|The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!|
|Directed by||Dan Riba|
|Narrated by||Lou Albano (cartoons only)|
|Theme music composer|
|Opening theme||"The Mario Rap", performed by Lou Albano and Danny Wells|
|Ending theme||"Do the Mario", performed by Lou Albano|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes|
|Running time||20 minutes|
|Distributor||Viacom Enterprises (United States)|
Saban International (Internationally)
|Original network||First-run syndication|
|Audio format||Dolby Surround 5.1|
|Original release||September 4 –|
December 1, 1989
|Followed by||The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990)|
|Related shows||The Legend of Zelda (1989)|
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! is a 1989 American television series, conceived by Andy Heyward, produced by DIC Enterprises and Saban Entertainment, and distributed by Viacom Enterprises in the United States, airing from September 4 to December 1, 1989 on syndication. The series was based upon Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2, and was the first of three television series to be based upon the Mario video game series.
Each episode consists of live-action segments starring WWF/WWE Hall of Famer Capt. Lou Albano as Mario and Danny Wells as Luigi alongside a special guest, either as themselves or a character for the segments. The remainder of the program is dedicated to animated stories of Super Mario Bros., starring the voices of Albano and Wells in their respective roles alongside Jeannie Elias, John Stocker and Harvey Atkin. For every Friday and the remaining episodes of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, it was accompanied by animated serials of The Legend of Zelda, based on the video game of the same name, and starring the voices of Jonathan Potts as Link, Cynthia Preston as Princess Zelda and Len Carlson as Ganon, until the conclusion of the television series.
- 1 Premise
- 2 Voice cast
- 3 Production
- 4 Reruns
- 5 Home media
- 6 Reception
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Premise[edit | edit source]
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show![edit | edit source]
The premise of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! focused upon Mario and Luigi being two Italian-American plumbers from Brooklyn, New York. In the animated serials of Super Mario Bros., per the series' opening titles, the pair accidentally warped into the Mushroom Kingdom while working on a bathtub drain for a customer (as was re-iterated in the episode "Toddler Terrors of Time Travel" in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3). Upon their arrival, each episode begins with Mario reciting an entry into his "Plumber's Log" (a parody of the Captain's Log from Star Trek  ) prior to both himself and Luigi helping out Princess Toadstool (Jeannie Elias) and Toad (John Stocker) in defeating King Koopa (Harvey Atkin) from taking over the Kingdom with a sinister plot in a parody of a book, movie or a historical event.
Each episode's plot featured characters and situations based upon the NES games Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2, as well as several sound effects and musical cues from both games. Some plots often involved parodies of movies or pop culture references of the time. Despite making use of the games, some episodes featured inconsistencies between the serials and the video games - one example was that the animated serials saw Mario receive his fire-powers from a Star power-up, when in the game the power-up grants temporary invincibility.
Stories for the live-action segments of Mario Bros. Plumbing take place mainly before those of the animated serials.
The Legend of Zelda[edit | edit source]
The premise of the Legend of Zelda focused on the hero Link (Jonathan Potts) helping Princess Zelda (Cynthia Preston) to defend the kingdom of Hyrule from the evil wizard Ganon (Len Carlson), by preventing him from owning the Triforce through thwarting his schemes or those of his underlings. Many elements of the serials were based upon the NES game The Legend of Zelda. It is one of few Zelda productions to feature the character of Link being able to fully talk - the others in the Zelda franchise being the CD-i games, the manga series, the comic series, and episodes of Captain N: The Game Master (the latter following the conclusion of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, and based upon the NES game Zelda II: The Adventure of Link) - with episodes often featuring the character using the sarcastic catchphrase "Well, excuse me, Princess!" (which later went on to become a popular meme) and a running gag involving Link failing to get Zelda to kiss him for his heroic deeds.
Voice cast[edit | edit source]
Super Mario Bros. cast[edit | edit source]
Additional voices[edit | edit source]
The Legend of Zelda Voice cast[edit | edit source]
Additional voices[edit | edit source]
Guest stars[edit | edit source]
Lou Albano appeared as himself in "Captain Lou Is Missing." There was no trick photography—Mario was out of the shop when he entered and remained out until the end of the episode.
