The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!
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|The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!|
|Directed by||Dan Riba|
|Narrated by||Lou Albano (cartoons only)|
|Theme music composer|
|Opening theme||"Plumber Rap", performed by Lou Albano and Danny Wells|
|Ending theme||"Do the Mario", performed by Lou Albano|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||65 (52 Mario, 13 Zelda) (list of episodes)|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|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 an American television series based upon Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2. It is the first of three TV shows based on the video game series, with the other being The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. It was originally broadcast via first-run syndication from September 4, 1989 to December 1, 1989, with reruns continuing until September 6, 1991. The Family Channel picked up the series on September 23, 1991, and aired it until August 26, 1994. The show was produced by DiC Animation and was distributed by Viacom Enterprises in association with Nintendo of America, Inc., DHX Media, the successor company of Cookie Jar Entertainment and DiC, is the current distributor.
- 1 Format
- 2 Club Mario
- 3 Mario All Stars
- 4 Songs
- 5 Cast
- 6 Home video releases
- 7 Reception
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Mario Bros. Plumbing
The first and last parts of each episode were live segments which showed Mario (professional wrestler and manager Captain Lou Albano) and Luigi (Danny Wells), two Italian-American plumbers living in Brooklyn, where they would often be visited by celebrity guest stars. It appears that the live segments take place before Mario and Luigi went to the Mushroom Kingdom.
Some of the celebrity guest stars were popular television stars, such as Nedra Volz, Norman Fell, Donna Douglas, Eve Plumb, Vanna White, Jim Lange, Danica McKellar, Nicole Eggert, Clare Carey and Brian Bonsall or professional athletes such as Lyle Alzado and Magic Johnson and WWE (then WWF) stars like Roddy Piper and Sgt. Slaughter. In one episode, Ernie Hudson appeared as a Slimebuster, a parody of his Ghostbusters persona Winston Zeddemore and on another occasion Mario and Luigi receive a visit from Inspector Gadget, performed live by Maurice LaMarche who voiced Chief Quimby in the second season of the show and later went on to voice Gadget himself in Inspector Gadget's Last Case and Gadget & the Gadgetinis. There was also another episode with Cassandra Peterson as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, but the episode was not included in the DVDs. In an interview for the first DVD release of the show, Lou Albano talked about filming these live action skits, which mainly involved he and Wells getting a central plot and mostly improvising the dialogue as they went along.
In one episode, Lou Albano portrays himself, forcing his regular character to leave the scene in order for himself to appear. In the episode in question, pop star Cyndi Lauper states she's looking for Lou Albano because he's missing, due to the note she got from him (although there is an important part missing from the note). Mario exclaims how much he wants to meet Lou, and later Lou appears as himself supposedly while Mario's out shopping for pizza. As a result, Luigi gets to meet Lou, but Mario does not.
Lou Albano and Danny Wells also once played female versions of themselves, Marianne and Luigeena (their cousins), and also two hillbilly cousins, named Mario Joe and Luigi Bob.
Super Mario Bros.
Each Super Mario Bros. cartoon served as the second segment of every show, following the introduction and first few minutes of the episode's live-action segment. The cartoon 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 the two games. Each episode featured Mario, Luigi, Toad and Princess Toadstool defending the Mushroom Kingdom from the reptilian villain King Koopa, often in a movie or pop-culture parody. Getting into the spirit of these parodies, Koopa often used alter egos fitting the current theme.
The theme song for the cartoon segments revealed that the Super Mario Brothers were accidentally warped into the Mushroom Kingdom while working on a bathtub drain in Brooklyn. After traveling via the warp drain, the Super Mario Brothers defeated King Koopa's Koopa Troopas, saved Princess Toadstool and halted Koopa's plan to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom. At the beginning of every cartoon segment, Mario recites an entry into his "Plumber's Log", a parody of the Captain's Log from Star Trek.
When Mario and Luigi are in danger, they often do their Patty-Cake routine: "Patty-cake, Patty-cake, Pasta-Man! Gimme Pasta power as quick as you can!" then everything becomes possible.
The Super Mario Bros. cartoons aired four days a week, from Monday through Thursday.
