Everyone at Polygon who’s seen The Super Mario Bros. Movie came away with the same impression — it has its ups and downs, but Jack Black as Bowser entirely steals the show. Whether the character is crooning a heartfelt impromptu piano ballad to Princess Peach or viciously threatening Luigi’s mustache, Black throws himself into the role with a goofy, over-the-top passion that too much of the rest of the movie lacks.
That holds true for all the ways Black has gone about promoting the movie, from navigating a ridiculous CG platformer level on Instagram to showing up in Bowser cosplay at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. He’s been pulling ridiculous, over-the-top stunts to promote this movie for months now, and the best part is that he authentically seems to be having fun with it.
There are bound to be people who don’t appreciate this approach, or the specter of a grown-ass man mugging for the camera and rolling around on the floor in a bright-green suit, howling the lyrics to his “Peaches” anthem at a cartoon portrait of the princess herself. It’s undignified. It’s commercial. It’s very, very silly.
But that’s a big part of the reason why it’s so much fun to watch. His commitment to the bit so clearly crosses the line from “contractual studio promo obligation” into “adult at play.” His utterly shameless energy is an open invitation for Very Serious Adults to feel like kids again, to embrace this kind of egoless goofery around whatever still sparks joy in their lives. It characterizes pretty much all his appearances on social media these days, not just Super Mario Bros. Movie-related ones. And it’s refreshing and kind of adorable.
So if you’re willing to risk spending the next several days with Bowser’s song “Peaches” stuck in your head, dive into Black’s latest celebration of silliness, as he sings the song while wearing yet another Bowser-respecting costume, banging on a peach-colored piano in a mockup of a giant mushroom-shaped room, and ultimately flinging himself onto the floor to just really shout it all out. May the rest of us all someday get the chance to love something the way Jack Black loves emoting.