By Ben Collins, Globe Correspondent
So Mario died today.
Captain Lou Albano, who was Mario on Saturday Morning TV (and Cyndi Lauper's Dad in the video for "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,'' too) finally found the Princess in the Castle of the Sky today at 76.
He was a wrestler and manager, too. I think that makes him 152 in wrestling years. That's is a pretty stellar run for a guy who was The Rock before The Rock, who broke out of the wrestling scene and onto Hollywood Squares in the '90 without anyone asking why.
He was so much a part of vernacular back in the late 80s, Globe sportswriting great Leigh Montville referenced him in a story about the Bruins in 1989:
"The result was surreal, to say the least, a change as crazy as something from the World Wrestling Federation, the lovely Elizabeth now sitting on a new shoulder, bad traded for good as easy as that, Captain Lou Albano, himself, treated at some strange laboratory and now putting money in the poor box. For once, the Bruins were the maligned and gentle sheepherders, just looking for a little grazing land. The Canadiens were the louts, heading toward the penalty box, one after another."
Of course, I have no idea what this means, and never will. Super Mario Brothers Super Show was so far on the fringe of my consciousness that I thought I dreamt the whole thing. It seems like some hazy, dreamy knockoff of a 90s reality -- two people who look like electricians stood in front of a green screen and took over custody of your kids' attention every Saturday morning.
But there's something that worked about Captain Lou, somehow, that made him so endearing.
And it's probably this song, or at least the last 40 seconds of it, when Captain Lou takes control of the mic. As usual.