The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! was an American television show based on Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2. There were two segments to the show, a live-action sequence starring WWF/E Hall of Fame wrestler-turned-manager, the late Capt. Lou Albano as Mario and the late Danny Wells as Luigi. Then there was an animated sequence in which Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Toadstool would battle King Bowser Koopa representing an alter-ego in a parody of a book, movie or real-life historical event. Every fifth episode (which would air on a Friday) featured Link, Zelda, and Ganon in a Legend of Zelda animated adventure.
The show ran in 1989 from September 4 through December 1 with a total of 65 episodes. 52 of the episodes had Mario characters in the animated segments while the other 13 had Zelda characters. The live-action segments with Albano and Wells appeared in all 65 episodes.
In the first three episodes, Toad has a different color scheme (red hat with white spots [which resembles the modern colors of the Super Mushroom], white vest, red pants, white shoes) than what is used in all later episodes and the intro sequences (white hat with red spots, red vest, white pants, purple shoes). His first color scheme later made a reappearance as his Super Toad form in "The Fire of Hercufleas".
King Koopa's appearance is based on Bowser's sprite from Super Mario Bros., he has green skin, two armbands, no hair and wears a gold crown, resembling Wart from Super Mario Bros. 2.
Princess Toadstool's appearance is based on her sprite from the original Super Mario Bros., she is depicted as a redhead instead of a blonde and lacks gloves or jewels on her crown, resembling her sprite from Super Mario Bros. 2.
Mario uses his original outfit from his debut in the original Donkey Kong and on the international cover of Super Mario Bros. as well as his appearance in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels and his artwork on the cover of Super Mario Bros. 2, sporting a blue shirt with red overalls, which resembles his sprite from the Super Mario All-Stars version of Super Mario Bros.. Luigi uses the same outfit from Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels and his Super Mario Bros. 2 artwork, wearing a blue shirt with green overalls (later used for his sprites in the Super Mario All-Stars and Deluxe versions of Super Mario Bros.). Also, Mario and Luigi both have black hair rather than brown and Luigi has green eyes instead of blue while Mario's eyes are still blue.
Mario and Luigi's super forms are based on Fire Mario's sprites and Luigi's regular sprites from Super Mario Bros. This resembles their current fire form color schemes from Super Mario World onward, but with the shirt and overall colors reversed, which resembles their fire form sprites from the Super Mario All-Stars version of Super Mario Bros.
Mario's color scheme in the show later appears as an alternate costume for Wario in Mario Golf, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and as the Classic Suit for Mario in Super Mario Odyssey as well as the skins pack for Mario and Luigi in the Mario Bros. Tour of Mario Kart Tour and Luigi's color scheme in the show also later appears as the skins pack for Mario and Luigi in the Mario Bros. Tour of Mario Kart Tour. Additionally, King Koopa's color scheme also appears as an alternate costume for Bowser in Mario Golf, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Princess Toadstool's design in the show also appears as an alternate costume for Daisy in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
When Mario transforms into Super Mario, his color scheme from his artwork in Mario Bros. can be seen during the transformation.
When Luigi transforms into a Super Luigi, a green shirt and blue overalls (which would later become his current color scheme, starting with Super Mario Bros. 3) can be seen during the transformation.
A series of View-Master reels based on the episode "The Bird! The Bird!" were produced, which depicted scenes from the episode recreated using stock artwork from the games, including Wart appearing in place of King Koopa, despite the captions still referring to the latter character.
When the series was shown on the Family Channel, the episodes all had the Legend of Zelda preview segments removed, and they were slowed down to bring them back to their original length, and the commercial breaks typically came at different points in the animated segments rather than where they were originally placed. For whatever reason (likely due to the episode's original master having gone missing), the Family Channel cut of the episode "King Mario of Cramalot" has been used on all subsequent DVD, digital, and streaming releases as well as later digital and streaming releases.
In July 1990, the show was retooled as Club Mario, where the Mario and Luigi live-action segments were replaced by two Mario-crazy teen fans named Co M.C. and Tommy Treehugger. It is often stated that, due to negative reception, the Club Mario tapes were destroyed after 1991. However, the iTunes and Amazon Instant Video releases of the episode "The Unzappables", for some reason, have its live-action segment, "George Washington Slept Here", inexplicably replaced with a Club Mario segment, making it the only Club Mario episode to be commercially available. It is unknown what happened to the master copy of "George Washington Slept Here".
The plumber's log in every episode except for "Koopa Klaus" is a reference to the Captain's log in Star Trek.
Luigi's Italian food-based outbursts is a reference to Robin's Holy's from the 1966 Live-Action Batman TV series.
This is the only Mario cartoon to have a live-action section and it is also the only Mario cartoon to not feature the Koopalings.
Dragon Warrior: Dai's Great Adventure (1989) • Street Fighter II V (1995) • Legend of the Mystical Ninja (1997) • Bomberman B-Daman Bakugaiden (1998) • Final Fantasy: Unlimited (2001) • Bomberman Jetters (2002)
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