Originally posted on Kombo.

For part 1 of this feature, click here; for part 2, click here.

We recently had the chance to sit down and speak with Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario, Wario and a number of other Nintendo characters. During our interview, we talked about a number of topics, including how Charles got his gig as Mario, what it’s like to voice video game characters, the upcoming Wario Land: Shake It!! and much more.

We highly recommend downloading the interview in podcast form, as it’s the kind of interview that you have to hear to enjoy. However, we’ve also included the transcript after the jump.

Download | Charles Martinet Interview | 31m

Kombo: Hi, David Oxford here for Kombo.com, and I am with Mr. Charles Marinet, the voice of Mario. But…

Charles Martinet: *in Mario’s voice* Woo-hoo!

Kombo: *laughs* Today, we aren’t here to focus so much on Mario, but rather, we’re looking at the 15th anniversary of his alter-ego known as Wario.

Martinet: *in Wario’s voice* *laughter* My turn! *raspberries*

Kombo: Okay, so before we get started talking about Wario, I was wondering if you had done any video game roles prior to voicing Mario?

(According to Wikipedia, Charles Martinet took up the role in 1987 for trade shows, but did not perform as an in-game voice for Mario until 1995’s PC release Mario’s FUNdamentals. Prior to that, CD ROM gaming had been on the rise, with more and more soundbytes beginning to make their way into games.)

Charles: You know, I did, I think I’ve done about a hundred other video games in total… aside from Mario, you know… some things from Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, and PGA Golf and stuff like that, lots of interesting things. But before… before Mario, in those days, there weren’t that many voices in games. I should say, I didn’t do a hundred before Mario, but I’ve done a hundred in total outside of Mario, and Wario, Luigi, Waluigi, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, all those people.

But in those days, a lot more of the stuff was brief sound bytes, so I did a lot of war games, a lot of boy games, you know, getting killed in 158 different ways. “Ooh!” “Aah!” “Ok, now you’re shot in the arm…” “Aah!” “Now you’re shot in the leg!” “Uhh!” “Now you’re shot in the stomach!” “OoHuh!” …you know, making all these sounds that were really brief, and really short…

Kombo: *laughs* Sounds interesting… like, is it hard to come up with so many ways to… get shot?

Charles: You know, I absolutely love the creative process, being in a studio, having a director in there, and having a fun project, and the picture of the characters that you’re doing, or just an idea of the game and going with it… so, it’s not hard, it’s totally fun. But in voiceover acting, I’ve said this a lot of times before, it’s like a dog chasing a ball, or a stick on the beach… you know, if you’ve ever seen a dog… you know, you’re not self conscious of it, he’s not self-conscious of looking for the ball, he’s just going for it. That’s all he loves to do. So you’re in there, and they say “Now somebody shot you in the eye!” “Blaaah~!” *laughter* You just come up with things, you know?

Kombo: *laughing* Okay, now a couple of weeks ago, on one of the Kombo podcasts, FTW I believe, with Casey… you described how you got the part of Mario, can you briefly recap that for us?

Charles: Sure, that was a lot of fun. You know, I was… I think if I recall right, I was lying on a beach somewhere, when a friend of mine called and said “hey, you should go and audition for this Italian plumber for a trade show, you know?” and I said “Oh, I don’t want to crash an audition, I’ve never crashed an audition in my life…” And of course, what do I do? I go anyway, and I knock on the door and open it up, and there’s the producer there with the camera, and it’s already put away, and I said “Can I just read for this?” and he said “Oh, alright. You’re an Italian plumber from Brooklyn, you’re gonna have these face-things on your face, and everything’s gonna be glued on, and we don’t even know if it’s gonna work… but you’re going to move your mouth and face, and this character is going to do the same thing. Now, he’s an Italian plumber from Brooklyn, so do that… and make up a video game.”

