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You may not recognize the name Charles Martinet but you’ll probably recognize his voice.

He’s the voice of Nintendo character Mario and his brother, Luigi, on all the Mario Brothers games.

It’s a job he’s been doing for 16 years, ever since he crashed an audition and was told to do the voice of an Italian plumber from Brooklyn.

“They told me to portray an Italian plumber from Brooklyn and I immediately thought of a gruff ‘How ya doin’ type of voice. But then I decided I should make it more sweet for kids so I thought of a nice Italian guy who likes-a to make-a the pizza pie.”

Martinet was immediately hired and has had “gameful” employment ever since, thanks to countless new Mario games such as the upcoming “Mario Hoops 3 on 3” and “Mario Galaxy.”

He says the key to the character is that “he’s a perfect everyman who has fallen in love with a beautiful princess and has dedicated his life to saving her,” and adds, “He’s sort of like Candide in that he sees everything as the best of all possible worlds.”

On the other hand, Martinet says Luigi is “in eternal terror” and “constantly in the shadow of his brother.”

Martinet will be meeting his public at the Nintendo booth during Comic-Con and admits doing voiceovers doesn’t give him much opportunity to be recognized in public.

Still, he does like to have some fun with his fame, especially when he’s in airports and sees a kid playing the Mario games but admits, “It doesn’t always compute.”

DAVID MOYE

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