Watching some old video game commercials and came across ads for Donkey Kong (1982) and Donkey Kong Jr. (1983) Both using footage from the Colecovision port and sporting, what I guess is the first live-action appearance of Mario!
He’s missing the famous bright blue overalls, red shirt and initialed red cap but it’s him. Mario was already established from “Jumpman” by the time Donkey Kong Jr hit so it’s gotta be him. In both commercials he sports a red bowtie, white shirt and black vest. I’m not good with hat styles but it looks like a porkpie hat. The only thing that really makes him “Mario” is the thick black mustache blanketing his whole upper lip that resembles a push broom. He speaks in both commercials, he has a cool 80’s New Yorker accent that suits him pretty well. Mario was a hip guy back in those days, chilling with Pauline, playing his brand new Colecovision on his floor model TV, leaving his apartment windows wide open so Donkey Kong could just bust in any time he felt like it. What a time to be alive.
Watch the Donkey Kong commercial and the Donkey Kong Jr. commercial.