Inspired by Pedro Pascal‘s HBO hit The Last of Us, Saturday Night Live took a stab at adapting a different video game with a mushroom fixation: Mario Kart.
In the digital short, Pascal portrays Mario in a spoof trailer for the dystopian thriller. Pascal is tasked with helping Princess Peach (Chloe Fineman) get to Rainbow Road.
“It’s a-me, Mario,” Pascal says mimicking his character’s speech pattern, but replaces Mario’s recognizable zest with gloom (watch above). “Let’s a-go.”
Pascal and Princess Peach encounter creatures along the way who want them dead including Goomba, a sentient mushroom with shoes for legs.
Because the short’s visuals and Pascal’s performance are both so impressive, viewers might wonder whether SNL has just given HBO an idea.
The trailer goes on to boast that creators have reimagined Mario Kart characters to be more complex and dramatic. Viewers come to find out this just means many are now bisexual.
With so many things out there working against their kart, Princess Peach wonders what happens if they crash.
“A little guy in a cloud comes and uses a fishing pole to put you back on the road,” a brooding Mario in a newsboy cap tells her.
In the lead-up to Pascal’s inaugural hosting stint, SNL lampooned The Last of Us via this NBC promo. In the spot, Pascal is enjoying a quiet moment of reflection upon stepping foot in Studio 8H for the first time when he suddenly encounters an infected. He reaches for the nearest hammer and just as he’s about to take a swing, Pascal is interrupted by SNL cast members Sarah Sherman and Molly Kearney.
Pascal’s SNL gig comes as The Last of Us continues to pick up ratings steam. Last Sunday’s acclaimed third outing — guest-starring Parks and Recreation‘s Nick Offerman and The White Lotus‘ Murray Bartlett — drew 6.4 million viewers, up 12 percent from Episode 2 (which delivered a record-setting jump in viewership), and up 37 percent from premiere night.
Would you watch a Mario Kit dystopian series starring Pascal? Let us know in the comments! Then, watch the skit and grade the episode.