Saturday Night Live wasn’t shy about leaning on the success of HBO’s The Last of Us while Pedro Pascal hosted, with their Mario Kart skit acting as proof.
Shown during the Feb. 4 episode, the skit plays out via a pre-produced trailer for a fake Mario Kart prestige drama. It pulls elements almost one for one from HOB’s The Last of Us, giving everything a grittier, grungier feel to make things appear as bleak and hopeless as possible in the name of a prestige feel.
The skit kicks off with a monologue about how the Mushroom Kingdom has fallen to ruin due to an unexplained catastrophe, and the only means of getting from one place to another is Karts. Mario, played by Pedro Pascal, must transport Princess Peach from one point to another via his Kart, and must enlist the help of characters like Luigi and Toad to assist him.
There are references to both the Mario Kart series and The Last of Us throughout, either through sound effects from the games or characters’ famous catch phrases. at the same time though, there are moments which combine the two franchises and their most famous elements into a new, more dramatic amalgamation. Luigi and Toad are decked out in post-apocalyptic versions of their usual clothes, while Mario is addicted to Mushrooms because they make him “feel big.”
It’s incredibly silly and cringey, but also pretty funny all things considered. It also manages to poke fun at elements of prestige television that would never be applicable to the light-hearted side of video games should they ever get The Last of Us-style HBO adaptations.
It’s well worth giving the skit a look via the official video down below.