|King Koopa's Kool Kartoons was a local, live-action children's television show broadcast in Southern California during the holiday season of 1989/1990. The show starred King Koopa (also known as Bowser), the central arch-villain from Nintendo's popular Super Mario Bros. video game series. The 30-minute program was originally broadcast during the after-school afternoon time-slots on Los Angeles-based KTTV Fox 11.
Because of its limited broadcast area and brief appearance, the show is largely forgotten in the greater Super Mario Bros. series.
The show featured an actor in a King Koopa costume similar to one previously used in the Super Mario Bros. themed Ice Capades show, only with a more detailed mask to make the actor more believable on television. The actor playing Koopa (originally Christopher Collins) performed the role with a gruff, gravel-voiced faux-malevolence that ultimately revealed a hestitantly nice personality.
Unlike any previous appearance, Koopa was seen with a pet creature that best resembled a mix of dog and weasel with the large ears of a bat supposedly mouser. Koopa would be seen walking the animal with a leash in the pre-recorded opening and closing credit sequences.
The format of the show in the tradition of classic children's television shows in the vein of Bozo the Clown: The show would begin with the same pre-recorded sequence and lead into a live studio audience of children chanting "Koopa! Koopa! Koopa!" at the beginning of the show. The audience of children were all given special hats shaped like Koopa heads and t-shirts with "Koopa's Troopas" printed on them.
The live action Koopa would then act as emcee, introducing old, public domain animated cartoon shorts for the length of the show (none of the actual Mario cartoons that were produced were ever shown). King Koopa would end the show by giving a child gift certificates or NES products, particularly the Power Glove which was a popular toy for the holiday season.