So long story short, it just popped into my head “Hello! It’s-a me, Mario! Okie-dokie, let’s make a pizza pie together! You get some sausage, and… *goes into whole pizza schpiel*” …and I just, I don’t know what I did, but I just kept talking and talking until the tape ran out, and they’re just “Stop! Stop! Stop! The tape is gone! Thanks, we’ll be in touch.” Which, of course as you know is the kiss of death for an actor. But I walked out of the room, and he called up Don James and said “I found our Mario.” And mine was the only tape that he sent, of the many, many tapes that he had made. So… yaaaay!

That was… 19 years ago, I think it’s going on 20 years ago… *laughs* It’s amazing how time flies.

Kombo: Wow, that’s amazing… so, it’s just kind of a “no fear,” kind of a “take your chances, you never know how far you’ll get” kind of thing, right?

Charles: You know, I guess it’s true… let’s face it, anyone can hang up a shingle that says “Actor.” And as you watch TV, you can see that a lot of people do! And anybody can be a voiceover talent, too. It’s just, so much of it is studying what people sound like, and look like, and you know, watching cartoons, if you will, video games, and seeing… it’s sort of like, why does that character with the big jaw *changes voice* “sound like that… you know, with the big jaw.” *changes voice again* “And a sweet little mouse, and he sounds like that.” Because there’s a character to this, and as you study that sort of stuff, and do those sort of accents and voices… you know, study peoples’ mannerisms and parody things and do things, and try for realistic accents and dialect, it’s a great piece of training.

You know, once you get to the job part, or the audition part, you can’t figure out what people want… you can only figure out what you can bring to it. So you bring yourself to the party, and at that point you can’t sit there listening to yourself, wondering if that’s what they want… now, you’ve got to be the dog chasing the ball.

Kombo: Okay, gotcha.

Charles: Yeah!

Kombo: Now, something I was wondering about, actually… thinking back on your story of how you came up with the voice of Mario, I remember you at first (if I’m not mistaken) had kind of a gruffer version you had initially thought of…

Charles: Yeah, sure, because you know how *changes voice* “guy from Brooklyn, talks like this, right? Hey, I’m under your sink here, my pants are down to my knees, and don’t look, alright? I’m down here woikin’…” So it’s tough and gruff, and that sort of thing. But honestly, when he was asking me about it, you know, “let’s do this voice,” he said that “you’d be talking to people of all ages.” You know, my rule about comedy is “never hurt people.” You know, if the kids are going to be listening to it, is that the sort of projected image that I would want to do? *changes voice* “Yeah, right, I’m a tough guy, so bug off!” So the answer is no, I thought someone who’s sweet and fun and funny and whose comedy sort of goes inward, instead of outward…

And so, since I had played Gremio, who’s an old Italian guy in The Taming of the Shrew, a few years earlier… luckily, the voice that came into my mind was *changes voice* “a nice old Italian guy, like this. Ah, senor Gremio…” and I younged it up, and had some more fun with it, make it bouncy, and then all of a sudden, that’s when I heard “action” and that’s what came out… *Mario’s voice* Woo-hoo!

Kombo: That’s cool, because I was wondering if there were any other cartoons or influences that led to the lighter tone, so you were basically just taking a previous role, and lightening it up? Is that what you had…?

Charles: Yeah…! There was… I didn’t have a picture of Mario there, so I didn’t even know… I don’t recall what he looked like, so it was just a shot in the dark, as it were, when I think about someone who’s friendly and fun and engaging, and rescues the princess. That’s all I sorta knew about Mario, you know? If I even knew that!

Kombo: Okay, I can see that… so, I’m kind of curious: What did you think when you first got to see the character that you were going to be voicing?

Charles: It was great, it was a great experience: I flew down to Pasadena, and went for a fitting. They had to make a face mold of my face, and make a mask for that, and had these contacts attached to my face with surgical glue, and then taped on, so that when I moved, the character would move in real-time. And I had something called the flying mouth at the time, which would make it go up and down… and it was just a flying head, and I thought “Oh, this is great! Oh, this is so fun!”

