Thirty years ago, Mario was a TV star and Nintendo was a little less picky about how he was presented in the time before the Super Mario Bros. movie. While Mario made his animated debut on Saturday Supercade in 1983, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! gave Nintendo its first ever live-action Mario and Luigi, as well as an animated series that was loosely based on Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2.
And when we say "loosely" based, we mean very loosely!
In the latest installment of SYFY WIRE's Everything You Didn't Know series, we're taking an extended look back at The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!. And what a show it was. Former wrestler Captain Lou Albano and Danny Wells portrayed Mario and Luigi on the animated series, as well as the live-action segments that featured their "adventures" before they landed in the Mushroom Kingdom.
Those live-action scenes aren't exactly top notch, but there was a certain charm to seeing Elvira, Cyndi Lauper, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and Maurice LaMarche's Inspector Gadget ham it up on the set. A pre-Grey's Anatomy Patrick Dempsey even guest starred as a Piranha Plant! That's wild.
On Fridays, the Super Mario animated segments gave way to The Legend of Zelda, a cartoonish adaptation of Nintendo's RPG masterpiece. The usually silent Link was reimagined as a very "thirsty" hero who always wanted to get a kiss from Princess Zelda. This show was also the birthplace of the "Excuse me, princess!" meme, as it was Link’s catchphrase.
For more bizarre facts from The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, check out the entire video!