Mario Segale, Super Mario's Namesake, Has Passed Away at 84

Video game fans know Mario as the star of Nintendo's most successful franchise. But what they may not know is that he was named after Mario Segale, an Italian-American property developer from Washington state. The BBC reports that Segale has died at age 84.

The original Mario crossed paths with Nintendo in the 1980s, when he leased a warehouse to the American outpost of the Japanese gaming company. The character Mario originally appeared as jumpman in Donkey Kong, and when Nintendo was looking to give him a new name, the employees at Nintendo of America took inspiration from their landlord.

Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto also briefly considered the name Mr. Video—and later acknowledged that if he had stuck with that name the game may have "disappeared off the face of the Earth."

Even after learning that the video game character had borrowed his name—and his Italian heritage—Segale didn't use it as a claim to fame. In fact, he feared that his connection to Mario might damage his reputation and hurt his career. One of the few times he commented on it publicly was in a 1993 article in The Seattle Times. When asked what he thought of sharing a name with the character, he replied, “You might say I’m still waiting for my royalty checks.”

During his life, Segale lead a successful construction and real estate business, and enjoyed hunting, fishing, and flying his airplane in his free time. He is survived by his four children, nine grandchildren, and his wife, Donna.

[h/t BBC]

YouTube Will Air a Different Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical for Free Each Friday

Broadway legend Andrew Lloyd Webber in 2018.
Broadway legend Andrew Lloyd Webber in 2018.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Broadway may have temporarily shut down all productions to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, but Andrew Lloyd Webber is here to make sure that musical theater aficionados still get their fill of top-notch content for the foreseeable future.

According to Broadway Direct, Webber’s production company, The Really Useful Group, has partnered with Universal on a new YouTube channel called “The Shows Must Go On!,” which will air a different Webber musical each Friday at 2 p.m. EST on YouTube. If you can’t tune in right at that time, don’t worry—the show will stay posted for 48 hours after it airs.

The series debuted last Friday, April 3, with 1999’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which stars Donny Osmond in the titular role and an ultra-talented supporting cast with Richard Attenborough, Maria Friedman, Joan Collins, and more. This week’s offering, tying in nicely with Easter, will be the 2012 Live Arena Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, featuring Tim Minchin, Melanie C—a.k.a. the Spice Girls’ Sporty Spice—and Ben Forster. (If you’re interested in comparing it with 2018’s live concert version with John Legend and Sara Bareilles, you can catch that on NBC this Sunday.)

The schedule for future Fridays hasn’t been released yet, but Webber did mention in the announcement that it’ll include what he calls “the most important one, my disaster musical, By Jeeves,” a 1975 production based on P.G. Wodehouse’s classic stories. Other potential productions that could be part of the series include The Phantom of the Opera, Evita, School of Rock, and, of course, Cats.

In addition to full-length Broadway musicals, the channel will also post individual songs and behind-the-scenes content about how musicals go from stage to screen. You can subscribe to the channel here so you don’t miss any opportunity for a living room singalong.

[h/t Broadway Direct]

You Could Get Paid $1000 to Host a Remote The Office Watching Party


If getting paid to watch The Office sounds like a dream come true, well, you're in luck. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, Overheard on Conference Calls, an online resource that provides helpful guides to navigating the workplace, is paying one diehard fan $1000 to host a remote watch party of The Office.

"In a time when most states in the U.S. are under stay at home orders due to COVID-19 and words like social distancing are common, it can be tough to still remember there are good things out there. Two of those things are friendship and the television show The Office," the company said on their website.

But there are a few important requirements. According to the site, Overheard is looking for someone who loves the show, has accessibility to host a video call, and will watch 15 episodes in the span of one week with their friends.

You also need to be 18 years or older and a current resident of the United States. If you fit all these requirements, simply fill out this form by April 27.

Even if you aren't the lucky winner, you can still host an Office watch party while social distancing. Check out this free browser extension that allows you to watch Netflix with your friends.