Os Trapalhões

Os Trapalhões is the name of a comedy group and television series in Brazil, created by Wilton Franco. The comedy group is made up of 4 members; Dedé (Dedé Santana), Zacarias (Zacarias Gonçalves), Mussum (Carlinhos Mussum) and their leader Didi Mocó (Renato Aragão).

The name of the comedy group, ‘Os Trapalhões’, translates to ‘The Bumbling Ones’. The name is linked to the Portuguese verb ‘atrapalhar’, which means the opposite of helping or to do something the wrong way or to do that that causes confusion. The name is translated to ‘Tramps’ when English subtitles are used.

Os Trapalhões television series was originally aired by Rede Globo, with season one premiering on the 12th of March, 1977. The series consisted of several different short scenes featuring comic adventures and situations of the four protagonists, in which they opposed enemies and even each other. The television series would continue thru until the 29th of July, 1994.

Through the years, the group also played out comedy scenes involving parodies of comic book superheroes, titled ‘Os Trapalhões Super-Herois’. The comic book superheroes featured in Os Trapalhões include the Hulk, Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin, Spiderman and Superman. The Phantom was also featured.

The Phantom part was played out by Antônio Carlos Bernardes Gomes, born on the 7th of April, 1941 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and passed away on the 29th of July, 1994 in São Paulo, Brazil. Known in Brazil under the name of Carlinhos Mussum or simply Mussum, he was famous for his work as an actor and musician and of course for being a member of the Os Trapalhões comedy group.

Below we see a Os Trapalhões scene which aired in Brazil on the 20th of March, 1983.

Os Trapalhões also release several comedy movies between 1976 and 1991, at least 28 in total, featuring all comedy group members. In 2014, artist Marcos Caldas Silva created a movie style poster, which could be forgiven as a genuine poster promoting a Os Trapalhões movie, which features Carlinhos Mussum playing the part of the Phantom, amongst other characters.

A Os Trapalhões comic book series was also released by ‘Bloch Editores’ and ‘Editora Abril’ during the 1980s and 1990s. These comic books were parodies of actual characters, with the Phantom featured in several editions in 1988. Some of these editions can be seen below.

  • Os Trapalhoes #4 – 1988
  • Os Trapalhoes #14 – 1988
  • Os Trapalhoes #26 – 1988
  • Os Trapalhoes #32 – 1988