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Monday, May 10, 2021

The Jury is in about that "Wario" Skit on Saturday Night Live...

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Featuring Elon Musk... and not featuring quality humour.

We don't talk about billionaire Elon Musk...at all, on this website, but he's a pretty interesting, relevant guy. He's probably going to be responsible for humans from Earth visiting Koopa Kingdom by intergalactic spaceship, though hopefully not in his lifetime. Anyway, he hosted the terrible and irrelevant “comedy” show Saturday Night Live (often abbreviated as SNL) over the weekend. I put comedy in scare-quotes because, to my knowledge, it's not actually funny on a regular basis. It's been around for 45 years now and I don't know if it ever was funny. KoopaTV turns 8 years old this week. If we ever get as terrible as Saturday Night Live, let me know so we don't have to live that long in agony.

Anyway, during Elon Musk's hosting, they had this skit that's... very related to KoopaTV subject matter. Warning: It's terrible and inappropriate, and for the rest of this article, I'm going to discuss why. I don't recommend you actually watch it, but I'm embedding it here for completeness and you can take my word on it as I go through the skit and commentate and review it as a subject matter expert—both in terms of being a humourist, as well as knowing Wario, Luigi, and others quite well.



The skit opens up in a courtroom featuring Luigi and a prosecutor. Luigi is testifying as the prosecutor asks how Luigi's brother, Mario, was killed. Luigi claims that he and Mario are racing on go-karts in a friendly race (note that Mario murders other people during friendly sporting events), but someone—Wario—threw a banana peel at Mario... and Mario apparently dies from his kart spinning out (Luigi cites hearing a Super Mario Bros. death sound effect as evidence of Mario's death). Wario then walks up to the stand, to this music:



By the way, I immediately recognised the Wario's Battle Canyon music from Mario Party. It's pretty memorable and the music clip was actually the best part of the whole skit, which is pretty damning of the skit. So here begins my critique.

The Saturday Night Livers knew that Wario is associated with Bob-ombs—the whole plot of the Wario's Battle Canyon board in Mario Party is that two factions of Bob-ombs are having a long, highly destructive race war. It's never explained in Mario Party how Wario is actually associated with the war, or if he just happens to own the canyon where the war is occurring. I theorise that he's profiting off it. Regardless, Wario is associated with Bob-ombs, and on top of that, in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Bob-ombs are actually Wario's special item. So... why Bananas (which don't kill anyone in Mario Kart) and not Bob-ombs?

Maybe the joke is that Bananas are benign and Bob-ombs aren't, and the contrast between something as innocent as a Banana being the cause of murder is funny. (Or it's to establish that Luigi is a terrible witness/he's lying and is the actual culprit.) We at KoopaTV have a documented love of bananas and hate to see them used that way—both in terms of being peeled off for a joke, and in terms of being littered in front of racers.

Using Bob-ombs wouldn't even entirely rip off what KoopaTV EXCLUSIVELY reported back on Mar. 10 2017 for how Mario and the CIA plotted to assassinate Waluigi while Waluigi was driving a Mercedes. Just saying.


Back to plot summary: The defence attorney asks Wario if he's evil... and Wario claims that he's misunderstood and that there is anti-Italian bigotry in the courtroom. The defence submits as evidence of a massive defamation campaign against Wario...

Saturday Night Live Wario Super Mario Wiki fan page lawyer
Do you see the problem? Well, allow me to explain...


The defence attorney cites the Super Mario Wiki page for Wario with words, but on the screen, shows the Wario Wiki instead. These are two completely different websites (and they happen to have much different text between them). At this point, maybe you're thinking the joke is that the defence attorney is incompetent. And maybe that is the case, since after a brief Waluigi diversion, the defence attorney asks the court to listen to the Wario's Castle song from Super Mario Land 2, referring to it as Wario's theme song...despite no one really associating this song with Wario, ever.



