Saturday Night Live has Pedro Pascal’s next video game adaptation lined up with The Last of Us star taking the wheel for a gritty Mario Kart reimagining during his hosting debut.
The mock preview for HBO’s latest “prestige dystopian drama” follows the same track as its current zombie apocalypse hit with a deadly fungal virus taking out Mushroom Kingdom and leaving one lone wolf (er, plumber) tasked with transporting important cargo, an ousted Princess Peach played by Chloe Fineman, cross-country to Rainbow Road, the final level of the long-running racing game. After delivering a gruff rendition of the character’s iconic introduction “It’s a-me, Mario,” Pascal expresses concern for the mission, saying, “You’ll never make it on foot,” to which his employer assures, “You won’t have to.”
Cut-to the reveal of Mario’s “Red Fire” go-kart, and after Pascal quips one more catchphrase with “Let a-go,” he and Peach speed off on a course impressively recreated by SNL’s special effects team. Along the way, the pair enlist edgy updates to Mario’s usual crew including the mad-eyed Luigi, bloodthirsty Toad, and bisexual Yoshi while dodging bananas, red shells, and Goombas, or as Luigi accurately describes them, “sentient fungus with shoes for legs.” Meanwhile, Mario must also battle a crippling dependence on red mushrooms, which he can’t shake because “I need to feel big!” Watch the full sketch below.
Pascal’s Mario Kart sketch on Saturday Night Live is quite the convergence of pop culture touchstones, from the dark, apocalyptic tone mimicking The Last of Us to the imminent release of the Super Mario Bros. movie in April. The fake trailer unfortunately did not make any mention of the show’s most recent romance, but we can always hope they’re saving that storyline for the Double Dash!! sequel.
The Last of Us was renewed for Season 2 at the end of January. The doomsday series has also given new life to Linda Ronstadt’s “Long, Long Time” thanks to a pivotal placement in its third episode. Check out all of our coverage for the HBO television adaptation here.