I think the thing is, Mr. Miyamoto is such a genius; he’s created such fun for so many people, and just by luck and good fortune… To me, that’s what I got when I saw it, is that “this is fun!” and so *Mario’s voice* “Okie-dokie! Let’s-a talk a little bit! Woo-hoo! I’m having a great day! Ah, I love the princess… she makes my heart go badda-bing, badda-boom, badda-ba!”

Kombo: *laughs*

Charles: It’s all about having fun, and that’s exactly what I did when I first saw that character… I was in love with the whole concept, the whole idea, the whole character. It’s really terrific.

Kombo: That’s great, especially since you’ve stuck with it for so long…

Charles: Yeah! And I hope to stick with it for another twenty years! *laughs*

Kombo: Right on, I hope so, too! I am kind of curious, though… when you mentioned that equipment, is that the same kind of thing you use now? Or have they really advanced the technology? Is it less… you know, stuff on your face?

Charles: It is amazing… in those days, we’d be in the little room, you know, behind it, because it couldn’t be too far away… I’d have these things glued to my face, and it’d be hot in the room, and we had a supercomputer, bigger than a coffee table, sitting, doing all that crunching of numbers and calculations that would come in when I smile, or laugh or say *Mario voice* “Hello!” …you know? And we had this time-delay equipment, and all this stuff would be crunching, and then the glue started to melting, and the tape would start melting because it was hot… and it was slow.

Now, of course, computers have grown so much in these twenty years… I do everything from my house now! Or I can do it from my house, instead of being 30 feet away from the action, in the soundproof room so they can’t hear me going *Mario voice* “Yah! Mama-mia! Let’s-a go! Hello, everybody! Woo-hoo!” So now I sit there in my little bunny shoes in the morning, and just talk with people at the Nintendo World Store, or anywhere in the world. I’ve talked to people in London, and Birmingham, England, and we can go to South America, just through a couple of laptops. And now the technology is so that all I do is speak, and if I say the letter… an “ooh” sound, the character knows to put his lips in an “ooh” sound. You know, there’s this sort of universal “ah, eh, ee, oh, ooh” and “pah, beh” and when the mouth closes, with “buh” or “kuh.” It’s quite amazing!

Kombo: That is amazing… I haven’t gotten to see one of those displays yet, but I sure hope I get to.

Charles: Well, you know the Nintendo World Store, we actually just finished in August doing a bunch of those… it was just great fun, when we did that autographing of the Mario Sluggers game, and the baseballs people brought with, which was really fun. And hopefully, we’ll be back for this Christmas!

Kombo: That would be excellent, I wish you guys had been there the one time I got to go to the Nintendo World Store, it was at the Wii launch… but that place was packed, I don’t know that I would’ve gotten to really see it.

Charles: Wasn’t that a wonderful event? And isn’t that store just the best?

Kombo: Oh, it is awesome.

Charles: I just loved it, I was walking around going “Oh, look at these t-shirts! Oh, look at these games! Oh, look at these pillows! Oh!” *laughs*

Kombo: *laughs* It’s a fan’s dream, I’ll tell you.

Charles: Yeah, it’s terrific! Not to mention all the wonderful games, and all the fun there… it’s just a terrific place.

Kombo: Yes, very much. Moving on, I did want to ask you: So we know how you got Mario, the voice of Mario… what I was wondering is, did you have to audition for any of the other roles you perform for Nintendo now, such as Luigi, Wario…?

Charles: The marvelous thing is, Nintendo is so tremendously loyal, so wonderful with me… they created a character, a real-time animation… we call it “Mario In Real Time,” or “MIRT,” and that was created by SIM Graphics Engineering, in South Pasadena, California… and then, they created Wario, when Wario started about fifteen years ago… and I walked in the door, and ah! There was Wario. *laughs* And it was “ok, do this voice, you know, be gruff, and like the alter-ego, and he’s a mean guy, so you be rough.” And *Wario’s Voice* “Alright, have a rotten day! *laughs* Oh, I hate you! I hate you! OOOOH!!” And that’s just sort of what came into being was that voice, and they just said “Great! Terrific!” And that’s what it’s been ever since.

