We could use a little 'Chico Escuela' these days
A few days ago, I read that Garrett Morris turned 87 in February.
Back in the late 1970s, Garrett Morris was on the Saturday Night Live cast. He played various roles and developed quite a following.
His career took off one Saturday night in November 1978. This is when he played Chico Escuela, a New York Mets outfielder from the Dominican Republic.
Chico became famous for one-liners: "Thank you berry much. Baseball been berry, berry good to me. Thank you. God bless you. Gracias!"
He followed that up with another great line: "Keep you eye...keep you eyes...on de ball."
And he had every one of us laughing to tears.
In fact, Chico's "berry good to me" became the basis for some of the greatest humor that I can recall.
How about "America has been berry good to me," a line that we Cubans would use whenever our coming to the U.S. would come up?
How about "my mom's food has been berry good to me"? Or "my wife has been berry good to me"?
It was an instant smash and a source of hilarious laughter. I don't remember anyone finding Chico's character offensive or anything like that.
Would that be allowed on the air today? Would it be censured for mocking a Latino baseball player? What advertisers would be contacted to boycott the segment?
We've lost something over the last 30 years since Chico made that appearance on SNL. Yes, we lost our common sense, maybe our humanity. We are now tied up in a bunch of silly P.C. restrictions that make me sick.