I don’t write as much about wrestling here as I’d like to, but today wrestling lost one if it’s all time greats and he falls under the pop culture bandwagon as well. Captain Lou Albano was known for his infamous long beard with lots of rubber bands all over his face and beard. Albano is one of the most successful managers of all time in wrestling, managing more tag teams to victory in his career than just about anyone. Some of his most famous teams were the Wild Samoans and the Bulldogs.
Captain had a way with words and came from the style of wrestling talkers who would call you “daddy, jack, baby” anything but your name. A lost art in onto itself. He’d do the talking for guys in the business who couldn’t talk very good. Lou also wrestled a little bit himself, but it wasn’t his main deal as he found a lot more success as a manager. Although Captain Lou was a big guy which made him more formidable than most string bean managers, if Captain Lou cheated it meant something.
Lou most famously entered pop culture with his appearance in Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” video where Lou played her dad. This led to the Rock-n-Wrestling connection and helped launch a whole new area of wrestling and pop culture. This led to perhaps the biggest connection to kids of the 80’s, Captain Lou was cast as Mario in the original Mario Brothers cartoon. He did live action segments as Mario as well as the voice of Mario in the cartoon itself.
The odd thing is as a kid, there was something very familiar about Mario but because Lou didn’t have his trademark beard I didn’t know it was Captain Lou Albano. Years later it dawned on me. Lou died today at 76 but apparently he hasn’t been in too great of health for a while.
Captain Lou was the ultimate salesmen, check out this ad where he puts over not doing drugs. It seems normal for the first 15 or so seconds, it’s the last half he put a Captian Lou spin on it.
So in honor of a man who helped bring wrestling into the main stream, helped create a rubber band phenomena and forever etched a legacy as part of the Mario Brothers, here’s to you Captain Lou. DO THE MARIO!