Every gamer has played at least one Super Mario Game after Super Mario 64. We all know the recognizable friendly Mario voice from “It’s a me, Mario” to “Woo Hoo” and the “Weeeeeeeeeeee!!!” On top of that, most gamers know who’s the voice behind Super Mario (and many other characters). For those that don’t, the voice behind Mario is Charles Martinet.
It has always been on my bucket list for a long time to meet the man behind Mario. Why did I want to meet him so bad? Well for one, I think there’s no greater video game character to meet than Charles Martinet. But I also love what he brings to the table, the joy he brings to peoples lives when they hear his voice in any Super Mario game. It brings a smile to peoples faces and you’ll hear many gamers try and replicate his voice. But more importantly I wanted to meet Charles because of his positive vibe. He’s always happy, never in a bad mood and very pleasant to listen to or watch on the net. It’s how I envisioned Mario to be like if he was an actual person; outgoing, happy and fun to talk to. Out of all the video’s I’ve seen Charles in never once has he made a smart aleck remark to a fan, or embarrass someone, or act uptight. I’ve never seen him negative or say “that’s a stupid question”. Obviously celebrities are human beings like us and all the long road trips, all the conventions and company appearances can certainly suck the life out of you and put you in a certain mode. But in Charles case it seems to never phase him which is so impressive!
I’m sure there were many great voice actors that appeared at the Nintendo audition to be the voice for Super Mario, but Nintendo made the right choice in the end. If you don’t know the story behind Charles Martinet and how he got to be the voice of Super Mario it’s a great read and you can find on the web either on his personal website (mentioned above) or Wikipedia. I was thrilled when I found out that Charles would make an appearance at the Montreal Comic-Con this year. After going through the line-up there wasn’t anyone I wanted to meet in-particular. Maybe some of the walking dead characters like Michael Rooker who I heard was super friendly and outgoing. I saw him be very interactive with everyone and I wish I could have met him but all my focus was for Charles Martinet. It’s quite hard to see where Charles is travelling throughout the year, and most of the time it’s in the US. The only chance I would have to meet him would most likely be at the Nintendo Store in New York which is a 6 hour drive for me. So having Charles come up here was not only convenient, but less stressful in terms of time management.
So how is Charles Martinet like? Well, when I arrived to his booth he already had a long line-up (and he wasn’t even a featured guest!). He started signing things, making videos with people, taking pictures and being so bubbly. First thing that came to my mind was how much energy he had. Yes I know, he is the voice of Super Mario and has uphold his persona, but he had a smile the whole way through. He would “shake” people’s hands (not props/rejecting hand-shakes) and would say “It was a pleasure meeting you!“. I finally had my chance to meet him and was shocked how he reached out to shake my hand first and asked for my name. I had a bunch of items for Charles to sign but he took his time with each of his signings making his signature Mario and friends voices from Mario to Luigi to Wario and baby Mario. The whole way though Charles was making sounds and would stop to ask me a question in his regular voice, it was quite impressive. I also had pictures done and a video with Charles which was so cool and I would recommend anyone to do this as you have your own personalized video with the man himself, Super Mario! At the end Charles shook my hand and wished me the best of luck. I’ve met many celebrities in the past and Charles was one of the most memorable. If you have a chance to see Charles in your home town during Comic-Con or another special event I would definitely recommend meeting him, you won’t regret it!