Venezuelan comedian and television personality Pedro Alberto Martínez Conde, better known as “Perucho Conde”, died at the age of 89, his family confirmed on Saturday, November 4th, 2023. Conde had been hospitalized in recent days in the state of Aragua due to declining health.
His death represents a major loss for the world of Venezuelan entertainment and comedy.
Background on Perucho Conde’s Life and Career
Perucho Conde was born in 1934 in the San Agustin neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela. From a young age, he displayed a talent for humor and poetry, getting his start performing comedy on the radio in Venezuela in the 1960s.
He went on to appear in numerous popular Venezuelan television shows beginning in the 1970s, including:
- Radio Rochela on RCTV
- El Programa Sin Nombre
- Chisparates y Perucho
- Perucho y Veneranda
- Cheverísimo on Venevisión
Conde was known for his sharp, biting satirical humor and his loud, infectious laugh. Some of his most famous recurring comedic characters included “La Cotorra Criolla,” a rapping parrot who made rhymes about current events, and “Don Goyo Repollo”.
In addition to his television work, Conde was also a pioneer of Spanish-language rap music, recording songs like “La Cotorra” and “La Vaca” in the 1980s that incorporated elements of traditional Venezuelan folk music. His unique musical-comedic fusion left a lasting impact on Latin American pop culture.
Conde worked steadily in Venezuelan television through the 1990s. He officially retired from public life in the early 2000s.
Reactions to Perucho Conde’s Death
News of Perucho Conde’s passing quickly went viral on social media, with generations of Venezuelan fans and celebrities mourning the loss of a national comedy icon.
Fellow Venezuelan TV personality Esteban Trapiello wrote on social media: “Perucho Conde has died! A great Venezuelan artist who I met in my youth…His memory will be eternal.”
Many mourners emphasized Conde’s immense contributions to Venezuelan culture and his ability to unite people through laughter. Comedy troupe Radio Rochela, where Conde got his start, said his “good humor and creativity were innate” and that he “made Venezuelans laugh for decades.”
However, Conde’s career was also marred by serious sexual assault allegations made in 2021 by Venezuelan actress Grecia Augusta Rodriguez, who claimed Conde abused her as a child at Venevisión studios in the 1980s. Conde vigorously denied the allegations, but some believe it affected his legacy.
Perucho Conde’s Lasting Impact on Venezuelan Entertainment
Despite the controversial allegations late in his life, most Venezuelan celebrities and fans focused on mourning Conde’s immense cultural influence.
With his decades-long career in TV and music, Conde became a household name across generations of Venezuelan families. His characters like La Cotorra Criolla embedded themselves into the pop culture lexicon.
As one of Venezuela’s first rappers and pioneers of merging traditional folk styles with hip-hop, he paved the way for future Latin rap artists.
Conde’s imprint on Venezuelan comedy remains strong, seen in the work of modern comedians who grew up watching him on RCTV and Venevisión. Many credit Conde with bringing national pride and identity to Venezuelan humor during his peak in the 1970s and 80s.
While his loss is felt deeply, Perucho Conde’s legacy of laughter and musical innovation will live on for years to come.
What Happens Next?
In the coming days, further details on memorial services and tributes to Perucho Conde are expected from his family and representatives in the Venezuelan entertainment industry.
Venezuelan television networks like Venevisión and Radio Caracas Television will likely air retrospectives and archival footage to honor Conde’s seminal work that shaped those stations’ histories.
There is also anticipation that Venezuelan rappers and hip-hop artists will pay musical tribute to Conde’s influence on their genre. Some artists have already changed their social media profile photos to images of Conde or lyrics from his songs.
While his loss left a hole in Venezuelan popular culture, Perucho Conde’s pioneering comedy and music career ensured his lasting impact for generations. Venezuelans will continue laughing along to the sounds of “La Cotorra Criolla” and remembering one of their nation’s most cherished entertainers.