CHICO AND THE MAN - THE COMPLETE SERIES (NBC 1974-78) VERY RARE!!! Freddie Prinz, Jack Albertson, Scatman Crothers, Della Reese, Gabriel Melgar, Charo
This 12-disc set contains all 88 episodes of the NBC 70s hit sitcom Chico and the Man that aired on NBC for four seasons from September 13, 1974 to July 21, 1978. It starred Jack Albertson as Ed Brown (the Man), the cantankerous owner of a run-down garage in an East Los Angeles barrio, and (until his suicide late in the third season) Freddie Prinze as Chico Rodriguez, an upbeat, optimistic young Chicano who comes in looking for a job.
The show was created by James Komack, who produced other successful TV shows such as The Courtship of Eddie's Father and Welcome Back, Kotter. Freddie Prinze was discovered by Komack after he appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in December 1973. Komack thought he would be perfect for the role of Chico Rodriguez.
After Prinze's death, the producers considered canceling the show, but opted instead to try replacing the character. To write Chico out of the script, they had the other characters comment that he had gone to visit his father in Mexico. The third season finished out with episodes focusing on the other characters in the show.
Early in the fourth season, a replacement for Chico was introduced. Instead of an adult, the producers brought in 12-year-old Raul, played by Gabriel Melgar. His first appearance came when Ed and Louie go on a fishing trip to Tijuana and find the Mexican orphan hiding out in their trunk on their return. At the end of this episode, Ed is putting Raul to bed and accidentally calls him Chico. Raul corrects him and Ed remarks, "You're all Chicos to me." Ed eventually adopts Raul, only to have Raul's overprotective Aunt Charo – played by the singer Charo – come from Spain and try to become a part of the "family", as well.
A two-part episode ran in the final season in which Raul discovers Chico's belongings in a closet. Ed catches Raul playing Chico's guitar and Ed smashes it on the van in anger. Raul believes Ed does not love him anymore and runs away to Mexico. Ed goes after him and finally explains to Raul that Chico died, but did not say how, putting a measure of closure on the fate of Chico in the series.