El hormiguero (TV Series 2006– )


El hormiguero (TV Series 2006– )

El Hormiguero is a Spanish television program with a live audience. The talk show features comedy, science, and interviews with world celebrities. It has been running since September 2006, and is hosted and produced by Pablo Motos.
IMDb   5.4 /10
TheMovieDb    6.2 /10
Creator Pablo Motos
Creator Jorge Salvador
Creator Fernando Acevedo
Creator Julia Alcocer
Release Date2006-09-24
Runtime2h 0mins
Content Rating
Awards7 wins & 29 nominations.
Company7 y Acción
Pablo Motos
Pablo Motos
Self - Host / ... 539 episodes, 2006-2020
Damián Molla Herman
Damián Molla Herman
Barrancas / ... 470 episodes, 2006-2020
Juan Ibáñez Pérez
Juan Ibáñez Pérez
Trancas / ... 468 episodes, 2006-2020
Jorge Marrón Martín
Jorge Marrón Martín
Self / ... 351 episodes, 2006-2020
Self / ... 295 episodes, 2006-2018
El Científico Loco / ... 243 episodes, 2006-2011

El Hormiguero

El Hormiguero (, Spanish for "The Anthill") is a Spanish television program with a live audience focusing on comedy, science, and guest interviews running since September 2006. It is hosted and produced by screenwriter Pablo Motos. The show aired on Spain's Cuatro channel from launch until June 2011 and is now broadcast on Antena 3. Recurring guests on the show include Luis Piedrahita, Raquel Martos, Marron & El Hombre de Negro ("The Man in Black") (the scientists), and puppet ants Trancas and Barrancas (from the Spanish expression "a trancas y barrancas," which means "in fits and starts"). It has proved a ratings success, and has expanded from a weekly 120-minute show to a daily 40-minute show in its third season, which began on 17 September 2007. The show won the Entertainment prize at the 2009 Rose d'Or ceremony.


The show is based on an earlier radio program, broadcast on M80 Radio, called No Somos Nadie ("We Are Nobody"). This show continued until June 2007, when Pablo Motos announced that he would be leaving the program to allow the daily production of El Hormiguero. No Somos Nadie returned in September 2007 with new on-air talent, since most of the old show's talent were part of the television show.

Segments on the show included scientific experiments, like a car running on vegetable oil, hangover cures, a superconductivity demonstration, and various chemical reaction demonstrations. Each episode features a satirical rap, commentary on current events, and humorous phrases as spoken by children. Other segments include pitches for viewers to plant trees and "El Kiosco", a section of magazine reviews. The show also airs parodies of other media, which have included Back to the Future, Pop Idol, House M.D., and Mission: Impossible. Each episode features a celebrity guest, including Boris Izaguirre, David Bisbal, Alejandro Sanz, Paulina Rubio, and numerous international celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Sergio Dalma, Ashley Tisdale or Hugh Jackman. Special guests on the show are sometimes involved throughout the episode, including taking part in the various stunts and science experiments. A number of changes to the show, including new segments such as a webcam call-in portion from viewers, were planned for the upcoming format change in the third season, however this segment and some others like training of wild monkeys were removed, the first one due to the amount of time needed and the second one due to low popularity among the audience.

A segment that was later introduced is "Extreme Survival", that features "El maestro empanao" (which roughly translates as "Master Dumbass") Marron and the host Pablo Motos testing out tips and hints on how to survive extreme situations or conditions (such as how to survive being overrun by a car, trapped in a falling lift, attacked by a pack of wolves, etc.). Another segment includes Trancas and Barrancas making fun of the day's news. A satirical news show in which puppets read the news, Las noticias del guiñol, formerly aired on Cuatro.

International attention

The show first received international attention in 2006 for having people walk across a swimming pool filled with a non-Newtonian fluid, a suspension of cornstarch and water called oobleck, that was mixed in a cement truck. This experiment was performed in an October 2006 episode of the show and was repeated with a new batch of oobleck on the Christmas Eve special episode due to its popularity. In 2007, Cuatro signed an agreement with YouTube that allows clips from Cuatro programs, including El Hormiguero, to be showcased on the site. In 2009, El Hormiguero was awarded as the best entertainment program in the international Rose d'Or awards. The win was the fourth time a Spanish program has received the award, the first since 1994.

