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On March 8, 2021, a clown died after battling spinal cancer. His name was Cepillin.
Born Ricardo Gonzalez Gutierrez and hailing from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Cepillin was first a dentist. Because children were very scared of the dentist for obvious reasons, Gutierrez began painting his face so that the kids would not be afraid while Gutierrez worked on their teeth. Cepillin means “Little Toothbrush.” Fame then came to Cepillin after an interview from local TV.
Cepillin’s fame exploded in 1977 when Televisa produced his show El Show de Cepillin. It was educational, filled with comedy, and had interviews with celebrities including Lou Ferrigno! He then became the most famous clown in all Latin America with his show being broadcast almost all around.
What cemented Cepillin’s career was his music. Out of his catalog of 27 albums for children, 11 of them reached gold. Some of his most famous songs were the classic “La feria de Cepillin” , “En la bosque de la China” , “Un dia con Mama” ,and “La gallina co-co-ua” .There was even an album cover of the Bee Gee’s Saturday Night Fever album called Cepillin Night Fever; the track “Fiebre del Cepillin ‘Night Fever” is a cover of “Night Fever” made famous by the Bee Gees.
From 1982 to 2006 Cepillin had major success with his circus, touring throughout Mexico and the United States. Through his influence, he made stars out of younger artists: singer Yuri and actress Salma Hayek had their start because of Cepillin’s suggestions to producers.
Cepillin will be remembered as the clown who gave dentists a good name as well as an icon to children of all ages. His two sons, Ricardo Gonzalez Jr. (Cepi) and Roberto Gonzalez (Franky) continue their father’s work.