The Legend of Zelda
On every Friday episode of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, a cartoon based on The Legend of Zelda video game series was featured instead of the Super Mario Bros. cartoons, in which the Hylian hero Link and Princess Zelda battled against the forces of the evil wizard Ganon. Scenes from each episode of the show were shown during the sitcom segments on the preceding Super Mario Bros. Super Show! episodes during the week, and then broadcast as sneak peeks. The Zelda cartoons consisted of thirteen episodes, which ended when the Super Mario Bros. Super Show! ended its initial broadcast run. The characters of Link, Zelda and Ganon, along with their respective voice actors (Jonathan Potts, Cynthia Preston and Len Carlson), were later featured in an episode of Captain N: The Game Master, based on the Zelda II: The Adventure of Link NES game, another animated series based on NES video games, and also produced by DiC Animation around the same period, airing on NBC as part of its Saturday morning cartoon schedule.
In the 1990-91 season after the original animated series had ended, the Albano/Wells live-action sequences were replaced on September 10, 1990 with new continuity under the title Club Mario. The Super Mario Bros. cartoons (as well as The Legend of Zelda on Fridays) remained intact but the live-action format now featured Mario-obsessed teenagers Tommy and Tammy Treehugger, along with Cool MC "commandeering" the "satellite signal" of the Super Show using a satellite dish atop their apartment building (despite the reality of the show going out on tapes to stations well in advance), goofing around, and in at least one episode, running around the studio and harassing DiC executive and executive producer Andy Heyward. Cool MC also had to deal with his evil twin Eric (played by the same actor), who attempted fruitlessly to take over the show. An additional added segment was a one-to-two-minute viewing of Space Scout Theater/Spaced Out Theater, hosted by Princess Centauri, a green alien woman, which was sourced and edited from the science fiction children television series, Photon. The segments had an unpopular reception and further distribution of the series after the 1990-91 season has featured only the original cut of the show with the Albano/Wells live-action sequences.
Mario All Stars
In 1993, The Family Channel aired the show in a package named Mario All Stars, consisting of time compressed versions of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! cartoon segments and the Super Mario World cartoons. It ran for 39 episodes in double episode format, and was promoted as "the Super Mario Bros. in 40 brand new adventures". Although clips from the Super Mario Bros. 3 cartoons were used in promos for the show, none of the show's episodes were featured. All Stars was later seen on the USA Network from January 6–June 6, 1997, when it was replaced by Sonic the Hedgehog reruns. Before being re-edited for All Stars in 1993, Family Channel played the episodes slower than their normal speed and included the live action segments. The package's title is most likely inspired by the title of the video game compilation Super Mario All-Stars that was released the previous year.
- "Plumber Rap" (Lou Albano and Danny Wells): The main theme, which is divided into two parts. The first part opens the show while the second part opens the Super Mario Bros. animated segments.
- "Do the Mario" (Lou Albano): The ending theme to the show performed in front of a greenscreen of the animated show's backgrounds, which featured an accompanying dance performed by Albano described within the lyrics. The song is sung to the tune of the classic "Overworld" theme from Super Mario Bros.
At some point in the cartoon segments, a song would be played to go along with the scene. These were usually notable singles from famous singers, songwriters, and musical artists of the era. When the program was re-released on DVD in North America, the songs were replaced by instrumentals of songs from The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and one song from Super Mario World. Episode/song combinations are shown on the list of Mario television episodes.
Super Mario Bros. cast
- "Captain" Lou Albano as Mario (live-action and animated)
- Danny Wells as Luigi (live-action and animated)
- Jeannie Elias as Princess Toadstool/Princess Peach
- John Stocker as Toad
- Harvey Atkin as King Koopa
- Maurice LaMarche as Inspector Gadget (live action segments)
The Legend of Zelda cast
- Jonathan Potts as Link
- Cyndy Preston as Princess Zelda
- Len Carlson as Ganon
- Colin Fox as King Harkinian
- Allen Stewart-Coates as The Triforce of Power
- Elizabeth Hanna as The Triforce of Wisdom
- Paulina Gillis as Spryte
Club Mario cast
- Chris Coombs as Tommy Treehugger
- Michael Anthony Rawlins as Co-MC/Evil Eric
- Kurt Weldon as Dr. Know-It-All
- Victoria Delaney as Tammy Treehugger
- Jeff Rose as The Big Kid
- James Abbott as The Band
- Shanti Kahn as Princess Centauri
- Andy Heyward as himself
Home video releases
From 1989 to 1990, Kids Klassics released episodes of the series on VHS. Starting in 1991, Kids Klassics' parent company GoodTimes Entertainment continued releasing episodes on VHS up through 1993.