How does this song contradict Wario's unfair depiction as a villain? I dunno. It literally played while Wario was being depicted as a villain in Super Mario Land 2. But the judge banged her gavel on a question mark block, so maybe the punchlines are the Super Mario Bros. sound effects? Are 8-bit sounds really that funny to everyone? (Shout-outs to the courthouse taking place in Toad Town, by the way. That's one of the only attentions to detail in this whole thing that is actually accurate.)

The defence attorney asks Wario if Mario has any dark sides. KoopaTV readers know the answer is yes due to Mario's many gleeful murders. But Wario instead describes Mario's dark side as someone hooked on overdosing on Super Mushrooms, and Wario then (falsely) claimed that eating enough Super Mushrooms will cause you to flash with invincibility. We had a whole Splatfest about how those are entirely different things. Wario then admitted the flashing was actually from when Mario was on cocaine, and apparently that was a laugh line from the audience. Wario then claimed that Luigi was sleeping with Princess Peach, and then described her as “Mario's wife.”

We all know Peach and Mario aren't wife and husband. Peach is married to King Bowser Koopa! On three occasions!


After Wario made that false allegation, Luigi and Peach both denied it... with Princess Peach talking with Luigi's manner of accent. We'll get to that at the end, as the defence attorney then flashes a series of text messages on the screen, alleging that Luigi sexted a video of his male genitalia to Princess Peach around 3:17 AM, with a Super Mario Bros. “growing noise” sound effect. KoopaTV, of course, will not reproduce that imagery in this article, but this got the most laughter from the audience. I guess this “joke” combines Saturday Night Live's love of dick jokes and Super Mario Bros. sound effects as the punchline.

Just as Luigi is about to assassinate Wario (or perhaps the defence attorney?) with a “Red Turtle Shell” (I'm actually glad they didn't use the name Koopa—it saves Koopa Kingdom from being associated with this terrible skit) for “ruining his life”, New York Governor (and Democrat) Andrew Cuomo appears on the set in front of Wario, describing them both as “two misunderstood Italian-Americans” to sentimental music. Mario then appeared and said he's not actually dead because he has three lives left, and Cuomo advised “not to believe the horrible stereotypes” about Italians, with it cutting to this being a message brought to you by the Italian-American Anti-Defamation League. I guess that explains everyone's accents even if they shouldn't have them (like Peach's)?


Saturday Night Live Mario Wario Andrew Cuomo three lives left Italian Americans
So the punchline was an ethnic political joke?
Well, KoopaTV's done similar things, but...WAY better.
(I guess this is what Wario meant when he testified that Mario is just like him but “different colours.”)


Basically, Saturday Night Live bet their whole skit on the audience appreciating their lie that the whole cast are Italian-Americans. We all know they're not from Italy and they're not from America. The Mario Bros. were born in some part of the Mushroom Kingdom! Wario is... somewhere around there, too. Dunno where Waluigi's from but he's not relevant here. It's not Earth, at least.

And if you're not into the whole Super Mario Bros. thing and 8-bit sound effects used as humour (and the people who ARE into it are disappointed by how inaccurate it was, with no understanding of the world—why choose this to parody at all without any fundamental awareness of what you're parodying?), maybe as a Saturday Night Live viewer—besides the low-effort drug joke and the lower-effort dick joke—you can laugh at the shot against Andrew Cuomo's rapidly declining political fortunes, with his Chinese Communist Party Virus nursing home scandals and all. (Though the media is way more concerned about the sexual harassment allegations surrounding him than the policy failure and cover-up.)

I wonder if the whole skit was actually Elon Musk's idea. Either way, I'm gonna associate this with him from now on, so that's a loss of respect for the guy after I've been warming up to him for taking on Earth's bureaucratic governments. I guess he can't do all of that AND be funny all in one lifetime. (But I can!)



KoopaTV believes in TRUTH and LEVITY, which means the world as it already is has enough sparks of humour embedded in it that you don't need to make things up to be funny and make light of the world. Saturday Night Live not only misrepresented the world that Mario, Luigi, and Wario live in... but it wasn't funny, either, so they failed both truth and levity. Do you have a different view of things than Ludwig does, or do you agree with him? Let him know in the comments.

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