Mexican actor Edgar Vivar brought his most famous character, Mr. Belly, back to life in a commercial released this week by Serasa. The credit analysis firm used the owner of the village of Chaves to offer ease of payment for the debts, entitled to a receipt of “14 months” in the presentation.
The line is a reference to a persistent situation in “Chaves”. For most of the series, Mr. Barriga tried to collect the overdue rent from Seu Madruga (Ramón Valdés), who was always in debt for 14 months.
To pay off the debt, Chiquinha’s father turned around 30, finding work as a mechanic, shoemaker, hairdresser, plasterer, painter and even tried to receive a reward for returning the dog he had stolen. But he never managed to lower the charge.
Indeed, in one episode Mr. Barriga evicted Seu Madruga and Chiquinha, after completing 15 months late. But then he repented, realizing that he had nowhere to go. Eventually, the landlord forgave the entire debt, making up the story of making money by betting against Seu Madruga in a boxing match lost by the tenant.
Even off-air due to a disagreement between Mexican network Televisa and the heirs of Roberto Gómez Bolaños (creator of Chaves), the series remains popular enough to lead Vivar, aged 73, to revisit its famous debt collector.
It’s a little different: older, thinner and with a beard that didn’t exist before. But his voice is the same: that of the official voice actor of the series character, Gustavo Berriel.