Since 2008, the show has received a large number of appearances from international celebrities.

In addition, sometimes, Pablo Motos moved to other countries for interviewing notable people in them. This was the case of the interviews conducted by Motos to Hugh Laurie (in Los Angeles), to Rey Misterio (in United States) or Will Smith and Jaden Smith (in his fourth and second interview with Motos, respectively, in London). Also interview Will Smith with Margot Robbie.

After Jesse Eisenberg spoke negatively about his experience as guest on El Hormiguero, in an interview with Conan O'Brien on TBS's Conan, Pablo Motos gave a humorous retort to the actor and the American talk-show host from the Spanish program.

In 2011, El Hormiguero was nominated to an International Emmy Award in the Non-scripted entertainment category, but didn't win.

As told in the 16 January broadcast, Pablo Motos was offered Santiago Segura's Spanish character on Jack & Jill by Adam Sandler himself, who has been a guest on El Hormiguero on several occasions. Motos couldn't speak English, so the offer flustered him, but when he was ready to decline it, some of the show producers spoke with Sandler about the idea, reaching an agreement: They would send a screen test with Pablo performing his lines, learned by phonetic sounds. Jorge Ventosa, one of the producers, performed Sandler's female role. Motos and Segura (who is a frequent collaborator) decided to broadcast the audition during an interview on the programme, promoting the release of the movie.

In 2009, Siete y Acción licensed the show's format to Grundy Italy, an Italian production company, to produce a local version of the show. Also in 2009, a Chilean and a Brazilian versions were produced only to meet bad reviews in both countries. In 2010 was released the Mexican version of the talkshow. It was produced during two seasons but was unexpectedly canceled during the second seasons due austerity plan of Azteca TV. In 2013 there was an attempt by Will Smith to move the format to the United States, which acquired the rights, showing interest in the NBC or CBS networks, but it did not materialize.


  • Pablo Motos – Himself – Host
  • Juan Ibáñez Pérez – Himself – Trancas Petancas
  • Damián Molla Herman – Himself – Barrancas
  • Pablo Ibáñez Pérez – El Hombre de Negro (The Man in Black). He left the program in March 2017.
  • Enrique Pérez Vergara – "Flipy", El científico loco (The Mad Scientist) (Until 5th season)
  • Jandro – Super-Fan, El experto en todo (The expert in everything) and Contador de chistes con carteles (Jokes with posters) (5th season)
  • Mario Vaquerizo – Himself
  • Raquel Martos González – Herself
  • Luis Piedrahita – El rey de las cosas pequeñas (The King of Little Things) and "Mago que revela sus propios trucos" (Magician that reveals his own tricks) (5th season)
  • Jorge Marrón Martín – El Maestro Empanao (The Dumbass Master), "El efecto mariposa" (The Butterfly effect), "El científico" (5th Season, The Scientist)
  • Yibing: She first appeared on 24 January 2017, and she shows the curiosities of China. She replaces Anna Simon after her absence.
  • Mónica Cruz: She participates in the 12th edition of the programme. Her section is called Mónica cool, where she teaches how to survive in the last trends.
  • Miguel Ángel Revilla
  • Cristina Pardo: Her section is called Podría ser peor, where she analyzes the news.
  • Joaquín Sánchez
  • Cristina Pedroche
  • Antonio Resines: His section is called "El juez Resines".


1Cuatro3524 September 20063 June 20071,127,0009.7%
215217 September 20079 June 20081,747,0009.7%
32011 September 200829 June 20091,988,00011%
416931 August 20097 July 20101,610,0008.7%
516426 August 201030 June 20111,517,0008.1%
6Antena 31805 September 201112 July 20122,199,00011.3%
71853 September 20124 July 20132,254,00011.2%
81602 September 201317 July 20142,451,00012.8%
91621 September 20149 July 20152,609,00013.5%
1015731 August 201511 July 20162,887,00015.4%
111545 September 20165 July 20172,696,00014.8%
121614 September 2017July 20182.783.00015,0%
131633 September 2018July 20192.561.00014,4%
141622 September 20192 July 20203.906.000
157 September 2020July 2021