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Watch: Go behind the scenes of 'SNL's dystopian 'Mario Kart' parody with Pedro Pascal
This is how you build a Mario Kart world on a very tight schedule.
Pedro Pascal's recent Saturday Night Live episode gave us plenty of memorable moments, but for gamers everywhere the most memorable was probably "Mario Kart," the gritty dystopian parody sketch that played like The Last of Us meets Mario Kart 64. It's a great mashup, and it's made even more amazing by how quickly it all had to come together.
Even when it comes to the pre-taped portions of the show, Saturday Night Live generally has to come together in the span of just six days, with the host arriving on Monday and the show's writers and crew beginning to prep sketches in the following days. According to cast member and writer Mikey Day, "Mario Kart" grew out of Pascal's involvement on the show, but also emerged as a kind of spiritual successor to a sketch called "Grouch," in which host David Harbour merged the worlds of Sesame Street and Joker. With that gritty tone in mind, a new journey into a fictional world was born.
Granted, then the SNL crew had to make it look real, and according to director Mike Diva, "Mario Kart" ranks among the most ambitious pre-tapes the show has ever attempted. From a massive production meeting Tuesday night to visual effects shots farmed out to artists around the country and sets that came together in a flash, it was a huge undertaking, but the results clearly paid off. Here, courtesy of T-Mobile, is the story of how the sketch emerged, from its conception to the way they got that hilarious banana peel shot.
And just in case you missed it, here's the original sketch, featuring post-apocalyptic versions of everyone from Peach to Toad.
"Mario Kart" may have been the biggest highlight of Pascal's episode, but it was by no means the only one. The actor also delivered "Waking Up," in which he deployed a silly voice first used on the set of The Last of Us, and "Protective Mom," in which Pascal totally committed to playing the title role.
Of course, all this Nintendo fun comes hot on the heels of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood recent opening to the general public. (Click here for ticketing options!). And then there's The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which is scheduled to open in theaters Friday, April 7. The first cinematic translation of the Mario video game franchise in almost three decades, the Illumination-animated feature features an ensemble voice cast of Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Seth Rogen, and more.