Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Game Over

Captain Lou Albano died today. He was 76.

He gained his fame as a manager in the WWF, and is mostly widely known for his appearance as Cyndi Lauper's disapproving dad in the gloriously '80s "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" video. But I remember him most fondly for his defining performance as Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!

You have to remember, I was, like, eight. Mario Brothers and Zelda were, almost literally, my entire life. And here was a daily TV show, which came on just as I was getting home from school, which combined the two in one brilliant package. There'd be some sitcom stuff with Mario and Luigi, a Mario cartoon, and then -- every Friday -- a long-form Legend of Zelda episode. I was enraptured. And considering the hellish time I was having -- separated from my mother, living with very loving but very not-my-mother great-grandparents -- the Mario show was an escape that I badly, badly needed.

I haven't seen anything from the show since I was a kid, and I'm okay with that. I'm afraid my cynical adult eyes will tarnish what are very fond memories of both the show and of Albano.

So rest in peace, Captain. You were very important to me during a very difficult time of my life. Which is pretty much the best thing any artist can do, isn't it?

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