Show Toppers: Chico and the Man

Freddie Prinze and Jack Albertson are 'Chico and the Man,' 1974

Freddie Prinze and Jack Albertson are ‘Chico and the Man,’ 1974

Chico and the Man debuted on NBC in September of 1974 and ran (mostly on Friday evenings) for four seasons until July of 1978. The show was set in the Barrio District of East Los Angeles and starred young Latino comic Freddie Prinze as Chico and Jack Albertson (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) as the racist widower with a heart of gold, Ed, or “The Man.”

East L.A. cool ride, 1975 ('Chico and the Man' TV intro)

East L.A. cool ride, 1975 (‘Chico and the Man’ TV intro)

The sitcom, which also featured appearances by Scatman Crothers and Della Reese, was a ratings success and sat in the top three from fall 1975 to spring ’76. Unfortunately, things came to a tragic end when Freddie Prinze took his own life on January 28, 1977. The show struggled on, trying new twists like adding a 12-year-old to the cast, but ratings dropped and Chico and the Man was eventually canceled in the summer of ’78.

Here are the intros for the first two seasons. The first season shows the cast interacting, while the second offers up a nice view of East Los Angeles in 1975.

Chico and the Man, Season One, 1974

Chico and the Man, Season Two, 1975

Chico and the Man Wiki, IMDb

Previously, on Show Toppers: Big John, Little John

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