And oddly enough, how I got Luigi’s voice going was, you know, they’ve got people who’ve got a shipping container they carry around in their truck, with all this equipment in it so that I can go to stores and things, and we were doing Wal-mart launches, and people were inevitably asking about *changes voice* “Is Luigi there? Can we see him?” The thing about real-time animation is, I can see them through a hidden camera and hear them with a hidden microphone, so I can see somebody and say *Mario’s voice* “Oh look! You’ve got a red hat on, just like-a Mario!” and they go *boing* “Oh! Mario’s talking to me!” And we’re just in this magical age for children, where they just completely… *kids voice* “Why aren’t you inside my video game?” *Mario’s voice* “Oh, because I came on the TV set to talk to you!” *kid’s voice* “Are you going to be there when I get home?” *Mario’s voice* “Oh yeah, I’ll be in the game when you get home, and I’ll say ‘Woo-hoo!’ ’cause I’m happy to see you!” You know? It’s this suspension of disbelief that just adds it. So they’d ask me *kid’s voice* “Where’s Luigi? Can he come and say hello? He’s my favorite!” And I’d say *Mario’s voice* “Oh, I don’t know.. I’m not sure, I think he’s making spaghetti and meatballs; hang on a second, I’ll see. Hey, Luigi! Can you come and say hello?” And I would then hold my face and not move it, because that would trigger all the contact points. *Luigi’s voice* “Oh, no…” *Mario’s voice* “Oh? Where are you?” *Luigi’s voice* “I’m in the kitchen, making spaghetti and meatballs, but I’m too shy to come out…” *Mario’s voice* “Oh, he says he’s too shy to come out, but he’s making spaghetti and meatballs; maybe you can come inside the TV set and have it with us?”

Kombo: *laughs*

Charles: *Mario’s voice* “There’s got to be a door around here, somewhere…” *Luigi’s voice* “I don’t see a door anywhere, Mario!” And so, it was great. And so, him being shy and being off the screen, that was the voice that I was using, and so when it came to Luigi in games… which I think the first time I remember, that was Mario Kart… for the N64, then there it was, and you know, the exact same thing happened… I originally did the voice for Donkey Kong in the same way… *Donkey Kong voice* “Ooh! Ooh! Ooh yeah! DK, baby!” You know, so then we had a real-time Donkey Kong… but now, of course, I think it’s all computer-generated sounds, so… but yeah, one character to the next, it’s been one gift after another…

Kombo: Okay…

Charles: And I’m hoping that one day, little Baby Wario will have a little rotten voice…

Kombo: Oh my…

Charles: *Baby Wario voice* “Mineminemineminemine!

Kombo: *laughs* Oh, that would be awesome… So, did you ever see any of the old Wario commercials, like for Super Mario Land 2 or anything? Were those of any influence?

Charles: Ah, no, I didn’t actually see them, so… *laughs* It was a little before my time, I guess, or something, I don’t know.

Kombo: Ok, well, what about any of the old Mario cartoons? Did those influence any of the voices you’ve performed? Or have you just kind of gone into it fresh?

Charles: I went into it fresh, I didn’t see any of those until I was at ComicCon a couple of years ago, and said “Oh, look! There are those cartoons!” And someone was playing one, so I said, “Oh, that’s great! That’s fun!” You know, it’s completely different from what I do, but you know, sure. Back in the day, that was… what a creative bunch of guys, that put together something wonderful and fun like that…

Kombo: There’s something else…

Charles: I’d love to do it, I’ll tell you, I’d love to do a Mario cartoon series, that would be really fun. *laughs*

Kombo: That was actually going to be one of my questions, because most voice bits that are featuring Mario, Wario, and the crew, they usually involve these little snippets, so you don’t hear them talking for very long. And supposing Nintendo were to approve a longer Mario feature of some sort… say, a straight-to-DVD cartoon movie, or something of that sort; would you be interested in performing the characters for such an extended period of time?

