Charles Martinet, the iconic voice behind everyone’s favorite mustachioed plumber for over 25 years, has transitioned from playing the character into being a “Mario Ambassador” instead, Nintendo recently announced. But there’s one problem: Martinet still doesn’t know what his new role at Nintendo entails.
“You might’ve seen the news, [I’m] a ‘Mario Ambassador,’” Martinet said. “I don’t know what that is yet. I’m not retired, as it were, but I’m an ambassador. And as we step forward into the future, I will learn—we’ll all learn—what exactly that is. But in the meantime, you know, I’ll be ambassading as I always have. I’m always an ambassador of Nintendo and Mario at all of these events because I just cherish every moment of it, and I hope that, you know, your love of the game continues and grows the way mine does. So, thank you so much.”
Folks had an inkling that something was afoot when the first gameplay footage of upcoming platformer Super Mario Bros. Wonder had fans feeling that Mario’s exclamations didn’t quite sound like the Martinet “Wah-ha!”s and “Yahoo!”s we’re so familiar with. I guess this is why: because Martinet has transcended the role, evolving from simply portraying Mario to speaking on behalf of Marios everywhere—or whatever he’ll be doing.
Kotaku reached out to Nintendo for comment.
It’s unclear who will voice Mario going forward; if Martinet does know something, he certainly didn’t share any deets during his GalaxyCon Austin talk. Nintendo has indicated that we’ll have to wait until Wonder comes out to learn just who has stepped into the old overalls and workboots. So, for now, the jury’s still out on who’s “wahoo-ing” in Wonder. Do you have any theories?
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