The Super Mario Bros. Super Show aired in 1989, when Nintendo explored translating its popular game franchises into TV shows. These forays into a different type of media included shows about Zelda, Kirby, and Mario among others. While these were all animated, some portions of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show included live-action scenes with actors in costume. These of course starred famous wrestler and actor Lou Albano as a real-life Mario and Canadian actor Danny Wells as Luigi.
Together they performed silly comedy segments that were intertwined with the main animated focus. In a Polygon feature, a producer who worked on the show revealed that Albano actually offered to legally change his name to Mario.
John Grusd, producer at DIC Entertainment who helped run the show, said, “I kept going back to what a really nice guy he was. And he was just a fish out of water. He wasn’t an actor, but he was a personality. He actually offered to legally change his name to Mario.”
Mario Albano does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Either way, the show went ahead with Lou Albano and the name changing never commenced. The show cranked out 52 episodes that ran within just a few months in 1989, but additional Mario cartoons followed.