< Altered Beast Voice >
Midterms are over! Hooray!
First off, I've made a decision about this whole TV recap idea I had proposed in an earlier article. I received a great deal of input from you guys, and a lot of things were brought to my attention that I had not previously considered when I entertained the idea of delving into more recent television episodes. I'll get straight to the point so I can get started on today's article, because it's a doozy.
I will not be doing a regular recap of weekly television shows.
Although there were a lot of people who thought it was a great idea, the fact of the matter is that a lot of the conditions surrounding these shows simply will not allow me to do a weekly recap of new episodes. I received many emails from X-E'ers in Australia and other places around the world (we're taking over the world!), and they were quick to point out that their region was at a much different point in these television series. A lot of Buffy fans in Australia are over a season behind viewers in America. The last thing I want to do is have readers worrying about spoilers two seasons from now when they're reading these recaps.
But that doesn't mean I won't be doing any articles on the shows I suggested. Sure there are people who dislike Buffy and other shows like it, but there are also a ton of people who don't give a shit about Transformers either. So I see no reason why I can't talk about an old episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer every now and then.
Second, I just want to thank everyone who flooded my inbox with feedback and kind words. It shows X-E readers care about the content on this site just as much as the writers do, and I was pleasantly surprised to have so many people to respond to my suggestion. If you haven't received a reply yet, I'll get around to it as soon as I can. Midterms had taken over my life for a couple of weeks, so if you didn't get a reply, expect one soon.
One of the main reasons I am incredibly grateful that you guys sent me so many emails is, to be perfectly honest, that they were instrumental in getting me to finish this article without killing myself.
I have a huge cabinet that is literally filled to capacity with videotapes that my family and I have collected over the years, and when I started to write for X-Entertainment, I scoured this cabinet for tapes that would make quality X-E articles (this is where the dreaded NKOTB video came from and many others you'll be reading about soon enough). I honestly didn't think we had anything worse than the New Kids video, but then I came across The Super Mario Bros. Super Show: Mario's Magic Carpet. I knew I had some old tapes of this show, but truthfully, I didn't recall too much about it other than the fact that Captain Lou Albano played Mario.
Since I play way too many videogames, Mario and Luigi have probably had a larger hand in raising me than either of my parents. It's a sad state of affairs, but then again I never saw my parents shooting fireballs out of their chest and shrinking and growing at will either. I like Nintendo's famous plumber duo, because almost all of the stuff that carries their namesake is a lot of fun to watch or play. Granted, I wasn't expecting a groundbreaking experience when I put this tape in, but I was just planning on enjoying a quick viewing of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. It seemed pretty harmless.
I was kind of surprised to find commercials for Nestle Quik on the tape before the show even started (this tape was actually purchased by someone in my family, this episode wasn't taped when it aired or anything), but nothing could've prepared me for what I was in for. The sheer awfulness of this show left me dumbfounded. I'm still a bit woozy as I write this, but I'm estimating that I blacked out at least twice during the thirty minutes that the show was running on my screen. It's that bad.
Actually, the cartoon portion of the show wasn't that bad (relatively speaking), but the live action intro and ending segments literally had me searching for a receptacle to vomit into. This tape is not for the faint of heart, so turn back now if you don't think you'll be able to handle it.
Today's episode begins in the home of Mario and Luigi, our two favorite plumbers and stars of the show. Luigi is fixing some sort of pipe and in the process accidentally swings it around, knocking Mario in the head with it. I know what you're thinking: "That's not so bad. I can deal with horrible physical comedy. After all I've seen just about every Screech gag 'Saved By the Bell' had to offer.". But from here on out things get much worse, much worse.
Remember how many bad jokes there were in any given episode of Saved By the Bell? Well, multiply that number by five and reduce the length of the episode by twenty minutes, and you'd have the blueprint for the The Super Mario Bros. Super Show.
Since Mario was conked on the noggin, he now thinks he's a chicken. Don't ask me why, he just does. And since he is supposedly a chicken, Captain Lou makes the most annoying chicken sound I have ever heard in my entire life. Ok, so we know he's a chicken, but he won't stop making the noise. I contemplated taking a hammer to my VCR, but thankfully I figured the mute button would be more cost efficient although far less gratifying. I was about thirty seconds into the show, and already I felt compelled to take a few shots of whiskey to calm my nerves. Even though this is my tape (I can't blame this one on my sister like the NKOTB tape), I had no recollection of what was actually on it. How could I ever forget this?
Since Luigi still needs Mario to still pay half the rent on their swingin' bachelor pad, he decides the best course of action is to contact a head shrink. Surely, someone like that can fix his brother right up. He quickly consults the telephone book and makes an emergency phone call. A moment later, he arrives...
