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Real Life Mario Kart are live-action parodies of the Nintendo racing game Mario Kart.
Super Mario Kart was released for the Super Nintendo console on August 27th, 1992, becoming the third best selling SNES game of all time with over 8 million copies sold worldwide. The game was followed by several sequels over the next 30 years, including Mario Kart 64 (1996), Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (2003), Mario Kart DS (2005), Mario Kart Wii (2008) and Mario Kart 7(2011).
The earliest known live action Mario Kart parody was uploaded by YouTuber ewenx012 on April 29th, 2006, in which a group of students race around a school building in Mario Kart-themed costumes (shown below).
On March 6th, 2007, YouTuber PandaSmashTV uploaded a live-action Mario Kart parody featuring several men wearing costumes while riding children’s bikes around a race track (shown below, left). In the next seven years, the video accumulated more than 1.7 million views and 2,400 comments. On December 5th, 2008, prankster Rémi Gaillard uploaded a live-action parody to YouTube, in which he is shown driving a go-kart on city streets and throwing banana peels in front of cars (shown below). In the first six years, the video gained over 58 million views and 21,500 comments.
On August 23rd, 2009, YouTuber drcoolsex uploaded a Mario Kart-themed film trailer titled “Mario Kart: The Movie,” which received more than 21 million views and 10,000 comments in five years (shown below, left). On April 28th, 2010, YouTuber Romain Bouyer submitted a live-action parody featuring actors dressed as Mario Kart racers driving go-karts around a track (shown below, right). In four years, the video gathered over 1.1 million views and 180 comments.
On February 11th, 2011, Gaillard uploaded a sequel to his 2008 Mario Kart parody (shown below, left). On February 17th, YouTuber Freddie Wong uploaded a video titled “Real Life Mario Kart,” featuring live action footage of a go-kart race with Mario Kart-themed digital effects (shown below, right). In the next three years, both videos garnered upwards of 22 million views.
Google search trends for “Real Life Mario Kart” yields a spike in December 2008, reflecting the popularity of Remi’s parody video and the highest peak to date in February 2011, which may be a result of compound interest in Remi’s recently uploaded sequel and Freddie Wong’s iteration of IRL Mario Kart videos.