When it comes to Mario, Nintendo's number one icon, there are plenty of myths and stories that can be debated by gamers until the moo moo cows come home. One of these, thanks to the Super Mario Bros. movie that wasn't particularly good, is that Mario and Luigi's last name is actually Mario, meaning that the famous plumber is unimaginatively called Mario Mario.
Those of us that have argued that this is utterly ludicrous often get pointed to the movie and told to accept we're wrong, but we now have the word of Shigeru Miyamoto to settle the argument, as he clarified this vitally important issue in an interview with Game Informer.
This is an old story, but Hollywood did a film version of the Mario Bros. many years back. There was a scene in the script where they needed a last name for the characters. Somebody suggested that, because they were the Mario Bros., their last name should be Mario. So, they made him "Mario Mario." I heard this and laughed rather loudly. Of course, this was ultimately included in the film. Based on the film, that's [how] their names ended up. But, just like Mickey Mouse doesn't really have a last name, Mario is really just Mario and Luigi is really just Luigi.
Miyamoto also explained why Mario has a black moustache and brown hair, a strange affliction that also affects Luigi.
This goes into [a] technical explanation of the number of colors that you could use in the early days. Mario was originally red, blue, white, and black. Maybe it was around the time of Super Mario Bros. 3 that we changed his hair to a different color. What really happened was that, when drawing the character, it became much easier to draw the mustache as an extension of the outline of his nose. Using that same color of black, we drew the mustache. But then we felt bad for Mario that he didn't have a distinct hair color, so we gave him brown hair.
Also confirmed, for the record, is that the Koopalings are not Bowser's children; the only direct heir is Bowser Jr., though the mother is unknown.
So, the big question has been answered. Can we stop calling him Mario Mario now, please?