DR. SIGMUND FRUITCAKE?!
Oh dear God why have you forsaken me???!!! Whyyyyyyy??????
*/me takes another shot of whiskey*
Luigi calmly explains the problem that his brother got smacked in the head and now acts like a chicken. Dr. Fruitcake must be able to do something to cure our beloved Mario. The doctor supposedly cures him, but Luigi calls him again in the middle of the night. It turns out Mario now thinks he's a monkey instead of a chicken.
Dr. Fruitcake heads back to the house and says (actual quote here) "You are not a monkey.", so Mario snaps out it and no longer thinks he's a monkey anymore. Thank heavens Luigi called such an incredible doctor! But there's just one problem...
Now Luigi thinks HE'S a monkey! AHAHHAHAH!!!! (Cue Saved By the Bell Style laughing track)
Thankfully, the intro segment of the show is over, and the cartoon itself can start. I'm not exactly sure if whether or not the cartoon was any good, but it sure as hell seemed like the fuckin' Star Wars Trilogy after sitting through the live action portion of the show.
Ahhh...now this is more like it. Mario, Luigi, Princess, and Toad are making their way across the desert. I don't know why they're making such a dangerous trek with no supplies or water, but that's how the cartoon begins. Mario is practically dying of thirst, and a result, he keeps seeing mirages of waterfalls and the like. First Mario thinks he's various animals, and now he's hallucinating. That plumber is one crazy motherfucker.
Amazingly, Toad looks up ahead, and there's a huge swimming pool in the middle of the desert. It has a diving board and everything! I'm not even going to try and explain why there would be a swimming pool in the desert, but Mario and friends just want some water. That's not too much to ask right?
They make a dead sprint for the pool and jump off the diving board when the unimaginable happens...
HOLY SHIT! It's not a swimming pool! It's really a clever trampoline trap disguised as a swimming pool!
Mario, Luigi, Princess, and Toad bounce off the trampoline, fly hundreds of feet through the air, and land in a castle that has a roof that can be opened and closed whenever it is needed. Who could be the master of such a technologically advanced castle?
I don't remember his name, and I certainly don't want to watch this again to find out. So we'll just call him "The Sultan". He seems like a pretty jovial guy, but there's one problem: he wants to make Mario and his friends into slaves.
When they find out they're about to be made into slaves, the group makes a mad dash for the exit, but their escape is brought to an abrupt halt by a rather large and imposing castle guard. It looks like they're gonna have some trouble escaping this time. While the others are sent off to be converted into workers/slaves, the Sultan decides he wants to keep the Princess for himself. I hope you're not getting images of Princess Toadstool in a Leia-style ROTJ slave outfit, because the Sultan has some very different plans for the beloved princess of Mushroom Kingdom.
I don't know if I blacked out at this part or what, but Mario, Luigi, and Toad were supposed to be locked up and made into slaves. Here's the thing: they never actually were. The guards just disappear or something, they just kind of roam around the castle and come across a whole pile of the Sultan's treasure and a magic lamp. Mario uses his special pizza cutter to cut a hole in the glass and steal the lamp. After all, when you've got a chance to steal a magic lamp, who needs all that gold that's lyin' around? These "pizza cutter skills" kinda caught me by surprise. Mario is much more resourceful in the cartoon than I ever remember him being in any of the games.
Mario rubs the magic lamp, and of course a genie pops out. There's just one problem with this genie: she's packin' an attitude, and she doesn't want to help them out at all. We're talking "Rosie O'Donnell attitude" here (yes, THAT annoying). Naturally, this doesn't bode well for Mario, Luigi, and Toad, but they still need her help if they have any chance of rescuing Princess Toadstool.
While Mario, Luigi, and Toad have been freely roaming and looting his castle, the Sultan has put Princess Toadstool up on the auctioning block. And guess who turns out to be the high bidder...
King Koopa, Mario's only nemisis! What a coincidence!
King Koopa negotiates a favorable price for the Princess and drives away to drop her in some quicksand. At least he ain't wasting any time with some stupid "use the Princess as bait" plans like a lot of other dumb villains. Speaking of QUICKsand, does anyone else notice that it just so happens to be one of the slowest deaths anyone can endure in a TV show or movie? I guess the name "quick" doesn't necessarily denote the speed at which you sink, because every time someone gets stuck in some quicksand, it takes an eternity for them to die.
The good guys are trying to chase King Koopa down, but there's no way they can catch him when he's flyin' the friendly skies in a magic carpet. So they do the only logical thing...
They rent a magic carpet of their own...
Mario: We've got to save the Princess!
