The cultural influence of Jô Soares over the last five decades, with his unforgettable characters and catchphrases, is widely known. What perhaps few remember is that it was Jô who helped put the name “UOL” in the mouths of Brazilians, back in the late 90s.
Shortly after the release of UOLin April 1996, journalist Caio Túlio Costa, then executive director of the portal, went to the talk show “Jô Onze e Meia”, on SBT, to publicize the news, which at that time was still better known as Universo Online.
The idea of giving Jô a UOL e-mail also emerged from the meeting, so that he could receive the famous letters from the spectators. The address — [email protected] — was even easy to memorize, but, at a time when few were familiar with the internet, the presenter thought it was good to create a jingle to reinforce:
If you’re standing (standing),
sitting or lying in bed (in bed)
and wanna know what it is (what’s up, what’s up)
the email of this program.
I will speak quickly,
hoping you don’t mess up.
jo at (uol) dot com dot br -uôu.
“We used uol.com.br just to say the address, but until then nobody called it UOL, it was Universo Online”, recalled Caio Túlio Costa, in an interview about UOL’s 25th anniversary celebrated in 2021. “With the help do Jô, the name stuck and everyone started just calling it UOL”.
In April 1997, Jô participated in a fun chat with the “internauts” of UOL. With his usual good humor, he did well with questions about his negotiations to return to Globo, about his new look with a beard and a supposed “drooling” from the critics over his recently released book “O Xangô de Baker Street”.
“Look, answering the question about Xangô’s reviews being great: out there too: in France, Italy, Spain, Germany… What can I do if they like it? Just drool alone.” And later he added: “Thank God there is no unanimity. They say there is a guy in Chechnya who doesn’t like me.”
The presenter didn’t lose the game of waist nor with the drops of connection, something even common when the chat with a famous guest was crowded.
“What’s up? Did everybody stop there? What happened to the Internet? Where’s the third millennium? Bottled?”
The full chat with Jô can be read here.