Charles: I would absolutely love it, if they did that. I don’t anticipate that, though, because… Mr. Miyamoto is a genius, he really knows… not only the ins and outs of the entertainment value of Mario, and these characters that he creates… but he knows sort of what he wants to do with them. I don’t think he really wants to create a cartoon series for TV or other… DVDs, or that sort of thing, because the value for him is in the games… I think. You know, I can’t really speak for him. But you know, if he changes his mind and he says “You know something? I want to make a cartoon,” I’ll be jumping up and down. *laughs*

Kombo: Awesome; now, supposing that rhetorical situation were to come up, would you make any changes to how you perform the characters, due to having to perform them for longer?

Charles: Ah, no, because you know the great thing about doing the MIRT, the Mario In Real Time, and WIRT, the Wario In Real Time, and now IMIRT, Internet Mario In Real Time and Wario In Real Time… you know, I talk non-stop with people for hours on end, so you know, I’ll just keep doing the same thing. And I think that’s the nature, anytime you have a character in your mind, well-seeded there, is that anytime there’s a change, you respond with the character. You know, that’s a voiceover actor’s job, when you improvise and things, it’s like a situation changes, you just go ahead with it, and stay in the character.

Kombo: Ok, awesome. Now, one question I did have is, when you’re acting as Wario, does it feel any different than playing Mario? Like there are less rules, or more creative freedom? Can you cut loose a little more?

Charles: *laughs* Well, sure, yeah, because he can be a little… he’s just *Wario’s voice* “Yeah, I’m a stinker! Hah-hah-hah! *raspberries*” He gets to play and be silly, whereas Mario is *Mario’s voice* “Okie-dokie! I’m a really sweet-a guy! I’m the nice-a man, I love-a the princess, woo-hoo!” You know, it’s a very different sort of job. But, the Mario energy is so free-flowing, it comes up from the ground, and flies into the air. *Wario’s voice* “Wario, he’s going ‘Oh, I’m frustrated! Like nothing can, nothing works for me!'” And of course, Waluigi, he’s *Waluigi’s voice* “Waaah! Everything goes good for everybody but me! Waa-haaah!” You know, a big self-pity thing, it’s the cornerstone of his character.

Kombo: Speaking of Waluigi, that actually brings up another point I wanted to ask you about. For awhile now, ever since Waluigi has first appeared, people have speculated on whether or not he and Wario are actually brothers, like Mario and Luigi. Do you know anything about that…?

Charles: You know something? I don’t actually know if they’re brothers or not. I don’t think so… I think they’re just two nice, evil guys who found each other.

Both: *laugh*

Kombo: Okay, so speaking of Waluigi, some people feel he’s an unoriginal character that’s basically filling in a gap that no one ever saw. Me, I think he’s one of the funniest characters in the entire franchise. What do you think of Waluigi?

Charles: I think he’s hilariously funny. I love that *Waluigi’s voice* “Hey, take that, Mr. Eyeball-guy! Hah-haah!”, you know, when he’s doing graffiti in the opening movie…

Kombo: I love that.

Charles: I just, I love that stuff. I think he’s tremendously funny and silly and ridiculous, and he’s so… he’s almost… Wario, to me, is like jealous. That’s his cornerstone emotion, is jealousy… and Waluigi? It’s self-pity, you know? So you have a different resonance that comes from that sort of energy, that you know *Waluigi’s voice* “Waaaaaaaah! The frustration!” *Wario’s voice* “But this one, I’m gonna get through this next time! I’ll get you! Ooh-hoo, I’m-a gonna win!”

