It turns out Lady Gaga was supposed to jump into a Mario warp pipe at the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics last week, but the whole segment got canned at the last minute, Japanese magazine Bunshun reports.
The magazine managed to get a hold of the original plan for the opening ceremony, which was set to have a heavy Nintendo influence, as the Japanese video game company has had a huge impact on pop culture worldwide.
As part of that, it was planned for noted Italian Lady Gaga to give give a remote message via video link and then jump into the pipe used by the famous 8-bit Italian plumber.
Then, Japanese comedian Naomi Watanabe would pop out of the pipe in the Tokyo stadium.
what might be the most noteworthy cut for non-J-pop followers….the Mario pipe thing from the Rio handover ceremony was set to appear again…but this time Lady Gaga would deliver a remote message, put on a Mario hat and go in the pipe…with Naomi Watanabe coming out in Tokyo pic.twitter.com/PUQRKYZHdP
— Patrick St. Michel (@mbmelodies) July 28, 2021
It seems like a pretty bloody random combination of celebs and pop-culture references, but the Gaga-Watanabe crossover actually makes more sense in light of the comedian’s iconic remake of “Rain on Me” music video, which has clocked almost 25 million views on YouTube.
Sadly, none of this was to be.
Because the games have been so controversial in Japan as of late – a lot of people are pissed that this global spectacle and potential superspreader event is being held in the middle of a pandemic – Nintendo apparently decided to bail from the opening ceremony at the last minute.
It’s understandable why a brand wouldn’t want to be associated with something so controversial.
Other pop culture references pulled from the opening ceremony include a dude riding around in one of the high-tech motorbikes from Akira, as well as dancers dressed up as Japan’s iconic train station attendants.
The opening ceremony we got in the end was still pretty decent, but it’s a pity to think about all the cool shit we missed out on because a pandemic got in the way for the second year in a row.