge Laura Pausini interpreting “Inolvidable.” In addition, Puerto Rican reggeaton sensation Daddy Yankee presented a special number live from his concert at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Other celebrity tributes were offered by superstar recording artists Shakira, Marc Anthony, Enrique Iglesias, and an emotion-filled final segment featuring Gloria Estefan performing a song co-written with her husband Emilio especially for the evening’s festivities entitled “Hasta Siempre” (Forever).
Between musical numbers, a seemingly unending parade of past cast members and other stars who attributed the start of their careers to “Sábado Gigante” paid homage by recalling their experiences with the show. Former members of the “Clan Infantil” (Children’s Panel) made appearances including current co-anchor of Univision’s newsmagazine “Primer Impacto” (First Impact) Pamela Silva Conde, telenovela actress Sherlyn, Press Secretary for the Los Angeles Mayor’s office Connie Llanos, Univision Radio personality José Felipe Padrón, and recent heart transplant recipient Daniela Núñez making her first return appearance on the show.
In addition, a special celebrity edition of the show’s popular talent search segment featuring El Chacal de la Trompeta showcased the talents of “Primer Impacto” correspondent Tony Dandrades, actor/singer Eduardo Antonio, former panelist Luis Alfonso Borrego, “Sal y Pimienta” co-host Carlos Calderón, actress/singer and former “Sábado Gigante” spokesmodel Sissi Fleitas, Venezuelan singer Karolina con K, and Zuleyka Rivera, 2006 Miss Universe and current host of the UniMás show “Revista de Zuleyka.”
In another salute to the program’s games and prize giveaways, three brand new automobiles were awarded to lucky participants, including two vehicles presented by longtime sponsor Gus Machado who started tradition by giving away the first auto in the U.S. show’s history.
Among the dignitaries who appeared to pay tribute were Dr. Carissa Etienne, Director of the World Health Organization, President of Miami-Dade College, Eduardo Padrón, who presented Don Francisco the Presidential Medal, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, recalling her first-ever interview as a newly elected Congresswoman, and a presentation of the 4th certificate from Carlos Martinez of the Guinness World Records once again designating “Sábado Gigante” as the longest-running variety show in television history. In addition, Univision News anchor Jorge Ramos recognized “Sábado Gigante” for its immense contribution and importance to the Hispanic community in the United States.
After some final words from the host, the show’s final segment concluded appropriately with Don Francisco leading his cast and crew down the Golden Carpet among his adoring fans, who have been such an integral part of the show throughout the years, as they boarded a bus specially decorated with the “Hasta Siempre” (Forever) logo and rode off into television history.