Kombo: *laughs*

Charles: But it’s never so serious, as to be a harmful sort of energy, you know what I mean? That, I think, goes back to Mr. Miyamoto’s belief and my belief that the characters are fun, they’re playful, even in the sort of flaws of their personality.

Kombo: Right on; you mentioned– sorry, I was just thinking, you mentioned the short cartoons, with the “Mr. Eyeball-guy” and stuff, from the Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour and Mario Power Tennis on the Cube. I really love those cartoons, starring Wario and Waluigi; they were really funny.

Charles: *laughs*

Kombo: Was there any ad-libbing involved there, or creative control on your part when they came up with those?

Charles: Oh sure, you know, they give us the movies and they give us suggestions on the dialogue, but you know, we’re just flying around with ideas, because you have a certain amount of time where a mouth moves, and say “Ok, I’ve got this much time, well what if I say this? What if I say that?” And you know, the great creative team at Nintendo that’s producing these sessions… they have ideas, I have ideas, and we just sit there, you know, bantering back and forth, playing the movie and trying to fit them in there. And then we come up with the ones that we think are the best, and then Japan decides which ones are going to go in the game. And I love it, *Waluigi’s voice* “Mr. Eyeball-guy!” got in there… *laughs*

Kombo: *laughs* Ok, and speaking of ad-libbing… actually, going off the topic here for just a second, but a friend of mine had gotten one of the Mario Galaxy phone messages, from when people reserved their game, and he was wondering if that came off the top of your head, or if there was a script for it?

Charles: There was a script for it, and then I play off of the script; I improvise off the script.

Kombo: I see, I gotcha. I imagine there are certain points you have to hit… you know, “available at this time,” “come in to get it,” that kind of thing, right?

Charles: Right, right… and *Mario’s voice* “Thank you so much for playing my game!” And that’s often the case, it’s that way in the games, too, that we do scripts and then improvise.

Kombo: Okay, excellent. And speaking of improvisations and acting out in the games, we’ve got Wario Land: Shake It! coming up on September 22nd…

Charles: *Wario voice* “Oh yeah, this is the greatest game ever! You’re gonna love this game, ahaha! Number one!” Yeah, it’s a great game, it’s really fun. It was done, actually, I don’t know what this company is, but the animation aspect is done by a very famous anime company in Japan, and I’ve looked at the beginnings of the game, and some areas of that first sort of level, and it’s really fun and really amazing design, and if you stop and just look at what they’ve designed, you know, monkeys-inside-the-bricks sort of thing, and a cartoon, and it’s just great. Really fun.

Kombo: Did you do any extended dialogue for the animated sequences or anything there, or is it more of the *Wario voice* “Wa-ha!” thing?

Charles: Yeah, it’s a lot more of the “Wa-ha!” things; it’s also a two-dimensional game, so I don’t think they wanted to put in too much dialogue and things. But it was a lot of fun; we recorded that in Japan, and I recorded that at the same time I recorded Mario Galaxy

Kombo: Oh, wow.

Charles: So they had a whole bunch of my work to put in the game, and I got the tremendous privelege of watching the game creators play the game, you know, seeing them explain what they love in the game. That sort of gave me an unbridled enthusiasm when we went into the session…

Kombo: Nice, very nice; on that note, is there any part of the game that you want fans to keep an eye, or as it were, an ear out for?

Charles: You know, that’s a great question… I can’t think of anything, it’s just… from looking at that tremendous animation, every once in a while, pause and take a look at the scenes and scenarios that are brought up on your screen. It’s really amazing; play it on the big screen.

Kombo: *laughs*

Charles: Play it in HD, because the animation is really super.

Kombo: Oh, wow. Now I’m going to have to get to Best Buy or something. *laughs*

Charles: Yeah, get the HDTV flatscreen… you know, big panel TV… *laughs*

Kombo: Yeeah, big, round Wario on a big, flat screen…

Charles: *laughs* Yeah..

