Lo Sabe, No Lo Sabe


Our new(-ish) favorite game show is called Lo Sabe, No Lo Sabe. If you speak even a little bit of Spanish, you’ll know that this translates roughly to He/She Knows, He/She Doesn’t Know. It’s one of those rare instances in which the Spanish version is shorter and more concise.

Juanra Bonet

This show began on July 30, 2012, and is broadcasted on the Spanish television channel Cuatro (Four) and hosted by Juanra (short for Juan Ramón) Bonet. Juanra (Twitter) is hilarious and makes the show as funny and entertaining as possible. The show is an adaptation of the original Israeli game show Smart Face.

How does the show work?

Juanra and his crew walk around the city looking for their next victim—okay, contestant—from among the passers-by. The contestant who agrees to participate is presented with a question, but they are not allowed to answer the questions for themselves. They must find someone to answer the question for them.

But—here’s the catch!—the person isn’t always supposed to actually know the answer to the question. Let’s refer to the show’s title: Lo Sabe, No Lo Sabe. Sometimes the selected answerer should know; sometimes he or she should not know. You will often hear contestants asking Juanra, “Tiene que saberlo/no saberlo, ¿no?



Usually, it goes a little something like this: if the person should know the question, it’s more difficult. If the person should not know, it’s easier. Obviously, the easiness/difficulty of the questions increase as the quantity of money to be won gets greater.

Lo Sabe No Lo Sabe Pregunta

This question (source), for example, is worth €100 and is quite easy for any educated Spaniard. So she just has to find someone who knows it.

Once the contestant has reached €1000, he/she has the option to plantarse, leave with the money and go on his/her merry way. However, the contestant may also continue to win either €3000 or €6000, depending on whether Juanra is wearing the red tie (or red scarf if it’s cold). The contestant then chooses whether they want a Lo Sabe or a No Lo Sabe question. If they choose lo sabe, it’s usually quite difficult, and if they choose no lo sabe, it’s much easier.

How do they choose whom to ask?

Well, how would you choose? Do stereotypes always hold true? Sometimes they do; sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you ask a young person a question that most young people aren’t likely to know, and they know it. Sometimes an elderly person surprises you with his/her knowledge of popular culture. It just depends.

Mario and I like to guess who we might ask based on the question. For example, last night, in a quest to win €6000, a man choose no lo sabe, confident in the “ignorance” of people, which is generally a good bet. The question was: “Which famous extraterrestrial in the movies said, ‘Phone home’?” Even I know this, and I haven’t seen the movie (released before I was born, okay?). And so this guy goes and asks a man who seems to be about late 50s, early 60s! I was astounded at this, because I would have asked someone who seemed to be about 18 years old, a person not as likely to have seen the film!

LSNLS Toledo

Luckily, this guy still had his emergency call. So he ended up winning and taking home the €6000. But sheesh. (See it here.)

I Couldn’t Win

I couldn’t win this, at least not in Spain. A lot of times the questions are, naturally, based on Spanish popular culture, children’s songs, celebrities from Mario’s childhood and earlier, and I have no idea what they are talking about. Sometimes they are more general, but not always. I suppose I could end up winning by accident, but I’m not as sure. I need a US-centric version to be sure!

Have you seen this show?

9 thoughts on “Lo Sabe, No Lo Sabe

  1. I like that show, but I don’t catch it very often – I find that watching games shows like Ahora Caigo and Atrapa un Millión are great for learning Spanish and I also get some extra cultural info

    1. True, they are! I just don’t find them as interesting. Pasapalabra is impossible to follow. My mother-in-law loves the “rosca” so she always puts on subtitles, but I’m still flummoxed by it 99% of the time!

  2. I hadn’t seen this one before — I don’t think it was on the air when I lived in Spain. I watched a few episodes online and think it’s great! Makes for good TV. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I just started watching this and I am obsessed! Juanra is so cute.

    I’m sadly never going to get asked to participate. Every time a contestant wants to ask a blonde person, they always say ‘guiri total’ and shoot them down. Ah well!

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