Where Does Charo’s Famous Cuchi-Cuchi Catchphrase Come From?

María del Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza, better known as Charo, spoke to students about her career in entertainment. She shared the secrets to building a name for herself through comedy and playing the flamenco guitar. Charo’s bubbly personality landed her reoccurring spots on TV shows like The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. To gain recognition in America, Charo started using her signature shimmy while saying Cuchi Cuchi. Charo’s unique way of greeting people helped boost her recognizability on TV since she couldn’t speak English well. Audiences loved the greeting so much that it stuck.

The origins of Cuchi Cuchi date back to Charo’s family dog named Cuchillo, meaning knife in Spanish. The dog had a tendency to bite people and would retreat to a hiding spot in the family home. She coined Cuchillo with the nickname Cuchi Cuchi because of the way his hind legs shimmied from side to side as he ran. Watch the full video interview with Charo to learn more about how she set herself apart as an icon in American television and beyond.

For more special guest videos, visit our YouTube channel and watch past interviews with Hollywood entertainers, executives and filmmakers.

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