Production[edit | edit source]
History and development[edit | edit source]
Before the series was conceived, Andy Heyward, the then-CEO of DIC Enterprises, spent about a year trying to convince Nintendo to license the characters. In an interview with USA Today, Heyward said "The Mario Bros. is such a unique property we had to do it in a different way...We wanted to do a cartoon but also do a show that extended beyond the cartoon." In February 1989, it was announced that the show would premiere in September 1989. To promote the series, Lou Albano appeared on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee in May 1989 with his beard shaven. When the series first aired, it was distributed by Viacom Enterprises and was marketed by MTV.
In David Sheff's book Game Over, Bill White, the then-director of advertising and public relations for Nintendo, said that the purpose of the television series was to "boost awareness of the characters."
Format[edit | edit source]
Each episode of the program consisted of two live action segments, one at the start and the other towards the end, dubbed Mario Bros. Plumbing, in which Lou Albano (a professional wrestler and manager at the time) and Danny Wells portrayed the roles of Mario and Luigi respectively in comedic story accompanied by a laugh track. These segments involved a celebrity guest star joining the pair, either as themselves or as a character connected to the segment's plot, who were often a popular television star or professional athlete (including WWE (then WWF) stars of the time); such guests included Nedra Volz, Norman Fell, Donna Douglas, Eve Plumb, Vanna White, Lyle Alzado and Magic Johnson.
Alongside guest stars, both Albano and Wells portrayed additional characters in a number of episodes related to Mario and Luigi. In one episode, Albano played as himself, but had to make the character of Mario absent for this to work, while in a number of episodes the pair were joined by Maurice LaMarche in the live-action role of the animated character Inspector Gadget (making it the first appearance of the character in live-action, predating the live-action film by ten years), before his eventual role in voicing the character in Inspector Gadget's Last Case and Gadget & the Gadgetinis. In an interview for Shout! Factory's first DVD release of the show in 2006—which exclude some episodes that involved Cassandra Peterson as Elvira—alongside Gadget's second appearance and a few other episodes, Albano stated that filming of the live-action segments involved mainly himself and Wells receiving a central plot and mostly improvising the dialogue as they went along.
The rest of the episode in-between these live-action segments were dedicated to animated serials. For the majority of episodes, between Monday and Thursday, each episode of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! featured an animated serial of the Super Mario Bros., which both Albano and Wells voiced their respective characters. A total of 52 serials were aired under this schedule until November 16, 1989. For every subsequent Friday, the animated segments consisted of serials of The Legend of Zelda, with scenes featuring during the live-action segments on the preceding Super Mario Bros. Super Show! episodes during the week, and then broadcast as sneak peeks. A total of 13 serials were aired under this schedule, and following November 16, were repeated for the remaining episodes of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! until its eventual conclusion.
Songs[edit | edit source]
Each episode featured two main theme songs used during its broadcast:
During the remainder of the episodes, during the animated segments, a song taken from one of the notable singles from popular singers, songwriters, and musical artists of the era, would be used to accompany a scene of the serial. When the program was re-released onto DVD in North America, these songs were replaced instrumentals of songs from The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and one song from Super Mario World.
Reruns[edit | edit source]
Club Mario[edit | edit source]
The first set of reruns of the program were aired during the 1990-1991 TV season, again in syndication, but with significant changes in the format. While it retained the program's original scheduling arrangement of broadcasts and the animated serials of Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, the live-action segments of Albano and Wells were replaced in 1990 with a new continuity of five-minute live-action segments, entitled Club Mario. The format for these segments focused on a new set of characters - Mario-obsessed teenagers Tommy Treehugger (played by Chris Coombs) and Co-MC (played by Michael Anthony Rawlins) - "commandeering" the "satellite signal" of the Super Show (despite the reality of the show going out on tapes to stations well in advance) and goofing around. The two were regularly visited by Tommy's annoying sister Tammy (Victoria Delaney), the aptly named Dr. Know-It-All (Kurt Weldon), Co-MC's evil twin Eric (also played by Rawlins), and a guest star. The segment featured a one-to-two-minute viewing of Space Scout Theater/Spaced Out Theater hosted by Princess Centauri (portrayed by Shanti Kahn), which was sourced and edited from the science fiction children television series Photon. In at least one episode, they picked on Andy Heyward (as himself) in the DiC offices.
Cast[edit | edit source]