The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!
Super Mario Bros Super Show Title.PNG
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show title screen
Genre Adventure
Format Animated series
Starring Lou Albano
Danny Wells
Voices of Lou Albano
Danny Wells
Jeannie Elias
John Stocker
Harvey Atkin
Cyndy Preston
Jonathan Potts
Len Carlson
Colin Fox
Allen Stewart-Coates
Elizabeth Hanna
Tabitha St. Germain (as Paulina Gillis)
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 65 (52 Mario, 13 Zelda) (List of episodes)
Running time 21-22 minutes
Production company(s) DIC Entertainment
Nintendo of America
Saban Productions
Sei Young Animation Co., Ltd. (co-production)
Distributor Viacom Enterprises (1989-1991)
Cookie Jar Entertainment (current)
CBS Television Distribution (current)
Original channel Syndicated (1989-1991)
Original run September 4, 1989 (1989-09-04) – December 1, 1989 (1989-12-01)
Followed by Captain N & the Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990)

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! is an American television series based upon Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2 video games. It was originally broadcast via first-run syndication to mostly independent or Fox television stations 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,[1] and aired it until August 26, 1994.[2] The show was produced by DiC Animation and was distributed by Viacom Enterprises. Cookie Jar Entertainment, DiC's successor company, is the current distributor.



Mario Bros. Plumbing

The first and last parts of each episode were sitcom segments which showed Mario (Lou Albano) and Luigi (Danny Wells) living in Brooklyn, where they would often be visited by celebrity guest stars. These parts were performed and filmed before a live studio audience. 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, Magic Johnson, 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. 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.

Occasionally, Lou Albano and Danny Wells would portray themselves, forcing their regular characters to leave the scene in order for themselves to appear. One notable example is when 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 regularly 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.[3] 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.

A very loose spin-off of the show was broadcast in the Southern California TV market in late 1989/early 1990 called King Koopa's Kool Kartoons.[citation needed]

The cartoon marks an early appearance of Birdo as a female, a change made after an odd description of Birdo was given in the manual of Super Mario Bros. 2. She has been female ever since.

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. The elf-like 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.

Club Mario

During reruns that played during the summer of 1990, Club Mario[4] replaced the Mario Brothers' sitcom segments. This format featured "extreme" Mario-obsessed teenagers (Chris Coombs, Michael Rawlins, and Victoria Delany) goofing around, and in at least one episode, running around the DiC studios and harassing Andy Heyward. Mr. Coombs and Miss Delany played siblings Tommy and Tammy Treehugger, respectively. Michael plays Cool MC and his evil twin brother Eric, who time and again attempts to take over the show, usually uttering the phrase "dis'a MY 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.

Cast of Club Mario:

  • Chris Coombs as Tommy Treehugger
  • Michael Anthony Rawlins as Co-MC
  • Michael Anthony Rawlins as 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

Mario All Stars

In 1994, 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 Mario Bros. in 40 brand new adventures". Strangely enough, 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–June 1997, when it was replaced by Sonic the Hedgehog reruns. Before being re-edited for All Stars in 1994, 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.

Featured songs

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 either re-broadcast or re-released on a home medium such as videotape or DVD, the songs were replaced by instrumentals of songs from The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. Episode/song combinations are shown on the list of Mario television episodes.

Super Mario Bros. cast

Legend of Zelda cast

Preston, Potts, and Carlson all reprised their roles in Captain N: The Game Master.

Broadcast history

  • USA
  • Syndication (1989–1991)
  • NBC (1991–1992)
  • Family Channel (1991–1996)
  • USA Network (Jan–June 1997)
  • 1994-1997 as Super Mario All-Stars

International Broadcast

Home video releases

DVD Name Ep # Release Date Additional Information
Volume 1 24 March 31, 2006
  • New interviews with Captain Lou Albano (Mario)
  • Original art gallery
  • Storyboard-to-Screen: The Super Mario Bros. Super Show Opening Title Sequence
Volume 2 24 October 28, 2006
  • 4 Bonus Animated Episodes
  • "Meeting Mario: A Fan's Tale" Featurette
  • Super Mario Bros. Fan Costume Gallery
  • The Worlds of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! Concept Art Galleries
  • Interactive Tour Of The Mario Bros. Plumbing

Notably, a bare bones "Best of" DVD was released by DiC and Lions Gate Entertainment. Like many other DiC cartoon DVDs released during this time, upon loading the DVD menu Inspector Gadget inexplicably appears to guide the user on how to use the DVD. By pressing a "Help" button, Inspector Gadget would describe all the functions of the DVD menu, including how to play episodes one at a time or back-to-back, and how to turn the subtitles on or off (using a menu screen whose only function was to turn on English subtitles). The DVD also featured a trivia game hosted by Gadget and a commercial for future DiC DVD releases. The trivia game was played to unlock a hidden bonus feature.


  1. ^ The Intelligencer - September 23, 1991
  2. ^ The Intelligencer - August 26, 1994
  3. ^ Super Mario Bros. - Cartoon Resource Website entry #76
  4. ^ Club Mario
  5. ^ 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." 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.