1989 Releases (Each volume begins and ends with a complete live-action segment, with the featured complete animated segment in the middle)
- Mario's Magic Carpet
- Mario Meets Koop-zilla
- King Mario of Cramalot
- The Great Gladiator Gig
- Butch Mario & the Luigi Kid
- The Great BMX Race
- The Ringer (The Legend of Zelda)
- Sing for the Unicorn (The Legend of Zelda)
There were also 3 VHS tapes only available through a mail-in offer with Nestle Quik. They follow the same format as the volumes listed above.
- The Bird! The Bird!
- Pirates of the Koopa
- Kiss'N Tell (The Legend of Zelda)
1990 Releases (Each volume has 1 complete live action segment and 3 complete animated segments)
- Koopa Claus (plus "Santa Claus Is Coming to Flatbush", "Stars in Their Eyes", and "Too Hot to Handle")
- Count Koopula (plus "Vampire Until Ready", "Koopenstein", and "Robo Koopa")
- The Missing Link [The Legend of Zelda] (plus "Captain Lou Is Missing", "Cold Spells", and "The Moblins Are Revolting")
- Princess, I Shrunk The Mario Brothers (plus "Rowdy Roddy's Rotten Pipes", "Rollin' Down The River", and "Brooklyn Bound")
1991 Releases (The Kids Klassics logo is retained although these volumes were released by GoodTimes) (Each volume has 4 complete animated segments and no live-action segments)
- Two Plumbers and a Baby (plus "On Her Majesty's Sewer Service", "The Great Gold Coin Rush", and "Flatbush Koopa")
- Robo Koopa (plus "Bad Rap", "Karate Koopa", and "The Koopas Are Coming! "The Koopas Are Coming!")
- Hooded Robin and His Mario Men (Plus "Plummers Academy", "Quest for Pizza", and "Escape from Koopatraz")
1993 Release (Released in a clamshell packaging, contains 6 complete animated sgements and no live-action segments)
- Super Mario Bros. Super Show ("Jungle Fever", "Mario and the Beanstalk", "20,000 Koopas Under the Sea", "Mario of the Apes", "Mario of the Deep", and "King Mario of Cramalot")
In 1996, the animated segment "Koopa Klaus" and the live-action segment "Santa Claus is Coming to Flatbush" were included on the VHS release Super Mario Bros. Super Christmas Adventures, alongside the Super Mario World episode "The Night Before Cave Christmas".
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date||Additional Information|
|Volume 1||24||March 28, 2006||
|Volume 2||24||October 31, 2006||
These two sets were discontinued in 2012 after Shout!'s deal with Cookie Jar Entertainment expired.
Notably, a bare bones "Best of" DVD was released by DiC and Lions Gate Entertainment. In 2012 NCircle Entertainment released the complete series to DVD across two sets with the same extras as the Shout! Factory sets, but with the live-action segments omitted and "On Her Majesty's Sewer Service" excluded.
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! currently holds around a 6 out of 10 rating on IMDb. Common Sense Media rated the show 1 out of 5 stars, stating that the "frenetic '80s cult fave with stereotypes hasn't aged well."  However, TV.com rated the show around a 8.2 out of 10.
- The Intelligencer - September 23, 1991
- The Intelligencer - August 26, 1994
- Super Mario Bros. - Cartoon Resource Website entry #76
- Damian Inwood. "Pi Theatre, Independent Vancouver Theatre >> The Baroness and the Pig". Retrieved October 30, 2011.
That’s what Vancouver actresses Diane Brown and Tabitha St. Germain do with the delightful black comedy, The Baroness and the Pig. (...) St. Germain – better known to Vancouver audiences as Paulina Gillis – plays the Baroness as a naïve gentlewoman, full of prissy mannerisms and twittering, bird-like movements.
- Super Mario Bros Super Show! (2 DVDs). Vol. 1 (Collectors' ed.). Los Angeles, CA: NCircle Entertainment. 2006. OCLC 795409356. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- NCircle Entertainment; Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc.; Nintendo of America Inc. (2012). Super Mario Bros Super Show! (2 DVDs). Vol. 2 (Collectors' ed.). DIC Entertainment. OCLC 812542271. Retrieved June 14, 2014.