Kombo: Ok, something I was wondering about is that we’ve seen Wario basically running his own game company in Wario Ware, we’ve seen Wario the cheating athlete in Mario Kart and the sports games, and of course, with Wario Land, we see Wario the adventurer. Are there any new types of roles or games you’d like to see Wario take part in, like Mario’s taken part in so many kinds of games? Would you like to see Wario do anything new?

Charles: Yeah, I want to see Wario have his own games like this, and then you do a 3D game, or you know, have Wario and Waluigi in a game where they have to rescue somebody, or one of them is kidnapped… I think that would be hilarious fun, having Waluigi rescue Wario, you know… *Waluigi’s voice* “Waaaah! Waaaaah!” you know, every time something happens to him. It’d be hilarious.

Kombo: That would be good, or maybe something like the Mario & Luigi games on the Game Boy Advance and DS, where they team up.

Charles: Oh, that would be so fun… I also think of Luigi, I want Luigi to have another game like Luigi’s Mansion, because that was so totally fun. *Mario’s voice* “Luigi! Get me outta here!” *Luigi’s voice, scared* “Mmmmario! I’m-m coming!”

Kombo: Ah, that was a great one. *chuckles* Ok, and let’s see… it’s been awhile since Wario has had a starring role in a game that wasn’t Wario Ware… it’s probably back around, I think 2001, 2002 was the last time, maybe? What would you say is the main draw of the Wario Land: Shake It! game, to someone who maybe hasn’t played a Wario title before?

Charles: You know, it uses the Wii, the remote, which is really fun, and you’re shaking it, and you angle it and tilt it to throw things or fire things off. It’s got a lot more really fun dimensions to it, because it’s a Wii game, and that’s something really exciting for me.

Kombo: That’s something I can’t wait to check out, it looks like it will be a lot of fun to play… and of course, you don’t get enough 2D games on the big TV screen these days, it’s all usually on portables…

Charles: Yeeah, yeah… and as I said, the animation is so gorgeous, it’s breathtaking, it really is. It’s amazing…

Kombo: Here’s hoping it’s the start of something new…

Charles: Yeah, I hope so! *laughs* *Wario’s voice* “Me too!

Kombo: *laughs* Something else I was wondering about… have there been any other Nintendo or video game voices you’d be interested in auditioning for? Or are there any upcoming games that you will be voicing, which a regular fan may not think to listen for you in?

Charles: Well, you know, I’m always in Mario games, since there are a bunch of other characters, like in Mario Sunshine, I just did the natives and the tour guide… *tour guide’s voice* “Welcome, to the Isle Delfino…” You know, that was a lot of fun, just to throw some stuff in there, that’s always fun. And I’m always… you know, the creative team up there knows that I’m always interested in doing more. *laughs* You know, I thought I’d love to do Link… but then Mr. Miyamoto said “no, he’s never going to have a voice like that,” so… that’s not going to happen. You know, you’ve gotta respect the guy who’s launched billions of peoples’… fun.

Kombo: Indeed…

Charles: Knowing what he wants, and knowing what’s right for the character.

Kombo: It’s a curious thing to say, because you know, you still hear the yelps and yipes that he does, or the “hyahs” he does when he swings the sword. On that note, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, that came out earlier this year… did you try for any other characters in that? Did you play any other roles?

Charles: No, you know, they had everybody locked up for that, and I also recorded that in Japan, as it happens. Which was another great, fun session, doing that. But you know, doing Wario and Mario and Luigi in that game, that was fantastic for me. I loved it.

Kombo: *chuckles* Excellent. Are there any other roles of note… say you heard they were casting for such-and-such role that you wouldn’t hesitate to try for it? Be it a video game, or something else entirely?

Charles: Oh, you know, I love doing what I do, I have a wonderful agent in Los Angeles, Andy Shnarr at AVO Talent, and a wonderful agent in San Francisco, John Erinson, JE Talent, which is great, and so I get auditions from them, and I get auditions from clients who visit my web page occassionally, going “oh, we want you to do this sort of thing,” and I’ll read a copy and send an MP3 file to them. And I love auditioning for everything, it’s just totally fun for me.

