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Official Article

10 Best Super Mario Bros Super Show Guest Stars


When the Super Mario Bros Super Show debuted in 1989, it was a huge moment for kid's television. A daily TV show inspired by the biggest toy of the 20th century, starring the Nintendo Entertainment System's most iconic mascots? That's a no-brainer. 


Cartoons based on Super Mario Bros. or The Legend of Zelda filled out most of the running time, but there were also live action wraparound stories starring Captain Lou Albano as Mario and Danny Wells as Luigi. The humor was goofy as heck, but it was still a thrill to see these 8-bit heroes in live action.


To sweeten the experience on the very first episode we got a guest appearance from none other than teen super hottie, Nicole Eggert. This is a trend that continued over most of the episodes, with an eclectic group of celebrities showing up for a couple of yuks with these bumbling plumber brothers. 

Some were sports stars, some TV actors and others forgotten personalities of years gone by. Here are my Top 10 Guest Stars of the Super Mario Bros Super Show!

Sgt. Slaughter


Not only did this pro-wrestler make his way into the world of G.I. Joe in both animated and action figure form, but he is also the only guest star to appear twice on the Super Show. It's not hard to see why, Sgt. Slaughter was the perfect military tough guy and kids coming out of the Reagan era were still patriotic enough to think that was cool. In his first appearance the big chinned soldier was barking at the plumbers to fix his Steam machine and upon his return was getting them in shape to go on a secret government mission. At ease!

Lyle Alzado


Before he became an unfortunate cautionary tale for steroid abuse, Lyle Alzado was a charismatic star breaking out from the NFL and into the world of entertainment. With roles in movies like Ernest Goes to Camp and Zapped Again! he established his comedy career, eventually gaining his own TV series, the mostly forgotten sitcom Learning The Ropes where he played a pro wrestler/school teacher. Showing up for dinner at the Mario Bros. home, Lyle is awkwardly hit on by Marianne and Luigianna, played by the main actors in drag. Captain Lou really gets into the role and it may be his finest bit of acting in the series.

Magic Johnson


Though he was arguably the hottest player of the moment at the time, if this guest spot is any indicator, we should all be thankful that Magic Johnson never made an attempt at an acting career like future Lakers superstar, Shaquille O'Neil. In this obviously pre-recorded bit about needing Mario and Luigi to fix his favorite trophy, we learn that Magic is a natural on the court, but stiff as a board in front of the camera. In an alternate timeline these 3 minutes of attempted comedy from inside a medicine cabinet could also have been used as evidence against awarding the man his own talk show nearly a decade later. Total air ball!

Cyndi Lauper/Captain Lou Albano


The careers of 80's pop icon Cyndi Lauper and wrestler, Captain Lou Albano have been inseparably linked since the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun music video, so it's no surprise that the Captain called in a favor from his squeaky voice friend. But in a meta-Mario twist, we learn that Cyndi has actually come in search of Captain Lou. Rather than a goofy split-screen effect, Mario just comes up with a convenient excuse to leave and re-enter as his alter-ego, who if you'll notice is holding a bucket of fried chicken with his own face on it. Also, how did Captain Lou grow all his facial hair back in between costume changes? This one may be my favorite of all.

David Horowitz


When we weren't watching Rescue 911! or A Current Affair, you can bet that TV viewers in the late 80's were glue to Fight Back with David Horowitz. His schtick for 35 years was blowing the whistle on rip-off consumer products/businesses and often confronting the manufacturers on camera. In this episode the Mario Bros. are the subject of an expose, testing their clog clearing abilities. Eventually Mr. Horowitz is knocked out and a mutant drain monster emerges to give him a real reason to FIGHT BACK! It's actually one of the better bits featuring a guest star.

