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New ‘SNL’ behind-the-scenes video shows how they pulled off ‘Mario Kart’ parody

A new "Behind the Sketch" video showed fans the creative process behind the dark adaption of the popular Nintendo Game.
Chloe Fineman and Pedro Pascal as Princess Peach and Mario in "Saturday Night Live" sketch on Feb. 4, 2023.
Chloe Fineman and Pedro Pascal as Princess Peach and Mario in "Saturday Night Live" sketch on Feb. 4, 2023.SNL
/ Source: TODAY

“Saturday Night Live” is giving a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of how one of Season 48's most popular sketches made it from pre-tape to the final show.

The iconic late night sketch comedy show is no stranger to elaborate parodies and gave the same treatment to a recent sketch called “HBO Mario Kart Trailer,” which spoofed the network’s wildly popular video game adaptation, “The Last of Us.”

Both the show and the sketch — which has amassed 10 million views on YouTube — star Pedro Pascal as the lead, with the actor taking on the role of Mario alongside cast member Chloe Fineman as Princess Peach, Mikey Day as Luigi, and Kenan Thompson as Bowser.

The two-and-a-half minute long “Behind the Sketch” video showed clips from the final version, in addition to shots from filming that showcased the craftsmanship of the set, intricate costumes, and makeup. The video offered fans a rare look into Zoom meetings where producers discussed plotting out the sketch and some of the Easter eggs sprinkled throughout. It also showed how the post-production team collaborated with visual effects artists to flesh out certain parts of the sketch.

Mike Diva, film unit director, referred to the sketch as “one of the most ambitious pre-tapes,” later adding, “If you’re watching this, I guess we pulled it off.”

In the skit, which originally aired on Feb. 4, the popular Nintendo game got a dark reimagining based on the success of “The Last of Us.”

The sketch followed Pascal and Fineman as he helped guide her safely to Rainbow Road. Throughout the treacherous journey, they encountered villains and obstacles such as Bowser and a Goomba, a mushroom inspired character, as well as allies including Day as Luigi, Bowen Yang as Yoshi, and Marcello Hernandez as Toad.

Pascal also gave fans a behind-the-scenes story about another memorable skit from his time hosting “SNL” in early February during an appearance on “Late Night With Seth Meyers.”

The 47-year-old actor was asked about the sketch called “Lisa from Temecula,” which starred Pascal and Yang along with Molly Kearney, Punkie Johnson, and Ego Nwodim. In the sketch, Nwodim orders her steak “extra, extra well done” and struggles to cut through the meat, which leads to the table shaking -- sending drinks, plates, and a pitcher of sangria flying.

Throughout the sketch, Pascal and the cast members all struggled to stay in character, with everyone breaking at some point to laugh. However, Pascal said that there is one person to blame for the unplanned laughter: Yang.

Pascal said that Yang "tossed his fork and fully gave up," during the skit which made it hard for him to stay in character.

“When it was on me and I was breaking, it’s because I was turning every now and then — yeah, I’m throwing him under the bus, basically — because I’m like, ‘No, you never break,' and so we were done for," Pascal said.