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Meet the Man Behind the Most Famous Voice in Video Games

Quick! Do an impression of a video game character’s voice! We’re betting that you immediately went with “It’s-a me, Mario!”

If you didn’t — and went with something like “wizard needs food badly” — then you probably haven’t played a game since 1985 or may actually be a time traveler. If so, welcome to 2017 and we’re honored to have this article be your first since your time jump.-Let’s catch you up on things that are different. Umm.. so.. bad news. Bowie died… buuuuuut there’s bacon or cheese stuffed into almost every food now, so there’s that. Ooh! And remember that jumping guy from Donkey Kong? Well he’s still going strong for Nintendo and now has quite the iconic voice!

Recently, Great Big Story sat down with the vocal chords behind everyone’s favorite block-smashing, turtle-stomping, tanooki suit-wearing plumber to talk about his years of voicing Mario. Voice actor Charles Martinet has been supplying the “Let’s-a-go’s!”, “WooHoos!” and “Mama-mia’s!” for almost 30 years of Mario games and what’s interesting is that we almost missed out on the voice that’s cemented in our memories since Martinet almost missed his chance to audition. Some might consider seeing such an iconic voice come out of a face that isn’t Mario’s a bit off-putting, but we can’t get enough of Martinet’s energy. He’s also supplied the voices for Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, and — on occasion — even Donkey Kong.

What are your thoughts on seeing Mario’s voice IRL? Do you think I should have researched game release dates in more detail to make the time traveling joke work since Mario came out a month before Gauntlet? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

Images: Great Big Story

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