128. “Sounds like Charo music.”

The episode:Gamera,” ep. 302

The riff: Observed by Tom as a Latin guitar beat strikes up on the soundtrack out of nowhere. NOTE: This episode isn’t on YouTube, but here is the clip with the music.

The explanation:Charo” is the everyday name for actress/musician Maria Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza (what a mouthful). She was a household name in the 1970s, known for her odd catchphrase “Cuchi-cuchi.” As the years went on, she became something of an object of mockery, appearing on a lot of celebrity reality shows and generally fitting the stereotype of the aging sex symbol who won’t let age set in naturally. Despite this, she remains quite a talented guitarist to this day.

Novelty factor: I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I had never heard of Charo until seeing her on VH1’s “The Surreal Life” back in 2004. Those shows emphasize all the worst attributes of a person so much that I didn’t even learn she was a guitarist until this moment. How sad is that?

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5 thoughts on “128. “Sounds like Charo music.”

  1. I’m familiar with the origins of many of the riffs discussed on this blog, but I absolutely love reading the “Novelty Factor” section because it really highlights how many things I’ve filed away in my mind as Known and Eternal Pieces of [Pop] Culture that were actually very much ephemeral, to the point that people who are (I think) ten or so years younger have never heard of them.

    • It’s interesting you say that, because my boss said something similar. As he said, this blog ultimately reveals more about myself as a 26-year-old pop culture geek than it really does about MST3k. Through my shared experience of what is new to me in the “Novelty Factor,” it seems I’m giving an idea of what a 20-something might know if he or she was an avid consumer of pop-culture, both of today and yesterday. It wasn’t my intention when I started the blog, but it’s interesting that it’s developed that way.

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