Mario Kart SNL

Mario Kart Gets a Gritty, The Last of Us-Style Live-Action Makeover on SNL

If you’ve ever pondered what Mario Kart would look like as a prestige HBO drama, Saturday Night Live has just answered your questions. The latest episode of the sketch show included a lavish trailer that reimagines the classic kart racer series in a send-up of The Last of Us. They’ve even gone so far as to enlist Pedro Pascal to take the role of Mario.

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It’s a grim reimagining that sees Mushroom Kingdom as a ruin after a decade of Bowser’s rule.

Alongside Pascal is Chloe Fineman as a bedraggled Princess Peach — and the cargo that Mario is primed to escort to Rainbow Road. Also featuring is Kenan Thompson as a scenery-chewing Bowser and Mikey Day as a trigger-happy Luigi.

Maybe the most impressive thing of all is the sheer commitment to the bit. The acting is strait-laced and the visual effects are surprisingly convincing. On top of that, the sketch is chock full of references to Mario Kart, ranging from the obvious shells and bananas as track dangers to mushrooms presented as an analog for drugs.

It comes as the praise around the HBO adaptation of The Last of Us continues to mount. Of course, in reality Nintendo has The Super Mario Bros. Movie set to launch later this year, and this Mario Kart trailer from SNL is nothing but a fever dream.


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Damien Lawardorn
Editor and Contributor of The Escapist: Damien Lawardorn has been writing about video games since 2010, including a 1.5 year period as Editor-in-Chief of Only Single Player. He’s also an emerging fiction writer, with a Bachelor of Arts with Media & Writing and English majors. His coverage ranges from news to feature interviews to analysis of video games, literature, and sometimes wider industry trends and other media. His particular interest lies in narrative, so it should come as little surprise that his favorite genres include adventures and RPGs, though he’ll readily dabble in anything that sounds interesting.