The passing of Louis "Captain Lou" Albano may have brought about a public outcry of "who?" but if your eyes were transfixed to kitschy '80s television like ours were, you remember the spunky WWF personality's rubberband-ed beard and flailing hand gestures. Even if you weren't a wrestling fan you had to recognize him from his cameo as the cranky dad in Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" video. Before T.I. was the "Rubber Band Man" there was Captain Lou.
Passing at 76 years of age, Albano proved himself to be a unique showman. An over-the-top wrestler and lovably bad actor who made his way into our homes and our hearts with his perpetually loud voice, boisterous antics and stereotypical Italian flair. From the wrestling ring to the the idiot box, StreetLevel looks back at a legend
Captain Lou's Wrestling Hotline
Captain Lou was a king of the ring, but he was much more than body slams and spandex--he was an entertainer. His tenure in Hollywood extended beyond his stint on the mat due to his big personality as you can see here in the vid as he hawks his services as a wrestling expert to unsuspecting kids with no concept of phone bills.
Hulk Hogan's Rock 'N' Wrestling
If you make enough money, you get an action figure and a cartoon. That might actually be a law. The WWF of the 1980s was a cash cow that they continually skewered for shish kebabs. "Hulk Hogan's Rock 'N' Wrestling" was one of the tastiest meat byproducts of the bum steer. Captain' Lou played a prominent part as a slovenly, overweight goofball in this real stretch of his acting chops.
The Super Mario Brothers Super Show
In another acting leap for Albano, the Captain was pegged to play the role of another overweight Italian from New York. How, you may ask, did he get into character to play the world's most beloved pixelated plumber, Mario? He cut off his beard. For the "Super Mario Brothers Show," Albano acted in vignettes book-ending an animated showcase of video game related cartoons which were in turn book-ended by a horrendous rap and an embarrassing dance That really should have been flushed down a warp pipe.
Captain Lou PSAs
Captain Lou, apparently in a rush home from the Mario job as he was still rocking the monogramed hat, was pull to the side by corporate and told he had to drop a PSA about the dangers of drugs. The Cap went into one of his unscripted tirade which he ended with a specific deep south address that you'll end up at if you get caught with the smack. You can't help but think that he's being a hypocrite though--Mario does 'shrooms all the time and we still think he's cool.
Captain Lou on "227"
Anyone who tuned in to 227 that historic Saturday night was in for a treat. In addition the Mary's sassy commentary and the curves of miss "Saaaaaaaandra" Clarke we got the gruff stylings of Captain Lou. Rubber bands and brightly colored shirts in full effect, Albano gave a tearjerker of a performance as a handyman with heart of gold. The Emmy for best accessorizing of rubber bands on prime time television goes to you Captain Lou. Rest in power, brother.
"Goonies R Good Enough" by Cyndi Lauper featuring the WWF All-Stars