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It's a Meeee, Mario!


I rarely do fan art, but when I heard this interview by Great Big Story, I couldn't resist reimagining Charles' audition with the characters. Here's a little backstory:

Charles Martinet is the voice of the legendary Mario character from the landmark 1996 Nintendo game Super Mario 64. His voice has been heard by millions of people across the world but did you know Charles initially had a fear of public speaking? A friend suggested he take acting classes to overcome this fear and the rest is history.

Martinet earned the job when, one day, he was told by his friend that there was going to be an audition in which you "talk to people as a plumber." He went to the audition at the last minute as the casting directors were already putting away their equipment Charles Martinet walked in and asked, "Can I please read for this?" The directors let him audition and said, "You're an Italian plumber from Brooklyn."

At first, Martinet planned to talk like a stereotypical Italian American with a deep, raspy voice. He then thought to himself that it would be too harsh for children, so he made it more soft-hearted and friendly, resulting in what Mario's voice is today. He says that Petruchio from William Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew was an inspiration for his portrayal of Mario.

Mario’s creator and art director Shigeru Miyamoto originally named the character “Jumpman.” Knowing they needed a more household name for American audiences when they shipped to a U.S. warehouse in Seattle, the landlords’ name was Mario Sengalaye, and he had a thick black mustache.

I hope you enjoy this tribute to the voice that is responsible for so many great childhood memories!

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