Pedro Pascal And SNL Reimagined Mario Kart As A Gritty HBO Adaptation, And The Trailer Is Fantastic

Mario and Peach getting ready to race with an ominous background on SNL.
(Image credit: SNL/ NBC)

With HBO’s adaptation of The Last Of Us earning huge praise and a second season renewal, lead actor Pedro Pascal was tapped to host Saturday Night Live this week. The brilliant actor, who has gotten rave reviews for his dramatic work, showed off his comedic side last night and was a hit with fans as he played everything from an Italian waiter to an overprotective mom. It was his turn as Mario, however, that has really gone viral.

Instead of doing a Chris Pratt style Mario adaptation, Pascal and the SNL cast made a fake trailer for an HBO adaptation of Mario Kart, and it is as over the top gritty as you might expect. It’s set in a dystopian future and populated by all the beloved Mario characters, except now they’re emotionally complex and bisexual. Check it out…

First of all, can we stop and acknowledge Saturday Night Live’s production design department, prop masters and everyone who works on the visual look of the show? It is incredible what these teams do with just a few days to get a background together. I’m not saying it’s Avatar, but for a sketch comedy show that could get by with way less effort, they have been overdelivering for so long.

Second of all, this just goes to show why every franchise wants Pedro Pascal. He stole so many scenes during his multi-episode run on Game Of Thrones. Then he was utterly brilliant in Narcos. Then he somehow got us all to fall in love with a dude in a mask in The Mandalorian. Now he’s crushing it again on The Last Of Us. I know this Mario Kart trailer is fake and obviously absurd, but if this was a real thing and Pascal was the star, people would show up in droves to watch the first episode. I’m so happy for him and all the career success he’s had the last decade or so.

In other news, the SNL cast continues to gel together and push new voices forward. Prior to the season, longtime headman Lorne Michaels called it a transition year, given the show lost some huge names including Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant and more. Cecily Strong also left midseason, leaving Kenan Thompson as the only non Weekend Update host with more than seven years of experience. Fortunately, that leftover airtime has been enthusiastically grabbed by the newer voices, and the show is starting to find a new collective voice.

SNL hasn’t revealed many of its upcoming hosts, but it did tell fans yesterday that Woody Harrelson will be returning for the next live episode on February 25th. He’ll be joining the Five Timers Club; so, expect a ton of surprise appearances from other celebs who have hosted five times. Get excited.

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Mack Rawden is the Editor-In-Chief of CinemaBlend. He first started working at the publication as a writer back in 2007 and has held various jobs at the site in the time since including Managing Editor, Pop Culture Editor and Staff Writer. He now splits his time between working on CinemaBlend’s user experience, helping to plan the site’s editorial direction and writing passionate articles about niche entertainment topics he’s into. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English (go Hoosiers!) and has been interviewed and quoted in a variety of publications including Digiday. Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.