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The Cisco Kid
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TV Series
    (March 6, 1950-March 22, 1956)
    Born in United States
    Originally aired on first-run syndication, produced by Ziv Television Programs
    Duncan Renaldo as The Cisco Kid
    Leo Carrillo as Poncho
    Diablo as Cisco's Horse
    Loco as Poncho's Horse
    Created by J. Benton Cheney and Barry Cohon, based on the short story by O Henry, 'The Caballero's Way'
    Also based on the popular 'Cisco Kid' comic strip, radio program, and serial movies
    Every episode, the narrator introduced the show by saying 'Here's O Henry's famous Robin Hood of the Old West,' even though the show's character bore little resemblance to the character O Henry wrote about (a murderous criminal).
    It ripped off the 'Lone Ranger' format.
    It promoted negative stereotypes about Latinos, particularly through the buffoonish Poncho character.
    Predictably, modern viewers read homoerotic subtexts in Cisco's relationship with Poncho where there aren't any ('ohh, Cisco!').
    Leo Carrillo's drawn out line, 'ohh Cisco,' spoken in a child-like manner whenever he's confused, became a racist catchphrase for American audiences.
    It was the first television program to be filmed in color, but most Americans couldn't view it in color until after its syndicated run (when color television sets became accessible).
    It was reworked into a TV-movie by TNT, starring Jimmy Smits as Cisco and Cheech Marin as Poncho (who else).
    Many episodes ended with Poncho telling a cringe-inducing unfunny joke, with the entire cast laughing hysterically at it.
    During the filming of the third season, Duncan Renaldo was seriously injured in a rock fall accident.
    As a result, Renaldo was hospitalized through the next six episodes, requiring Renaldo to record voiceovers and shoot closeups from his hospital bed when they weren't relying on stand-ins or plot devices requiring Cisco to be masked.
    Duncan Renaldo was banned by the network from using the Cisco character to make a modest profit for himself.
    It was the first television show to feature Latino protagonists, preceding 'I Love Lucy' by a year.
    Many Latinos who grew up watching the show have cited Cisco as a positive role model.
    It set the precedent for Disney's 'Zorro' franchise.
    By 1955, it was the most popular show among children, surpassing the ratings juggernaut, 'Howdy Doody.'
    Despite its significance, it has yet to attain a full-scale DVD release for its six seasons.
    It was the basis for Nash Candelaria's popular short story, 'The Day the Cisco Kid Shot John Wayne.'
    It was nominated for an Emmy in Children's Programming in 1953.
    It was the last major project for Leo Carrillo, after a decades long career.
    Renaldo and Carrillo had excellent chemistry together.
    It was good, wholesome entertainment, ending each episode with Cisco and Poncho waving goodbye to the audience before riding off into the sunset.
    It was inspiration for both the Deep Purple song, 'Hey Cisco,' and the Don Williams folk song, 'Pancho.'
    It is hilariously parodied in an episode of 'Hill Street Blues' in which Martin Ferrero deludes himself into thinking he's Duncan Renaldo playing the Cisco Kid, mistaking Rene Enriquez for Leo Carrillo (fittingly the episode is titled, 'Here's Adventure, Here's Romance' as homage to the show's intro).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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