Farewell, Captain Lou Albano


AP: "Captain Lou Albano dies at 76; wrestler appeared in Cyndi Lauper videos."

He may be best known for his roles in those early MTV classics, but I betcha don't know this, gamers: he also played "Mario" in "The Super Mario Bros. Super Show (1989-1991)," a live-action/animated kids' show based on the famous arcade game. Here's a trailer video, which shows Mr. Albano in that role -- and here's the credits, with Albano urging you to "Do the Mario!"

Image: detail of this photo, from LIFE. Related: one with Cyndi Lauper, and another here, 1984 (no photographer credit).

Update: Another YouTube gem. @EvilPRGuy reminds us of this fantastically bad anti-drug PSA Albano did in the '80s (in character as Mario), which warned that if you do drugs, "you'll go to hell before you die."


  1. Rather sad news. I’ve never really been a fan of wrestling, and the Super Mario Brothers show was before my time, but still, sad.

  2. It’s strange how 17 episodes in the late 80’s/early 90’s have stuck with me like they have. Farewell!

  3. “but I betcha don’t know this, gamers”

    I hope you’re pulling our metaphorical leg :P

    He was also on an episode of Hey Dude on Nickelodeon, which I believe was the only time I saw him outside of the Mario costume at the time. Didn’t follow wrestling until the Monday Night Wars were really in the thick of things.

    So long, Capt.

  4. Those end credits get me every time, as he just keeps going and going. And what’s with the extra step @ 0:39 to catch his balance? Very funny indeed. That show has had surprising staying power in the ol’ memory banks.

    Wait, what? No link to Amazon?

  5. Betcha didn’t know??? The whole reason I know who Captain Lou Albano is is BECAUSE of the Super Mario Bros. Super Show.

    Wikipedia says 52 episodes.

    There was a great “Captain Lou Albano” flash animation/song floating around the tubes about 5 years ago, but I can’t seem to find it.

    1. The animation is at: http://www.eviltrailmix.com/animutation/

      Then click on Captain Lou Albano’s Steady Descent Into Madness. The scary thing is that the audio clip must be from some real thing he did! I recall reading that for a while his shtick was that he was fusing wrestling and rock n’ roll. Alas, he’ll be missed.

  6. Wow. I remember that show but only vaguely. “The Mario” sure seems like one of the lamest dances ever created.

    Swing your arms from side to side, take one (yes just one) step then repeat.

  7. Yes, “Mario Bros.” was an arcade game for several years before “Super Mario Bros.” was released for the Nintendo. Given the content (and name) of the show, though, it’s probably safe to say that it’s based on the console game.

    And I agree that Xeni must be pulling our leg. Surely most gamers between 25 and 30 have fond memories of that show. (There are a few episodes on Netflix Instant if you need a reminder.) Yes it was goofy and over-the-top, but Captain Lou will always hold a special place in my heart as that lovable plumber. C’mon, it’s time to go. Do the Mario.

  8. I thought I was the only person in the world who’d seen Complex World. Someone really needs to release it on DVD, haven’t seen it in years and years…

  9. I thought of “Complex World” immediately. One of Capt Lou’s best lines in the movie: “If the South had one the f*ckin civil war, we’d be a nation of bikers!”

  10. We must not forget the Captain’s accomplishments in his art of choice: By the end of his career, Albano managed over 50 different wrestlers who won two dozen championships. He also won the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Manager of the Year in 1974, 1981 and 1986.

    Yeah, the competition was fake, but the entertainment sure wasn’t!

    — MrJM

  11. The PSA may be bad, but “you’ll go to hell before you die” actually sounds like a wonderfully poetic and sadly accurate description to me…

    We’ll miss you Lou.

  12. Showing my age… I mostly remember Captain Lou as a Wrestler Manager from the ’70s & ’80s, especially with the Samoans & “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, as well as his genius turn with NRBQ:

  13. I vaguely remember him from the “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” video; The B&W photo above reminds me of UK actor Geoffrey Rush, though.

  14. Seriously, though – I loved the Super Mario Bros. Super Show. I used to watch it before school every morning. They ran reruns constantly.

    Anyone remember the Nintendo cereal?

    I miss my childhood.

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