Charles Martinet was born on September 17, 1955 in San Jose, California and is by far one of the most friendly, charismatic, and best people that I’ve met and become friends with in the video game industry. He is known most well for being the voice of Nintendo’s Mario. It doesn’t stop there, however, as he’s also the man behind the sounds of Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, and so much more.

I first became introduced to Charles at E3 2002 (which was only my 3rd show) at Nintendo’s booth. At this year’s expo, Nintendo had a really cool circle table where attendees (and there were thousands of ’em in line) sat around and interacted with the booth girls. Up on screen was a 3D animated Mario that Charles Martinet was secretly controlling back stage and was able to see the contestants at the table in full, talk to them, and of course, control Mario.

When it came for the Nintendo girls to interview me, I did my best Mario impression and caught “the Mario’s” attention. Being only 18 years old (but honestly, it’d still be just as exciting today), having the spotlight on me while I talked back and forth with Mr. Martinet and seeing everyone else’s jaws just drop, was quite a cool feeling. Charles even said, “Oh my goodness…Paul, you’re-a my long lost-a brother!”

After talking with Charles and then proceeding on to the Mario Party tournament (in which I was the first person to win a WaveBird controller and own one before it came out in Japan or US), I quickly tried to actually find Charles at the show. I saw him from afar in Nintendo’s booth, but amidst the chaos, couldn’t say hi in person, so I left my business card with a Nintendo rep.

I didn’t know what would come of it, but much to my surprise, when I got home from the expo that day, there was a message for me…from Charles. He left his number so I called him up and we did a miniature interview while he was at dinner with Miyamoto and the rest of the Nintendo gang.

Charles Martinet at E3 2003 on Paul Gale Network
E3 2003: Charles Martinet and Paul Gale

Flash forward to E3 2003 and now I’d officially meet Charles in person for the first time, after calling him before the show opened and getting to hang out at Nintendo’s booth before the masses got there. What a great, fun, and highly energetic person he was and I will forever be appreciative of his time (he was eating breakfast while providing an interview with me).
E3 2005: Charles Martinet and Paul Gale

And that’s one of the best things about Charles, is that personally, he always gives you the time of day. Despite having THE #1 most recognized voice in the world, through Mario, he’s as down to earth as they come, truly humble, and always a blast to talk to. Even when he’s not physically there, like at E3 2005 when he was in New York, he still takes a moment to talk and have fun with his fans.

Charles Martinet at E3 2006 on Paul Gale Network
E3 2006: Charles Martinet and Paul Gale

If I may rewind for a moment, I think it was at E3 2004 where I was talking with Charles after the show had ended and as tired as he was, someone from a charity for kids came up and asked if they can have a word with him. As tired as Martinet must have been, I saw how much energy he showed the person, signing Nintendo memorabilia (amongst them was a Mario Kart t-shirt) because it meant so much to the kids at the hospital, did some voice work, and so on. That speaks volumes in my book.

Charles Martinet at E3 2006 on Paul Gale Network
E3 2006: Charles Martinet and Paul Gale

Charles never ceases to impress me, because as the years have gone by, he’s still been as good a friend as ever. Whether it’s taking our usual picture at E3 or e-mailing between events, it’s always good hearing from one of the best in the biz. Speaking of best in the biz, one of my other good friends, Tommy Tallarico came up to me while talking with Charles at E3 2006 and I introduced the idea to them of having Charles appear at Tommy’s Video Games Live concert in the following months.

I remember that Charles was very open to the idea (though if I recall correctly, had his mom’s birthday coincide with the event and couldn’t make that one) and Tommy thought it was excellent as well. The team up between the two did happen in 2007 and I’m happy to have been there for the birth of the idea. By the way, for readers of my site that have been with me for a while, it was at that moment at E3 2006 where I introduced these two men together to come up with a cool collaboration that my idea of Paul Gale Network was born!

Charles Martinet at E3 2006 on Paul Gale Network
E3 2006: Charles Martinet and Paul Gale

When the Wii came out, Nintendo was smart to go full steam ahead at E3 and have Martinet be a big part of the show. Sometimes it’s more than making awesome games, but it’s having awesome people behind the games be there for fans to see.

Charles Martinet at E3 2009 on Paul Gale Network
E3 2009: Charles Martinet and Paul Gale

A lot of what you’re reading and seeing in this article is the Charles Martinet you get at expos, but know that personally, he’s been there for me in my own projects on the side. Always willing to help someone out, even when no one else is there to see it. 🙂

When I asked Charles at E3 2009 to do a little something special for me, he did so very happily. In fact, he asked me to record him twice, just to make it perfect!

Mr. Martinet also has something fun to say whenever we meet, almost a little hint as to what he’s working on next…and for that I also thank him for his trust and respect. Believe me when I say that everything from him is highly appreciated.
E3 2010: Charles Martinet saying that Paul Gale Network is #1!

Charles, for a change, “You’re #1!”

Charles Martinet at E3 2010 on Paul Gale Network
E3 2010: Charles Martinet and Paul Gale

To Martinet’s fans, if you ever see Mario himself in person, give him a big thank you for his work, because he really is a great person and an excellent contributor to our industry. And if you want to learn more about him, check out his site at

To Charles, thank you my friend for always being there and for helping me out along the way. You’re always one of the people I look forward to seeing most at expos and have never not had a good time talking to you since E3 2002. I sincerely wish you the absolute best with your future career as Mario and for everything else you do. I still remember our joke at E3 2003 that if you ever get laryngitis (or retire) I can have your job as Mario, but I honestly hope that never happens, because you’re irreplaceable. Here’s to you continuing to make people happy all over the globe and for us continuing our tradition!


Charles Martinet at E3 2011 on Paul Gale Network
E3 2011: Charles Martinet and Paul Gale

And so the legacy continues between Charles and me continues. Yet again, Mr. Martinet was as kind and happy to talk with me as ever and I can’t thank him enough for it. I was really happy to see him at the show too, because I got to give him my little PGN ninja star which he liked. Oh and Charles, I’m glad you liked this article for you and now you’ll have one more reason to look at it…to see our 2011 picture of course. 🙂 Keep up the great work my friend and thank you for the well wishes on my latest endeavors!

E3 2012: Charles Martinet on Paul Gale Network
E3 2012: Charles Martinet and Paul Gale

E3 2014: Charles Martinet on Paul Gale Network
E3 2014: Charles Martinet and Paul Gale

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