C is for Calabaza Ruperta

Doing a little bit more research for The A to Z of Spanish Culture, I came across a website dedicated to the t.v. gameshow: “Un, Dos, Tres”.

If you are of a certain age, and lived in Spain at the end of the last century, you might have spent many a Friday night watching Un, Dos, Tres. I personally remember Peruvian presenter Kiko Ledgard and then, more lucidly as I was just a little bit older, Cuban Mayra Gomez Kemp. (Interesting that both presenters weren’t Spanish.) She lasted as presenter until 1988, when the programme stopped. (Later, a new generation of presenters took over – luckily for me, I had already left the U.K.)

Many were also the different “mascotas”, my favourite being the pumpkin Ruperta, the very first mascot who also reappeared in the latest versions of the programme. This mascot injected the show with a little bit of irony, as participants could win these pumpkins, the calabaza Ruperta. They were the worst prize in the show. In Spanish there is a saying which means “piss off” involving these calabazas: “Que te den calabazas,” which literally means “I hope they give you pumpkins”.

Plenty of merchandising was released in parallel to this show, including the numerous “cromos”, kind of sticker/cards that were sold to children to collect. When I was 13, I collected many of these cromos (or were they bubblegum wraps?) featuring the second mascot, La Bota Clotilde (below), with the hope of taking my classmates on a viaje de fin de curso, end of year trip.

I never won, of course, I never win anything.

I remember the couples in the Un, Dos, Tres often won an “Apartamento en Torrevieja” and they used to be “amigos y residentes en Madrid“, when “amigos” also meant “sleeping together but not in a proper relationship so we’d better just say we are friends”. Many humorists became famous throughout Spain thanks to this programme, my personal favourites being Bigote Arrocet and Beatriz Carvajal (who was actually already well established as an actress) as the prostitute who was always jealous of “la pelos”.

So, it’s 40 years since this programme first appeared on Spanish T.V. Definitely worth a mention on this A to Z of Spanish Culture blog, even if it shows my age.


Photos and inspiration from