Kombo: Okay, excellent… it sounds like a lot of fun. One question I did have, kind of for fun, is… we usually see and hear the characters… Mario, Luigi, Wario… they’re usually reacting to things that are going on around them. But we rarely ever get to see them interact with each other in a way in which they converse with one-another. I was wondering if you could give us an example of that, perhaps?

Charles: Well you know, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, where the two of them talk to each other, I love that… *Mario’s voice* “Hey! Hey, Luigi! *goes into Italian babble*” *Luigi’s voice* “*does likewise*” You know, it’s just like fun little Italian babble… *laughs* Which I love. I love those scenes, it’s just terrific.

Kombo: What kind of stuff do you think the four might say to each other, if they just like, got together at some point, and were just kind of… talking at one-another, like you know, outside of that?

Charles: *laughs* *Mario’s voice* “Mario’s gonna say, I think we’re gonna have a great day today, everybody! Let’s-a have a-super-duper fun!” *Wario’s voice* “Yeah, that’s right! Everybody gonna have a great day… but I’m gonna win! Wahaha!” *Waluigi’s voice* “Waaaah! Everybody’s gonna cheat but me!” *Luigi’s voice* “Ohhh, I’m afraid, but I think I’m gonna win, too! *Mario’s voice* “Okie-dokie! Let’s-a play!”

Kombo: *laughs*

Charles: *Mario’s voice* “Woo-hoo!”

Kombo: Okay, and my last question for this, is… I heard you’re working on a book. How’s that coming along?

Charles: You know, things have gotten so busy… I put it down for awhile, but I’m going to get inspired and pick it back up because, I’m thinking what I could do is get a blog started at some point, and you know, get fans’ questions, Mario fans’ questions, and Wario fans’ questions, and Luigi, and everybody… questions, and that will help me put it together, and help me keep focused on it, because it’s challenging to just sit down and write, you know? *laughs*

Kombo: I hear ya’, heh.

Charles: Yeah, but I will pick that back up and get going… just, for the rest of the year, I’m very busy, so… hopefully at the beginning of next year, I’ll take some time off, and just get the fingers back on the keyboard.

Kombo: That’s always a good time. About the idea of a blog or something, did you want us to perhaps ask the Kombo readers if they’d be interested in something like that?

Charles: Oh, sure! You betcha! I’m going to open up a dot-mac account, too, I think you can do a blog on that, and that would be really fun and easy, and people could just visit… yeah, ask those Mario fans, “would you like a blog from Charles Martinet? Would you like to ask questions?” And yeah, that’s terrific!

Kombo: Okay, sounds like a great idea. And is there anything else you’d like to say to our Kombo readers, and in this case, listeners?

Charles: *Mario’s voice* “Hey Kombo listeners and-a fans! Thank you so much for playing my games! Woo-hoo!” *Wario’s voice* “And don’t forget to play my game! MY game’s number one! Ah-hahahahahah! *raspberries* Oh, have a rotten day!”

Kombo: *laughs* And that game is Wario Land: Shake It!, which ships on September 22nd, and of course, Mario Super Sluggers, which is in stores right now, and features more of Charles Martinet! And thank you for listening!

Charles: *Mario’s voice* “Thank you very much, everybody! Have fun! Woo-hoo!” *Baby Mario’s voice* “And Baby Mario say, have a fun day too! Hoo-hoo!” *Baby Luigi’s voice* “And Baby Luigi too!” *Wario’s voice* “Have-a fun, and don’t forget to look-a for my game! Hah-hah” *Waluigi’s voice* “Hey, Wario! Why don’t I get interview? Waahaahaah!” *Wario’s voice* “Oh, have a rotten day! *raspberries* Eheheh…”