Since their magic carpet/car is an old rental, they decide to cover their vehicle in dust and hopefully sneak up undetected on the dreaded King Koopa by pretending they're a cloud. There's just one problem with their plan. When you're flying through the air at high speeds, dust generally doesn't hover around your vehicle as your traveling along. So the wind blows all the dust away, and King Koopa checks his rear view mirror (like a good driver would) and discovers that Princess' friends are on his trail and trying to save her.
King Koopa drops the Princess into some quicksand, but he's not taking any chances. He already knows Mario is going to rescue her so he plans ahead by making a very special phone call. That's right, it's time for him to bring out the big guns: the Pigeon Strike Force!
Mario quickly swoops down and grabs the Princess, saving her from certain death and hopefully earning some Princess Toadstool nookie later on. He speeds away, but Koopa' reinforcements have arrived and are eating Mario's magic carpet. They must find a way to get rid of King Koopa and his damn pigeon strike force!
This is where the cartoon goes straight to the shitter. We have this big midair chase sequence between Mario and King Koopa, and the writers decided to take the easy way out in ending this adventure. So King Koopa has called in the pigeon strike force, and they're busy munching away at Mario's magic carpet. Our heroes are fighting against seemingly insurmountable odds and are in dire need of a miracle, but they need to act fast before they go crashing to the ground. What could they possibly do to get out of this situation safely?
After they've eaten most of the magic carpet, Luigi suddenly remembers that he speaks "Pigeon" and can talk to King Koopa's pigeon attack force. He picks one up and tells it that "King Koopa's magic carpet tastes much better.", so they all fly away and start munching away at Koopa's ride instead.
The adventure ends, and King Koopa is forced to retreat in his battered vehicle and formulate a new dastardly plot. But that's another adventure for another day. It's not easy losing all the time, but people like Cobra Commander, Megatron, and King Koopa seem to handle it pretty well. If the video ended here, I would've been content to call it a night and put my whiskey away, but it looks like the writers managed to save the worst for last...
Another live action Mario/Luigi/LYLE ALZADO segment!
For those of you who don't know, Lyle Alzado was a pretty damn good professional football player. He played for the Raiders and was definitely someone you wouldn't want to mess with. He was probably slightly insane, so I guess the producers considered him a perfect candidate for a guest appearance on the Mario Bros. show.
So Mario and Luigi are having their good friend Lyle Alzado over, but they forgot to restock the fridge! Having an empty fridge when a pro football player comes over is a big no no, so they make a quick, last minute run to the grocery store for some snacks. But Lyle has decided to drop by earlier than expected. Ah well, he can wait. No big deal, right? Wrong. DEAD WRONG.
At this point, I'm pretty much convinced that there is only so much psychological damage this show can do to me in such a short amount of time, but there was no way I could've been prepared for this:
MARIO AND LUIGI DRESSED AS WOMEN!
You know, when you surf the internet for any period of time, you're eventually bound to come across some pretty messed up stuff. Something Awful's Awful Links and Stile Project immediately come to mind, but neither of those sites have ever had former pro wrestlers dressed in full drag (at least to my knowledge).
Lyle has decided to have a seat on the couch and just wait for them to get back. It seems like the logical thing to do, but then Mario and Luigi's cousins, "Marianne and Luigeena", find out that Lyle Alzado is visiting the plumbers and decide to stop by for an unannounced visit. You see, they're crazy about Lyle Alzado, which doesn't bode well for the football player. What happens next is pretty much a blur, so I'll just let the pictures do the talking. Needless to say, it ain't pretty.
You know what's fuckin' scary? Lyle Alzado was a pretty bad ass professional football player back in the day, so I imagine he kept himself in pretty good shape and lifted weights fairly often. Yet "Marianne's" forearms still manage to totally dwarf his. That fuckin' scares me.
Then I blacked out.
I guess there's only so much you can watch before your brain hits the shutdown switch. The limits are different for a lot of people, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that watching Captain Lou Albano, dressed as a woman, sprawled out across Lyle Alzado's lap and stroking the back of his neck is my limit.
When I woke up, the credits were rolling, and Lyle Alzado was dancing around with "Mariaane and Luigeena".
This last segment scarred me for life. I'm dead serious.
But what about Toad? I'd really have to guess someone was using an assortment of drugs when they come up with a character like him (or is it her? We may never know...). I mean, just look at him/her/it!
In conclusion, I hate this show with a passion. Not only do I despise it, but the show's tape broke my damn VCR. I can only hope that this event was actually God trying to give me some kind of sign or that my extra special glimpse into hell was cut short by some sort of higher power. Either way, it looks like a few of the articles I had planned will be delayed slightly until I manage to donate enough sperm/blood/body parts to get a new VCR. Once my new VCR is set up and ready to go, THIS will be the first article you guys get to read...