Rob Stone


You may not know Rob Stone's name right off the bat, but you probably remember the urban legend associated with him. Rob played the eldest son on Mr. Belvedere (surely the reason he got this gig), then faded into obscurity. But when a certain shock-rocker scared the pants off of us in mid 90's we suddenly started hearing, "Marilyn Manson is the the older brother from Mr. Belvedere" all over the schoolyard (which is false, by the way). In an ironic twist, this episode has Rob playing an alternate reality version of himself as a rock star who has to switch places with Luigi in order to hide out from his throng of wild fans. 

Ellie May


Most of the actors sharing the screen with Mario and Luigi were at least working on current television shows of the time, but resurrecting the actress who played Ellie May on The Beverly Hillbillies was a strange choice. Her whole deal in the 60s was looking young and cute in tight jeans, so bringing her back at age 57 to reprise the role was kind of mean and besides, what child of the 80s knew who she was anyway? Answer: No one. Except a Nick At Night watching kid like myself, that is. I recognized Ellie May immediately from reruns and was always up for a nostalgic TV return appearance (I used to love those Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch reunion specials).

Rowdy Roddy Piper


Captain Lou must have made another phone call on this one to get the late, Rowdy Roddy Piper to stop by the set. By this point the kilt-wearing tough guy was already established as a legitimate actor with movies like They Live! and Hell Comes to Frogtown under his belt. As you would expect, the villainous wrestler shows up like a whirlwind, mugging for the camera and growling about his lost bagpipes, which Luigi has turned into a vacuum cleaner. By the end they make nice, but Hot Rod makes some threatening moves toward the red and green clad plumbers during the course of the episode. I'm actually surprised more wrestlers didn't make it onto the show (at least Jesse Ventura, right?). 

Melanie Chartoff


You are likely scratching your head and asking, "Who is Melanie Chartoff?" At this point in her career she was mostly known as a former cast member of the short-lived SNL sketch show competitor, Fridays, but it's her later work in the 90's you would know her from. For me Ms. Chartoff will forever be Principal Grace Musso from the early FOX TV series, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, but fans of Nicktoons best remember her as the voice of Didi Pickles, Tommy's Mom from Rugrats. Her role here as a Price Is Right style spokesmodel helping the Mario Bros. make a TV commercial is fun for her facial expressions alone, but really in my mind I'm just screaming, "Miss Musso!"

Vanna White


For most of America in the 1980's, Vanna White was the epitome of beauty as she spun those letters on Wheel of Fortune. Her giant smile and sparkly dresses never won my boyhood affection, but I can see where people were coming from. Aside from an embarrassing TV movie called Goddess of Love, along with cameos in The Naked Gun 33 1/3 and Double Dragon (yes, THAT Double Dragon!) her acting work was sparse. I'm actually surprised that they had her play a girl that Mario once agreed to marry, who is coming to visit. It turns out, she just wanted discount plumbing fixtures. Well, kudos to Vanna for adding to the Mario mythos in style.

Bonus: Joe Piscopo on Club Mario


OK, so that's officially 10, but I had to throw this one out there as a bonus. After The Super Mario Bros Super Show ran it's course, they milked it for another season as Club Mario, a Wayne's World style program with two younger hosts that was totally wacky (and not as good.)


One episode featured Tommy (the blonde one) bringing a guy to the studio who claimed to be former Saturday Night Live cast member, Joe Piscopo. The joke was that there was no doubt it was Joe Piscopo, but the goofy hosts won't believe it. Ultimately the comedian proves his identity by driving away in a sports car with a hot model and their minds are blown.

OK, so there you have it, the Top 10 Super Mario Bros Super Show guest stars. There were many more I didn't mention, but do you remember other celebrities of yesteryear that didn't make the list?

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SockofFleagulls Posted on Feb 24, 2017 at 04:41 PM

I was a huge Magic Johnson fan back in the day and always loved this cameo. Forgot about Roddy Piper! Nice memory jolt!

massreality Posted on Feb 10, 2017 at 01:04 PM

This is one of those embarrassing retro confessions, but I love Mario and to this day spend a lot of time playing games, but I hated this show. I just could not buy that it existed within the same realm in the games and that killed it for me.

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